Sun | Jun 24, 2018

'50 Shades Freed' feels fake

Published:Monday | March 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
Newly-weds Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the final instalment of the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy, ‘Fifty Shades Freed’. Contributed

It only took four years, but the saga of Anna and Christian is finally at an end. What started as a tawdry and seductive affair, now finds itself caught up in the most daring adventure of all - lifelong partnership, far more frightening than anything in Mr Grey's infamous playroom. It is fitting that the beginning of the film also invites us to witness the couple's new start in holy matrimony. Well, as holy as can be expected.

As a romance film, 50 Shades Freed has the dramatic intelligence of a fourth-grade play, based on a complex episode of Dora. Which is the point. Any attempts the film makes at a realistic portrayal of people and relationships feel entirely accidental. It works best when it's taken at face value as the fantasy it is.

For that matter, I can see many enjoying the movie. It's easy to get caught up in the grandiosity of the Greys. I think the pair whisk themselves away on a private jet no less than four times in the film, each time going to a destination more amazing than the last. Paradise, it seems, is possible, but only up to a certain point.

The film has a lesson to be learnt about the boundaries to be respected in a marriage. Shockingly, Christian's domination and emotional immaturity proves incompatible in a marriage. While I appreciate that the series tried to bring an element of rational thinking to the myth it spent three films building, it nevertheless feels hollow.

I could go into detail on many other things the film did that bothered me. Just to name a few, it has one of the worst car chases I've ever seen, the dialogue is as dull as it is deplorable, and Jamie Dornan's acting feels like he's an alien trying to mimic the behaviour of the actual humans around him. To dwell on these felt petty, and, as ridiculous as the film gets, it did keep my attention all the way through.