If you read the book of E. L. James you are probably dying to see the film adaptation that has already been released on Valentine’s Day to the audience, making out of the bestseller a box-office smash.
This following article seeks to review the movie and to inform fellow fans over what scenes you should expect to see in the movie adaptation. And if you did saw the so-anticipated movie, here are some book-movie differences that maybe you too were happy or unhappy to see.
Whether you like it or not Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie, is already a social-medial phenomenon. YouTubers made it an internet success after 113 million views of trailers and commercials.
The movie Fifty Shades of Grey got more attention online than any other blockbuster’s trailer that got released lately, with the help of a few parodies and a soundtrack that includes singles from singers Beyoncé and Sia. Also the trilogy has sold over 100 million copies, with more than 50 translations in other languages.
Most definitely everybody who already read the book presumed that not all stories will be presented in the movie and that the on-screen story will be more overcome because of the way too explicit content that the book presents. There will be however a lot of steamy kissing, spanking and not too pornographic sex-scenes in close-up. We should also let you know that there will be spoilers.
World conversations about BDSM
It’s just a matter of perspective if you enjoyed the movie or if you felt disappointed. One thing is for sure: Fifty Shades of Grey, movie and book, have started all over the world conversations about bondage, discipline, dominance or submission. And whether you discussed it with your partner or your friends, BDSM is a theme that soaked up many people’s sex lives. It’s kind of sad to acknowledge that there are people who still think tying up your partner as an arousal will get them closer to hell…
Jamie Dornan impersonates the controversial Christian Grey, who is well known for his wealth and power. In the movie we can see him wearing thousand dollar watches, flying the “Grey” helicopter and driving his collection of Audis. But the true star of the movie is Dakota Johnson who gives realism and depth to E. L James’s character, Anastasia. Dakota is quite a down to earth woman that is very aware of the unreasonable side of the book but manages to look through it and creates a character that satisfies both the author as well as the audience.
Inspiring the big screen adaptation, the E. L. James bestseller is written in a provocative, silly and romantic mode. The soft-core novel treats themes like BDSM and, mildly, the implications of a dominant versus submissive relationship between a shy and nerdy college student and a powerful corporate that falls in love with her although, as he says in the book and movie, he normally doesn’t “do relationships”. From the moment Anastasia signs the acceptance papers of a BDSM relationship with Mr. Grey she is introduced to the “Red Room of Pain”. The entire action focuses on Anastasia’s decision of whether she should give in or not to Christian’s dominance.
The overview of the book-movie differences is that the movie adaptation remains pretty close to the bestseller. Unfortunately it stays close even when Christian says “Laters, baby,” and one inner goddess remark from Anastasia “Holy cow!” The biggest differences between the book and the movie are in the sex scenes, some of them being completely removed.
The Sex Scenes
The movie Fifty Shades of Grey has provided us with a bunch of explicit sex scenes but none of them are too dirty. The controversial scenes serve as an enhancement to the original plot so no one should be outraged by them unless you are too much of a prude.
Items like whips, rope or cuffs are standard accessories for BDSM but for the regular acts of sex this might appear as extreme, therefore movies are the balanced way of accepting it without the feeling of weirdness.
For every woman or man who has experimented once the S&M practice, will know that both the book and the movie Fifty Shades of Grey is not that harsh and it mostly depends on your gender, your sexual preferences and experience to judge the “Red Room” scenes. Unfortunately for the female audience there is not as much male nudity as it is female.
It’s a shame that the director of the movie, Sam Taylor-Johnson, who is a woman herself, tends to have a perspective more likely closer to Anastasia’s: nervous and bound to believe that BDSM is most likely for the damaged people, who can only hide their emotional traumas by taking on roles and scenarios during sex. We ought to have believe that a female-centric point of view would have been more present in the movie.
Christian mildly spanks Ana
The scene where Ana is spanked for the first time is in both book and movie. In the movie Anastasia rolls her eyes after she reads the negotiation rules, while Christian is very serious about it. Mr. Grey tells Ana that if she will roll her eyes again he will bend her over his knees and spank her. And so he does. Pulling her tights down and giving her some serious slaps to the ass. Movie-Christian does this after Ana’s graduation.
Book-Christian has sex with Ana, she reaches orgasm and although naming the act “exquisite”, Christian leaves after a few hours, leaving Ana in tears. They meet again at the apartment after the two talk through email.
Ana is comforted and soothed by Christian’s presence. In the movie, Christian doesn’t show such remorse or kindness. In fact in the movie, after the spanking occurs, there is no sex afterwards and Mr. Grey just leaves and doesn’t come back.
This paragraph from the book also is out of the question left out of the movie:
“I found some baby oil. Let me rub it on your behind.” Sitting beside me, he gently pulls my sweatpants down. Up and down like a whores’ drawers, my subconscious remarks bitterly…Christian squirts baby oil into his hand and then rubs my behind with careful tenderness—from makeup remover to soothing balm for a spanked ass, who would have thought it was such a versatile liquid.”
So Ana doesn’t get her ass rubbed in the movie with baby oil just a heads-up to what he will do and their clothes are still on, comparing to the book where Christian actually undresses her. The spanking has no actual skin to skin contact and it is a shame because it really loses the authentic impact that was presented in the book.
“How do you make yourself come? I want to see.”
I shake my head. “I don’t,” I mumble.
He raises his eyebrows, astonished for a moment…”Well, we’ll have to see what we can do about that.” His voice is soft, challenging, a delicious sensual threat. […] “Keep still,” he murmurs, and then he leans down and kisses the inside of my thigh, trailing kisses up, over the thin lacy material of my panties, kissing me.
I can’t keep still. How can I not move? I wriggle beneath him. “We’re going to have to work on keeping you still, baby.”
What we still see in the movie after this whole scene is a lot of kissing on the thighs, a casual and not at all scandalous underwear. The part when Christian says to Ana to stay still made through in the movie. As for the whole masturbation act it’s all done in a blurry and faded to black scene, not showing obviously how poor girl Dakota pleases herself.
Fingering the Way to an Orgasm
Let’s take this paragraph for example:
“He leans down and kisses me, his fingers still moving rhythmically inside me, his thumb circling and pressing. His other hand scoops my hair off my head and holds my head in place. His tongue mirrors the actions of his fingers, claiming me. My legs begin to stiffen as I push against his hand. He gentles his hand, so I’m brought back from the brink…I come instantly again and again, falling apart beneath him…Then I’m building again…I climax anew, calling out his name.”
We figure it out a long time ago, that the fingering scene might be definitely cut from the movie. But this scene is quite accurate for the big-screen overall. Not so much of a detailed sex-scene that has explosive orgasm all of the sudden, is really common in cinematic sex. And I stand corrected, “orgasms”.
It’s not that we want to see explicit scenes that are too close to the real deal, because otherwise it turns into real porn but encouraging the idea that orgasms are so easy to achieve by a shy college student, who was a virgin not too long ago, by so little effort is hard to believe to be realistic.
No Inner Goddess
To be frank, we really believe that nobody was looking forward to find out more about Ana’s “Inner Goddess“. Anastasia gives a name for all her desires, her libido and it’s the “Inner Goddess which has different dances by her stage of sexual excitement.
The reason why it is a good thing that it got dumped is that it already created in our readers minds an uncanny picture, so imagine what it would have been like to recreate it on the big screen. Yeah…
The only time the word “goddess” in mentioned is when her roommate, Kate, addresses it to Ana. There is no doubt that women have been attracted to the bestseller because of the thrill that gives them control and because of Ana, who as a hard-working student, surrenders to her inner goddess.
“ Anastasia gives a name for all her sexual desires, her libido and it's the Inner Goddess ”
Thanks to Dakota Johnson, Ana doesn’t has her way-to-dramatic inner monologues and actually uses her body language to help her express frustration, loneliness and sexual excitement. She really turns Anastasia into a real person by being so subtle in her role in addition to the book, which isn’t that subtle.
Anastasia’s inner goddess meant for her to react to each and one of Christian’s advances by blushing and gushing. Would you really have preferred for Ana to have inner dances: “My very small inner goddess sways in a gentle victorious samba”, do gymnastics: “My inner goddess is doing backflips in a routine worthy of a Russian Olympic gymnast” or to…book a hotel room? “My inner goddess has a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the outside of her room.” Exactly!
We are not saying E. L. James’s ideas we’re not good, because, in fact, that’s what made the book such a great phenomenon but the inner goddess didn’t quite worked out that well. And most important probably everybody got the idea of what the inner goddess stood for but the way it was put in practice didn’t went along with what we had in mind, resulting a very busy and emotional bizarre personification of sexual desire, leaving us with a very strange mental picture every time the inner goddess made her appearance in E. L James’s book.
I think we should all take a moment and think how good was without the cartoony outbursts from the book. Sure, a book with a sex scene at every five pages can be hard to read with all those weird exclamations like “Argh!”, “Oh Jeez!” or my personal “favorite” “Double crap!” Thanks to human nature, those sounds aren’t so articulated in real life or in the movie.
The famous and controversial scene from the book with the Ben Wa balls is not in the movie. We are once again thankful for this modification of the script due to its lack of realism. The balls do not have the same result as a vibrator, for example, would have. If you ask women who have tried them they will probably tell you the same.
Ben Wa balls have the effect of some sort of exercise for the woman’s pelvic muscles that improves its health. The best they can do is enhance and stimulate your sexual senses, so that the whole experience of sex will be explosive in the end. But having the power to make you get to climax just by using them only is not lifelike, so don’t get yourselves fooled.
“I’m going to put these inside you, and then I’m going to spank you, not for punishment, but for your pleasure and mine,” is the scene from the book in which Christian inserts the Ben-Wa balls. Apart from spanking, this is a command Ana really enjoys to execute. Once again, it’s totally understandable why this scene was cut out but there are no other scenes that substitutes it.
“He holds out his hand, and in his palm are two shiny silver balls linked with a thick black thread … Inside me! I gasp, and all the muscles deep in my belly clench. My inner goddess is doing the dance of the seven veils.
It’s a curious feeling. Once they’re inside me, I can’t really feel them—but then again I know they’re there. I may have to keep these. They make me needy, needy for sex.”
A paragraph like: “I pull him deeper into my mouth so I can feel him at the back of my throat and then to the front again. My tongue swirls around the end. He’s my very own Christian Grey-flavored popsicle. I suck harder and harder…My inner goddess is doing the Merengue with some salsa moves.” Is replaced with a usual sex scene with no blow-job whatsoever.
“He leans forward, running his nose up the apex between my thighs. I feel him. There. “You smell so good,” he murmurs and closes his eyes, a look of pure pleasure on his face, and I practically convulse.”
It’s not like we would have liked to see real blow-jobs or cunnilingus acts but they are important parts of the sexual relationship that most of the couples today have and most importantly, Ana and Christian have. Showing just a side, the “adequate” sex is not proving anything to anyone. Again, an explicit scene isn’t necessary but the idea of it happening in couple’s sex life of this century is kind of essential.
No flashing Mr. Grey
We know, we know…Mr. Grey’s “manhood” has quite an abundant presence in the book so you will be disappointed, or already were, by the lack of presence on the big screen.
“Suddenly, he sits up and tugs my panties off and throws them on the floor. Pulling off his boxer briefs, his erection springs free. Holy cow!…He kneels up and pulls a condom onto his considerable length. Oh no…Will it? How?” And many more book scenes have made Christian’s penis quite the star. But not in the movie whatsoever.
Also Christian doesn’t get to charm away Ana’s father in the movie. In the book, at Anastasia’s graduation, Christian shows off his other side, a side that is plain evil and gets the readers a better view on this man actual intentions. Talking about fishing with her father just to get him to like Christian in order to appear more approachable in Ana’s eyes. The movie version is much less shorter talk that doesn’t imply Christian Grey’s other shades.
Not much Jose either
While José is quite a character in the book, we don’t get to see much of Christian’s photographer who is more aware of his love for Ana in the book than it is in the movie.
In the movie it goes like this: After Ana and Christian briefly talk at a coffee date, Ana is left with a vague warning from Christian to stay away from him. Finishing their finals, Ana and her roommate Kate, decide to go out and celebrate.
Meanwhile she receives a first edition book as a gift from Christian and decides she cannot keep it. A drunk Ana decides to call Christian to refuse his offer. By the time he gets to the bar, Jose tries to make a move on Ana.
In the book Jose is clearly a rival to Christian, trying to win Ana’s affection. Sure the main couple have an already complicated relationship, but a love triangle was in many readers’ expectations when the movie was yet to release.
Ana’s roommate, Kate has a smaller role than she had in the book too. She does though appear more because of her relationship with Christian’s brother, Elliot but she definitely is not that suspicious of Mr. Grey as she is in the book.
Anastasia movie is different from Anastasia book
One of the best asset to the movie adaptation is Dakota Johnson’s contribution to the role of Anastasia Steele. From an awkward and coy college student, Dakota really manages to bring life to Anastasia by turning the uncomfortable lines into funny catchy phrases.
Her ability to switch in a second from shy to innocent silly and to sexy got David Edelstein saying about her: “Johnson doesn’t so much speak her lines as float them, removing the sharp notes so that Anastasia can seem both intelligent and strangely unassertive — the sort of smart, unformed woman who’d be irresistible to a man with a compulsion to dominate.”
In comparison to the book version where, although, Ana constantly says that she is smart, it never truly convinces anybody. In the movie, Dakota gives strength to the character by having a sense of humor.
Her ability of achieving a sort of transparency when it comes to expressions comes most definitely from her mother, Melanie Griffith. Her unique approach of a rather intelligent woman who doesn’t just drops her lines but chooses to leave the floating gives the character the type of smart who is oddly attracted to a man of such great presence and a tendency to dominate.
Book Ana is described as an ordinary girl from Georgia, way too unexperienced to face Christian Grey’s wealth and the luxurious gifts and benefits that come along with the ride. Dakota is able to get rid of that class difference when it is presented her mother’s luxurious life and what’s more is that she doesn’t even needs her roommate’s borrowed clothes to impress the powerful Mr. Grey and is sure not amazed or shocked by Christian’s advance to the first class on a flight.
The negotiation scene is different
In the movie Anastasia wants a business meeting to work through the limits of the contract whereas, in the book, the rules are discussed at the hotel. The harsh stuff is detailed at Mr. Grey’s office including aspects about butt plugs or anal fisting.
Movie Ana is more capable, smart and funny talking freely at a big conference table about their future BDSM relationship. She is witty when it comes to straight forward questions like “What are butt plugs?”
In the book Anastasia agrees to her role as submissive while her graduation but in the movie things are a bit different. The movie shows Christian handing out diplomas on stage while she is graduating and she accepts it facing all her colleagues.
By comparison, the book presents this scene after the graduation ceremony: “I’m Eve in the Garden of Eden and he’s the serpent, and I cannot resist.”
There is also no fitness regime mentioned in the contract. In the book a major request is that she eats well when Christian tells her to and is requested that she sees a personal trainer three times a week, although Ana doesn’t usually exercise at all. As a relief, movie Christian is not that preoccupied about her workouts or waxing.
The ending has by far one of the most extreme scenes and is lacking of one scene, ending with the final goodbyes said at the elevator, a mirror image from where they first saw each other.
As if the final scene wasn’t dramatic enough, the initial ending would have been our aching main character sobbing alone in her apartment. This is due to Christian Grey’s last outburst that pushes things a bit too far. His violent behavior scares and horrifies poor Anastasia who had always hoped that maybe the powerful CEO would look within his dominant behavior.
“ The movie ending shown us a more mature and stronger Ana ”
To be more specific the movie ending goes something like this: Anastasia has experienced the worst of the “Red Room of Pain” leaving disturbed and undoubtedly convinced that she can no longer be with Christian. After few attempts of convincing Ana the contrary, she definitely wants her car back, which Christian sold with no further heads-up.
The shy Ana is now categorical, telling him “No!” when he tries to follow her to the elevator, while she leaves his apartment. A formal goodbye is made when they both say each other’s names as the elevator door closes. In the book there is a following scene that gets us through Anastasia’s way home and finally ends with her crying on the bed.
Personally, I would have preferred the movie ending because of the firm stand she had in the end. It really would have shown us a more mature and stronger Ana that made her final decision and left. No regrets, crying or crawling into her own sorrow right after she gets alone again.
The Tampon Scene
Obviously everybody is pleased that the tampon scene was not in the cinematographic adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson told “Variety” that: “It didn’t make it into the movie,” “It was never even discussed”.
So don’t let any misguided thoughts make you search for the director’s cut because you won’t find it. At one point it was one of the most debated scenes from the book. Let’s just say it’s good to have open minded people but great when we have categorical people when it comes to scenes involving tampons.
The scene was like this: “When did you start your period, Anastasia?” he asks out of the blue, gazing down at me.
“Err… yesterday,” I mumble in my highly aroused state.
“Good.” He releases me and turns me around. ”Hold on to the sink,” he orders and pulls my hips back again, like he did in the playroom, so I’m bending down. He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string… what! And gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet. Holy f–k. Sweet mother of all… Jeez.
And then he’s inside me… ah!”
“ Fifty Shades of Grey is first and foremost a romantic love story, and the sex is only part of that ”
Okay, so we get the point, it’s a better sexual sensation when women have their period but having this in the movie and not a simple oral sex act? I mean, come on. And I’m not sure if it wasn’t truly discussed afterwards. Sure there is no place for it on the big screen but there had to be some irritated people because of this.
Nevertheless, producer Michael De Luca had to say: “The book needed to put you in Ana’s shoes to be a successful experience,” “A lot of it was very literal. The movie didn’t need to do that. It’s a completely different medium.” We completely agree.
If you didn’t read the book you probably will find yourselves astonished by the thrill that the scenes delivers in the first half an hour because the well taught setup takes time into introducing each character. Every one of them has the sufficient amount of mystery that accomplish to keep the audience tied up to the movie.
A book with such controversial theme and with so much sex would be hard to reduce to its essential points and to be structured in a manner that fits the big screen well. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson says: “I think the sex scenes are integral to the story. They are not gratuitous. It tracks the story.”
Producer Michael De Luca claims that the most intense onscreen sex between the two characters was the final one from the “Red Room of Pain”: “The scene that we talked about a lot is the final scene, where Ana asks him to do the worst he can do to show her how bad it’s going to get,” “It’s the closest Christian comes in the first book to being his full dominant self. Jamie’s performance in that scene is a miracle. He really gets carried away in the moment.”
The author E. L. James favors the big-screen adaptation although some scenes had to be cut or revised: “Fifty Shades of Grey’ is first and foremost a romantic love story, and the sex is only part of that,” “People who haven’t read the books might be surprised that there isn’t more sex on the screen, but that’s because they’ve gone by media reports of ‘Fifty Shades,’ which have tended to err on the side of the sensational. I’m pretty sure the millions of fans who have the read the trilogy will think there is enough sex.”
The adaptation movie is done about as technically and professionally as you get with it. The character’s dialogs are done straight in terms of production design. The movie gets you rid of E. L. James, it’s just Anastasia and Christian. Every detail of the movie is done on a very high standard.
Overall the movie characters don’t get as graphic as they do in the novel, that means no sex-toys either but what the movie can assure you is scenes of Dakota Johnson’s boobs, both Dakota and Jamie’s butts, full frontal of a nude Dakota and a peek of Mr. Grey’s penis.
So yes, maybe the movie didn’t reproduced exactly the same one of the raunchiest scenes we’ve been all reading about but overall the film adaptation had more sex than many 18-rated movies from 2014. The movie has a much more romantic tone rather than the hardcore one the book has delivered.