REVIEW: "Darker" More Gray as it Delves into Origins of the "Red Room"

Updated 2 years ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
REVIEW: "Darker" More Gray as it Delves into Origins of the "Red Room"

Neither "once upon a time" or traditional Cupid arrows and flowers label the "Fifty Shades" series. An erotic drama romance , "Fifty Shades Darker" explores a forbidden, sordid  world of sadism and S & M which "fetish" or "addiction" accelerates  libido.

Wealthy and powerful Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan ) woos Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) back to his penthouse for a 'second chance' after agreeing not to open the Red Room again. As a condition, he's to reveal his long held secrets  explaining why he's addicted to "play" that inflicts "pain."

Containing full nudity and other implications, "Darker" has more intrigue than the first chapter and less forbidden frolic. It's underlying 'secrets' give way to 'soap opera,' although  cocaine addiction of an elder put "Darker" on target for relevancy. The S & M has a been there, done that element, though, maybe the sense of 'trust' necessary between the couple gains reflection.

For this one, our "she said: had read the books. Pleasantly pleased with the production, she took off into an explanation of relationship balancing, specifically how  'submissive' and 'dominant' traits and pleasures filter into all relationships compelling what Anna terms an expression of feelings and listening into a compromise conversation.

Her character has a graceful but forceful manner for responding to unwanted dominance. For instance, she spurns a $24,000 gift into a charitable donation. The "kept" woman stereotype has a little more of a struggle overcoming Grey's purchase of the publishing company where she works to assist with a promotion. Our 'she said' asserts that he was looking out for her back. Or, should he have just warned her of the circumstance and let her deal with it herself?

Personally, much of the eroticism could stand a trimming --- after about 15 seconds or so --- the point has been made . By contrast, 'she said' found herself 'comfortable' with the scenes and revealed the film depicts how the couple proceeds beyond 'having sex' to 'making love.'

As one female critic wrote: "Darker discusses consent, sexual boundaries, trauma and relationship autonomy with a frankness that honestly makes it, despite soap-opera drama and predictability, a pretty good movie..."

On the other hand, a male critic called it an endless wash and rinse repeat cycle where "there is a connection between them; then there is conflict; this is resolved by a trip to the bedroom."

Not easily answered --- what if the chiseled faced Christian did not have the wealth , power and had less charisma. Would Anastasia be so forgiving? And her comfort limit might be a short scene where she walks out onto the penthouse deck wearing an unbuttoned shirt , arms crossed, for a little thinking it over.

OK, heed well, this is R rated and the review is PG 13. Parents it's  not for kids and teens.
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