Fifty Shades of Grey: Do early release clips cheapen the cinema experience?

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This week our internet has been bombarded with early release clips from the upcoming movie adaptation of E. L. James’ 2011 novel Fifty Shades of Grey. We’ve seen everything from Anastasia Steele’s ¬†initial meeting with Christian: she interviews him to her awkward dancing while making pancakes. Let’s be honest, whose hair is ever in a perfect do when making pancakes early in the morning?

A total of five scenes have now been revealed to the general public and the UK release is just over a week away: so why now? Though already set to be a popular release, these scenes are meant to encourage the fans to book early tickets and create a stampede on the way to the cinema. I’ve got to be honest – I didn’t have any of those feelings. The book is originally a fan-fiction based on Twilight and, personally, was far too close to the original for my test – whilst being set in a modern update of the Victorian romantic plot: rich older man, young innocent woman who still holds her virginity, and is essentially stowed away and seduced. It’s Pamela all over again – although this time she gives it up.

These early release clips simply convey again that the adaptation is still far too close to its counterpart original. Set Jamie Dornan and Robert Pattinson together and it’s almost like a better-looking, older version. Combine the breathy voice and doe-eyed look and Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan shines through in Dakota Johnson. There is nothing revolutionary or starkly in contrast and so unfortunately it falls short of satisfaction. However, it is this crucial repetition that cheapens our whole cinema experience combined with the fact that we basically already know where this is going from the clips.

It is possible to argue that since so many have read the books, to release clips of the story isn’t really doing any damage but actually this would be forgetting one fatal flaw. We know the story from the novel, we’re familiar with the original due to teenage fandom and now we know every single important scene that isn’t Anastasia and Christian actually participating in BDSM – though of course this has been hinted at in trailers.

For a fan of cinema I feel as if I don’t need to see the movie now, and I think I’d getter a better representation of BDSM elsewhere. I feel that the entire release has been cheapened by this constant bombardment of material and, in all honesty, I feel like holding the door to the ‘red room’ closed would have created a more satisfying build up than this. Combine this with what I feel will also be a disappointing soundtrack and Fifty Shades of Grey may just have destroyed any credit it held.

Fifty Shades of Grey is set for a UK release date of 14th February and is distributed by Universal Pictures. All five clips can be viewed here. 

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BA English student at University of Southampton and Editor for The Edge (2015-16). A deep love of reading, theatre and all things entertainment.

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