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REVIEW: "Fifty Shades Darker"

by Charlotte Luft - Staff Writer
Tue, Feb 21st 2017 05:00 pm

 It's been two years since the first movie in the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy was released. The first film wasn't terrible; it's just that the best thing about it was the soundtrack, and if you didn't bang your head against a wall at some point because of the protagonist's blind naïveté, you are one of the few. 

At the beginning of "Fifty Shades Darker", the main character, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), has started up work at her new job in a publishing house and is no longer in a sexual contract with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). 

Steele's character is nowhere near as grating as it was in the first film. She fought back and defended herself when she was being forced into an unwanted position, and she asked for time to process things when some aspects of the relationship got to be too much. 

One scene in this movie was extremely chilling. A girl from Grey's past shows up with a gun and he doesn't even have to verbally say anything other than "kneel" before she is kneeling and he has the gun in his hands. The amount of control Grey asserted over someone emotionally unstable cast a dark shadow over the film that couldn't quite be overlooked, even at the end. 

Another thing that can't be overlooked when watching the new "Fifty Shades" movie is the scene when Grey admits to Steele that the reason he chose to enter into a contract with her is because she looked like his mother. Further, Grey admits all of his submissives in the past looked like his mother too because he isn't a dominant, he's a sadist and likes to hurt people who look like his mother. Steele seems to move past this confession way too quickly; she doesn't even pause to think about the fact Grey is basically sleeping with his mother every time they have sex. 

During multiple points in the film, large catastrophic events happen. One of those events might've been the basis for an entire movie by itself but in "Fifty Shades Darker" the characters move from one huge event to the next without much pause. The reasoning behind the lack of exploration into each individual catastrophe can be boiled down to inexperienced writing of the story's author. 

As far as the soundtrack goes, the first film is still the reigning champion. Though the newest movie had songs like, "I Don't Want to Live Forever" by Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift and "Lies in the Dark" by Tove Lo, the places in the film where the songs were used didn't have the same impact.

Overall the second film was much better than the first. There was a plot beyond the main character's sexual contract, the protagonists actually had some semblance of a normal relationship and the soundtrack, though poorly timed, was almost as good as it was in the first film.

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