[Book to Movie Review]: 50 Shades of Grey – E.L. James


50 Shades of Grey: Written By E. L. James

Goodreads Synopsis:
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

My thoughts on the novel:

As this book is the first published in the trilogy and only one movie has been made to correspond to this first book so far, I amncomparing this first book and movie only.

Being the first novel, I found it to be a little slow paced to begin with, possibly because we are being introduced to all the characters and E.L. James provided us with very descriptive paragraphs on them all, so it took a little while for the story itself to kick in, but once it did, it had me hooked and I found that I couldn’t put the book down!

Ana and Christian clearly had chemistry from the very beginning when she fell into his office and they both then found it extremely difficult to exist as individuals but what I find hard to comprehend is how a 21 year old graduating college student would become so naive so suddenly like she can’t think for herself anymore since meeting Christian. I find it very hard to believe that a girl (who was a virgin when meeting Christian) would so easily accept becoming a submissive so easily, instead of running for the hills, like most girls would have -especially since she was graduating and getting ready to start her career.

So many people have labelled this book as domestic violence toward women, but what they are forgetting is that everything Christian did to Ana, she consented to it. She never stopped him, in fact she asked him to do it to her. She entered into his world, signed his contract, with her eyes open, knowing perfectly well what he intended to do to/with her. So why people are in an uproar about it, saying it’s domestic violence is beyond me.

The amount of sex scenes in this book, I found them to be very repetitive and unnecessary. I starting thinking to myself “Another one?!” because they were so frequent, so I actually stated skimming them so I could get back to the actual story. The story of why is Christian the way he is? How did he become this way inclined? We knew what he enjoyed doing, but I wanted to know why he enjoyed doing it. For these reasons, I couldn’t put the book down.

The Characters:

I found Ana to be very sarcastic is her language toward Christian, which made me like her character more. The sarcastic humour was a nice change from the monotonous sex scenes.
Her character is very persistent, she won’t stop until she gets the answers that she wants out of Christian.
Ana’s subconscious became very irritating, but it’s something you just have to get used to because it was there throughout the whole book.

As for Christian, I found him to be very domineering, which obviously was the point, but I found myself continually asking, “Why does Ana choose to stay with him? Would this whole situation not freak any normal girl out? Who gets given a contract like that and willingly sticks around?”

The fact that the ending was a cliffhanger made it all the more intriguing and luckily for me I had the next two books in the trilogy lined up ready to go, so I started the next one straight away and didn’t put it down until I finished it.

The movie:

I loved the movie adaptation to this book. I think they did a great job portraying the storyline and making the actors stay true to the characters in the novel.

Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey, although did play the character well, I personally think he wasn’t 100% suited to the role. I didn’t find him as attractive to the Christian Grey I envisioned while reading the book. But having watched the movie numerous times now, I do believe he plays the part well.

Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia Steele and although I don’t personally like her as an actress, I do think she plays this role well. The book describes Ana as ‘plain looking’ and I do find Dakota to be plain looking aswell.

What’s kept the same:

Major occurrences in the book were brought into the movie, such as Christian buying Ana a car, laptop, first edition books and sending her a bottle of champaign with a helicopter balloon attached to it as a moving gift. The only thing Christian didn’t buy her in the movie was a blackberry, which he did buy her in the book.

In both the book and the movie, Christian follows Ana to her mother’s place, but leaves early to sort out a ‘situation’ back home; he turns up at Clayton’s hardware store where she works and buys items for his playroom; he does the photo shoot for Kate and then takes Ana to coffee afterwards; he takes Ana to his parent’s place for dinner; they have a meeting to discuss the contract but the location is different in the movie; the elevator scene; he flies her to his home in Charlie Tango and he presents the awards to the graduating students.

What’s different:

A lot of sex scenes aren’t shown in the movie, which is a good thing otherwise it would become a porno.
Christian isn’t so pushy toward Ana’s appetite as he is in the book. This could possibly be because there are a lot more dinner occurrences in the book than there is in the movie.
Ana and Kate don’t talk much in the movie, where as in the book they are constantly discussing Ana and Christian’s relationship.
The book focuses on Ana’s internship placements – the movie only mentions this once.
The book focuses on Jose’ and Paul’s feelings toward Ana, the movie only shows us that Jose’ has feelings for her once.
Kate’s brother, Ethan doesn’t exist in the movie at all, nor does Dr Flynn who is Christian’s therapist in the book or Mrs. Jones who is Christian’s housekeeper in the book.
Jack Hyde, who works at SIP where Ana gets an internship in the book, isn’t shown in the movie either.

Overall conclusion:

As much as the movie did stay true to the novel, it didn’t include every single scene, which is understandable otherwise the movie would be a lot longer.
The main thing is they included all the important parts from the book, which wouldn’t have made the movie work had they not put them in and for this reason, it made the movie all the more enjoyable to watch.

Being the first book and movie in the trilogy, the book seemed to improve as it went along and the movie was adapted very well.

I look forward to the adaptation of Fifty Shades Darker next year.

❤ MeLzY




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