What’s the fuss over Fifty Shades of Grey?

1415961816405_wps_10_FIFTY_SHADES_OF_GREY_INTEDespite smashing box-office records, the film is neither bound to become an incubator of trouble nor become a trigger of human emotion.  Hollywood appears to return to one of their favorite hobbyhorses:  Ratcheting up the amount of sex on the big screen.

The themes of the sexually-frank film, relationships by contract and affection subject to no constraints, are likely to be greeted as either beneath the dignity of the audience or welcomed as an important exploration of gender roles.

Does this film offer much new in the sexual realm or does it represent Hollywood’s preoccupation with sex in the big screen?

The plot is elementary:  A young woman, Ana, possessing wistful beauty and a wealthy young man, Christian, engage in a series of sexual trysts and explore what were formerly socially-prohibitive acts in the bedroom.  Straightforward, right?

Those who laud the film specify the messages are powerful and clear:  Fifty Shades demystifies modern relationships; it paints a vivid portrait of modern couples preoccupied with sexual experimentation; it produces a revealing look at the shadows of society; the film is source of pride, amusement or an innocuous manifestation of youthful spirits in both men and women; and it is unambiguous evidence of an expansion of sexual liberation.  Spot on, right?

In contrast, critics may castigate this film an apocalyptic vision of the state of modern relationships between young men and women.  They see a vile spectacle:  A relationship devoid of the bonds of affection; the theft of virtue from a young woman; a woman cast aside as inferior when her sexual usefulness expired; a misunderstanding of the moral hazards of promiscuity; and nonetheless, the film having a corrosive effect by promoting an inverted morality with no lasting consequences.  Quite a disgraceful tribute, right?

If nothing else, Fifty Shades may set a new equilibrium for sex-themed films the same way Quentin Tarantino succeeded with his evocative portrayal of violence and tortured culture.

I know it’s fashionable to say, but it is entirely fitting:  Unmistakably, this film strengthens stereotypes of gender roles where the man is defined as a success object and the woman is a sex object.

We cannot wait for the sequel.

[Variety] [Breitbart] [CNN]