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The worldwide phenomenon comes to life in Fifty Shades of Grey, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in the iconic roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.

Ana is an inexperienced college student tasked with interviewing enigmatic billionaire Christian Grey. But what starts as business quickly becomes an unconventional romance.

Swept up in Christian’s glamorous lifestyle, Ana soon finds another side to him as she discovers his secrets and explores her own dark desires. What results is a thrilling, all-consuming romance as Christian and Ana test the limits they will go to for their relationship.


A Reader's Review of Fifty Shades of Grey - The Movie

Book Series: 

Movie reviews are really not my forte because I am a very reactive viewer and tend to experience cinematography through an acutely emotional and subjective lens, even more so than with books, but Fifty Shades of Grey is the story that singlehandedly jump-started my reading passion and it is greatly responsible for the way my reading tastes have evolved over time, thus leaving me a bursting bubble of emotions after seeing its movie adaptation. I will admit that I had a reasonable number of expectations, bracing myself for disappointment because very rarely does a movie outmatch its book, but let me tell you, this movie did not just do the first book in the Trilogy justice—it pulled off the almost impossible task of faithfully bringing these fictional characters to life and making them even more psychologically layered and three-dimensional than they might have been in the first place, turning my overall viewing experience into an absolute thrill start to finish.

After seeing Dakota Johnson’s portrayal of Anastasia Steele, I am convinced that this role was made for her. The Fifty Shades Trilogy always centred around its heroine and her inner voice, making any actress’ portrayal of this role much more important than the one of Christian Grey, but Ms Johnson’s innate comedic timing left me speechless, not to mention all the ways she succeeded in expressing Anastasia’s vulnerability and naiveté, often with nothing more than a facial expression or a look. Her reluctance to just jump into the sexual adventure that Christian was proposing and thus effectively put aside her own romantic ideals was real, palpable, vivid in her every move. Even more so than in the books, I felt her desperate desire to be loved by him for the woman that she is, not the one he wants her to be, and that never changed in her, even when she surrendered to him and gave his lifestyle a taste.

Jamie Dornan was also a pleasant surprise, mainly because I was not always keen on his casting in this role, and even though at times there was a ‘stiffness’ to him that gave me the impression he was not entirely comfortable in Mr Grey’s shoes, he still managed to exceed my expectations and make me confident that he would ‘grow’ into this role even more in subsequent instalments of the Trilogy. His dominant streak didn’t always feel ‘natural’ to me, his words not always matching his body language, but that did not distract me in the slightest from enjoying him as the delicious ‘Fifty’.

The chemistry between the main characters was phenomenal, culminating in some of the most explicit and yet tastefully executed sex scenes I have ever watched on the big screen. There was a lot of nudity, both male as well as female, as it should have been given the storyline, but it was done with just the right level of detail, and it did not leave me feeling cheated out of any imageries that the books so vividly described. Their every sexual encounter was graphic enough to make it appear ‘real’, but elusive enough to allow us to fill the blanks with our own imagination.

Lastly, the music soundtrack needs to be acknowledged because it not only perfectly matched each scene, it enhanced them and played a vital role in our total multisensory experience.

This movie adaptation will undoubtedly meet its champions as well as its harsh critics, some happy to simply enjoy it without any preconceived notions, while others dissecting its every scene and assigning more symbolic meanings to it than it ever wished to convey, but I remain of the opinion that Christian and Ana’s love story was never meant to be a ‘how-to’ guide on relationships. It never set out to teach us any lessons other than what happens behind closed doors between two consulting adults is no one’s business other than their own. It never ‘glorified’ any aspects of itself. And there are no victims in this scenario. It’s a story that started a discourse on sex, liberated women to talk freely about their own sex lives, and it added the missing spark to many bedrooms. It was a catalyst, not a point of reference, and for many readers like yours truly, it will forever remain the seed that started the forest.

I loved this movie, plain and simple. I was emotionally spent by the end of it and immediately desperate for the sequel, and I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone willing to open-mindedly enjoy some steamy but utterly addictive fiction…with a mouth-watering side of kink.

DVD | Blu-ray | iTunes | Soundtrack


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34 Comments Hide Comments

Natasha, let me commend you on how capably you expressed your thoughts. On the movie. On the books. You brought up some excellent points, you offered criticism without condemning, and communicated your appreciation and joy wonderfully. Thank you!

Thank you, loved your honest review…just what I needed to hear before going to see the movie myself this Friday.

What a great review! I have to admit that I have not read the books but I do want to see the movie. And since one of my sisters wants to see it as well, we are more than likely going to see it Friday night.

I love this review!! You have such an amazing way with words! I cannot wait to watch this movie! Thank you Natasha!:)

Nice review! I have my doubts about Jamie Dornan being able to portray the deep and dark Christian Grey from the books, but I have to agree with you that this is Anastasia’s story and remain hopeful with your honest review that Dakota Johnson may have pulled it off. Nicely done!

Thank you for your review. Quite frankly I was having no interest in seeing it as I didn’t think the casting was right nor did I think the movie would do the books justice. I may be rethinking my interest in seeing it. I respect your views as you have not lead me wrong yet re: books :)

I’m waiting till the theaters clear a little to see it (bad opening night of Magic Mike front row experience–lol), but I am excited to see it. I liked that you mentioned reading the books began your reading passion. I think EL James doesn’t get enough credit for getting women to read again. Lots of people who read this trilogy hadn’t read any book since high school (and that’s a long time when you’re in your 40s.)

Natasha, Thank you so much for your review. I think I am definitely going to see it now. I was one of the many who hated the book because the writing was so atrocious, and Ana seemed too weak (and oh so annoying with her “inner goddess”) but I’ve been curious about the movie, and I think based on the poor writing of the book, the movie could only improve upon it.

That was an amazing review! I am ashamed to admit that I don’t always read reviews in their entirety but skim through to basically catch the “meat and potatoes”! But I did just read every word you wrote and not only can I not wait to see the movie even more than I did, but I am extremely impressed with your words and details and just.. Wow! You left me speechless! Thanks for sharing your opinion and I truly can’t wait to read every review you write from this day forward!

Heather Ross Cicio

Your review was awesome! I loved the books and was also wondering if I would be left feeling cheated like so many book to movie adaptations go. I look forward to embracing what they have brought to life with this film!

Natasha, Well done response from your personal perspective. You were honest and I respect that. I am so in love with this book and characters that even if the movie didn’t do it the justice that it does deserve, I will always be a Ana & Christian Fan for life. Thanks Natasha for your well written feedback.

I wholeheartedly agree with your statement of “Fifty Shades of Grey is the story that singlehandedly jump-started my reading passion”. Also, your review is the first review that I’ve read and thought…wow she actually read the book, understood the book and understood how to review an adaptation of a book to a movie. Thank you for this review.

Great review!! I know it’s crazy to say, but these books have changed my life!!! Yes, I’ve read better books, but this series will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. Can’t wait to see the movie tomorrow.

I saw it last night and your review captured my sentiments 100%. Pleasantly surprised with Dornan and the movie overall. Johnson was Ana! Can’t wait to see it again. FSOG was definitely my gateway to my reading addiction.

I agree 100% with this review! I saw the movie last night and was plesentley suprised! I thought the actors did a wonderful job with the movie! I can not wait for the next one! :)

I completely agree with everything you say. Dakota Johnson was phenomenal and I enjoyed Jamie Dornan’s restrained performance. The final scenes were breathtaking, heart-racing and heart braking all at the same time.

Fabulous review!

I was wondering have you reviewed FSOG? I can’t seem to find it here on your site? Just wondering your thoughts on the books.
PS I love your reviews, your my inspiration :)


I never did because I read those books before I started this blog or reviewing books for that matter. I can say that I loved them when I first read them, thought they were groundbreaking in every possible way, HOWEVER, I have read 1,000+ books since then, more than half in the same genre as FSoG, and my tastes have ‘evolved’ somewhat for lack of a better word. I have tried re-reading these books again just before the movie came out and they definitely did not have the same effect on me. Nor did I enjoy the writing style as much. But, like I say in this review, I will forever love this story for what it meant to me as a reader. And as a woman too because I believe it jumpstarted many a dialogue about sex, and that is always a good thing. Since reading FSoG, I have read many more ‘accurate’ books about this lifestyle, enjoyed them tremendously, but I do appreciate the fact that I would have been terrified of these books had I not read FSoG beforehand. So, I am grateful for that too. FSoG is escapism at its best, a ‘vanilla’ flavour of BDSM erotica (ha, see what I did there!), and it’s a great starting point for people curious to delve into this genre. They were my ‘training wheels’ into this genre, and even though I put them aside a long time ago, I still look at them on my bookshelf fondly. :)

WOW! Thank you so much for getting back to me. I really agree with what you have said. I’ve loved romance novels for so long but FSoG was the one that showed me a different type of romance genre.
Thanks again.

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