Sunday, February 15, 2015

50 Shades

50 Shades of Gray

I didn't read the book so I went into this movie totally blind, which for a change is good.  I was waiting to see for myself what the hype was all about.  I was sitting there waiting to see that something, perhaps it's an indescribable magic, that just is.  Some would call it chemistry, but it's more than that.  Whatever that missing element for this story was, it wasn't there for me.  All I could do was to break it down into predictable elements that were going to progress into areas that were just going to build up with violence against a woman that this Anastasia-character was going to trade in order to get more from Christian, who I guessed had an abusive childhood and felt this need to abuse women and not have any sort of a normal relationship.

The Anastasia character rejects a boy who has been nice to her for years to accept a rich asshole who has a fetish for chaining and beating women with riding crops and belts.  This is the first time in a very long time where I have gone to a movie and actually walked out of the theater because I just didn't want to watch a woman get hit with a belt after she tells the dominant character "I want to see how bad it really is."  After the second hit with the belt, I hit the door.  It's empty.  It's soulless and perhaps pain is the message of needing to feel alive somehow.

To me, it was the classic cycle of the abused becoming the abuser.  However, this guy makes it legitimate with contracts and non-disclosure agreements.  The naive girl believes she can fix him and ignores her first instinct to leave him to his untreated sickness.  Perhaps I personalized my response to this train wreck of a movie that is making a ton of money worldwide.  All I could see was a girl who is being led down a road that would leave her with physical and emotional scars.  Her purpose, persumably she's in love with Grey.  She's consenting to being physically hit.  He's aware that he has issues that he choses not to deal with, but rather he is feeding something very dark indeed.

Some press has called this a woman's fantasy.  I agree, it perhaps is a singular woman's fantasy, I rather think of it as giving up your free will and power over your body.  True, there is surrender with sex, but this domination type of sex is a response in a fear of being vulnerable.  It reminded me of what Anais Nin wrote,  “Man can never know the loneliness a woman knows. Man lies in the woman's womb only to gather strength, he nourishes himself from this fusion, and then he rises and goes into the world, into his work, into battle, into art. He is not lonely. He is busy. The memory of the swim in amniotic fluid gives him energy, completion. Woman may be busy too, but she feels empty. Sensuality for her is not only a wave of pleasure in which she is bathed, and a charge of electric joy at contact with another. When man lies in her womb, she is fulfilled, each act of love a taking of man within her, an act of birth and rebirth, of child rearing and man bearing. Man lies in her womb and is reborn each time anew with a desire to act, to be. But for woman, the climax is not in the birth, but in the moment man rests inside of her.”  

And yet, Grey fights this very notion.  He fed off her pain and the causing pain.  Sadism has never appealed to me for many reasons.  Perhaps it is because I would never submit to cruelty in any form in my life.  It flies in the face of all that is sensual and passionate.  The senses and pleasures have been distorted just so some people can feel they are alive.  My brain would not shut up during the movie.  I watched and realized I was watching a woman throwing herself at a man, an unrequited love.  He saw he could do anything he wanted with her and that made him want her as a vessel to use for his purposes.  

I saw enough.  She wan't going to fix him and he was using her.  In another socio-economic class this would have been an episode on "Cops" where the man is in a wife beater and the woman has a black eye.  Yeah, that's hot.