FILM REVIEW: Fifty Shades of Grey

Dakota Johnson as Anastasia 'Ana' Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. : PA Photo/Universal Pictures

Dakota Johnson as Anastasia 'Ana' Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. : PA Photo/Universal Pictures

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With approximately 500,000 advance ticket sales in the UK... and rising, Sam Taylor-Wood’s eagerly anticipated screen version of Fifty Shades Of Grey is poised for a whip-cracking opening weekend.

British author EL James self-published the first instalment of her erotically charged trilogy before the first hardback edition was released in March 2012.

Critics might have been less than flattering, giving the book a sharp verbal spanking, but the public were seduced by James’ depiction of the intensely physical relationship between a college graduate and a handsome businessman and propelled the tome to the top of the bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

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In the UK, such was the clamour for copies of the paperback that Fifty Shades Of Grey outsold JK Rowling and Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, and opened the floodgates on a raft of books crudely dubbed ‘mummy porn’.

Taylor-Wood’s film has been closely guarded from prying eyes until its international premiere on February 11 at the Berlin Film Festival, before a star-studded UK premiere in London’s Leicester Square the following day.

Aside from the removal of one of the book’s most infamous scenes involving a tampon, the glossy big screen adaptation purportedly remains faithful to James’ text and the author was on the film set every day to keep a close eye on proceedings.

As a favour to her roommate Kate (Eloise Mumford), literature student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) interviews handsome and charming multimillionaire businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Anastasia is bewitched by Christian and makes clear her desire for him.

In order to get closer to the object of her amorous affections, the student submits to Christian and he introduces her to an erotically charged world of domination, lust and temptation that thankfully didn’t get UK censors hot under the collar.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) passed Fifty Shades Of Grey uncut as an 18 certificate for scenes of sex and nudity, along with the portrayal of erotic role play based on domination, submission and sado-masochistic practices. Ker-ching.