13 February 2017

Written by Lauren Francis
for Daily Focal

Unless you have been in hiding you will have heard of, and or even read the Fifty Shades Trilogy. Whether this was out of want or curiosity to see what all the fuss was about, we have pretty much all read some haven’t we? The first adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey was somewhat interesting. Interesting in the sense that the wooden acting was pretty comical but equally I was in the minority who actually quite liked the film as a whole. We have since waited 2 years for the second instalment, Fifty Shades Darker, but the wait is over, and with a different director it has now hit screens nationwide. 

Not wanting to give to much away the premise of the second book is this. Grey wants Anna back in his life and goes about wooing her, which didn't take an awful amount of effort. There’s sex, a helicopter crash, some family bonding, snippets of Grey’s abused past, a previous sub of Grey’s who makes it her mission to stalk Anna and destroy their hopes of a future together, and one creepy lech of a boss. 

There’s far more substance and Fifty Shades Darker very much surrounds Anna and Grey fumbling their way through compromising on a happy balanced relationship, with the added appearances of his mother Grace, the infamous Elena and Leila the stalker. Grey’s sister Mia, aka Rita Ora, does make a few more appearances and frankly it’s a few more scenes than I cared to have watched, it really was just cringeworthy far more so than the sex-scenes! 

It seems there was a distinct role reversal in that Anna discovered her feet and was able to stand her ground, and I found her far more likeable and warm than I did with the character portrayed in the book. Dakota is by far the shining actor out the two, with both humour and her ability to bring a character to life, that and I had some serious hair envy. Dornan shows the struggle to relinquish control and has a far better accent in this one with most of the awkwardness having disappeared. However aside from his eye catching physique - wait for the pommel horse scene - his character’s downfall was he’s still lack lustre and doesn’t seem to be able to convey the depth that Grey emulates in the book. 

For a film that should be getting sexier there wasn’t that throw everything off the desk and go at it electrifying chemistry, however credit is due in the fact the on-screen chemistry had certainly grown and sex scenes aside, the Grey-Steele romance was believable outside the bedroom. The ‘kinky fuckery’ as eloquently put by Anna was not as heavy going but was present and you are probably going to feel intensely aware of your surroundings and the stranger sitting next to you!

Let’s face it squeezing a near on 550 page book into a 118 minute movie is no mean feet, and they have pretty much covered the key areas, but I couldn’t help but feel it was rushed and a little disjointed. The inappropriate boss, Jack Hyde, had one brief moment of sexual advances and his arse was out the door quicker than you can blink. It too wasn’t clear why Grey was hop-footing it in a helicopter and him missing following the crash was done and dusted in less than a few minutes. The second proposal however was what dreams are made of and the closure was perfect, enough to leave you wanting more but happy that it ended how it did. 

As with the first film I loved the soundtrack, it seemed more on the mellow side than the real mix of the first movie, but they certainly fitted with the scenes perfectly. The reviews coming in aren’t exactly glowing however I don't really know what they were all expecting. It is hands down better than its predecessor and I liked it. If you go into this with the mindset that this is not going to be a blockbuster hit, and you are a Fifty Shades fan then this puts you in better place of enjoying it.

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