The highly anticipated sequel to the controversial Fifty Shades of Grey has arrived.
Fifty Shades Darker picks up shortly after where the last one ended. This time Christian is unwavering in his attempts to get Anastasia back, even if it means turning his back to his sadist ways. Ana decides to give him another chance only if there are no more contracts, rules or punishments. Just hearts and flowers.
This sequel has a whole new tone compared to the first one. Where the 2015 release focused on his sexual predilections while setting the story of Ana and Christian up, Darker focuses on Ana finding her feet and outside elements threatening their relationship. Ghosts from his past come back to haunt them in numerous ways. All the while a new villain emerges who makes Christian seem like an ordinary harmless guy. For these reasons, Darker is more thriller than erotica.
The story is quite subdued compared to the book but it makes it more comprehensible for the average viewer. However, due to the fact that a lot of things happen in the book – including Ana being stalked, threatened and Christian disappearing - condensing it all into a two hour movie makes it seem rushed. It lacks the excitement and tension a narrative like this should have.
Straying slightly away from the book means Ana and Christian are more likeable by the masses this time around. Whilst Jamie Dornan’s character struggles to completely shed his controlling behaviour, he comes across mostly benign. Dakota Johnson portrays Ana as a confident and determined woman who is leaving her passiveness behind. With the change in characteristics, Dornan and Johnson seem to have a significantly smoother and improved chemistry on screen.
Needless to say, both actors have an incredible physique which should satisfy both sexes in the audience.
For better or worse, fans of the book love it for its erotic content, and unlike the first installment, Fifty Shades Darker restrains the intimate scenes so much that they end as quickly as they begin. There is a running joke throughout the film of Christian becoming “Vanilla” and that is a rather correct statement. Presumably it was a decision made by the film makers to attempt to appeal to everyone, not just fans of the trilogy.
The costumes and score do not disappoint - the change and growth in both characters are indicated by the opulent and mature fashion they both wear. Soundtracks can take or add an extra boost to any storyline, fortunately, the music used in this film is superb and heightens the mood in most scenes.
The weakest part of the Fifty movies will always be the novels. The film makers are bound to work predominantly within the story line so many have fallen in love with or face even more backlash.
I would purely recommend Fifty Shades Darker to the lovers of the book. For those fans, I rate it 3 out of 5 stars.
Fifty Shades Darker is in cinemas now.