50 Shades Of Delusion: Why This Movie’s Popularity Is Scary

Do you believe equality and individuality are critical to women's lives? You will find the popularity of 50 Shades Of Grey movie baffling.

Do you believe equality and individuality are critical to women’s lives? You will find the popularity of 50 Shades Of Grey movie baffling.

Looking at recent trends, it seems the Internet can be easily broken by Kim K’s behind, Beyonce’s ‘un-retouched’ pictures or 50 Shades of Grey. All in all, I can thus conclude that the human anatomy can break the invisible.

The hot buzz that the movie 50 Shades of Grey is creating is very hard to escape if you are an Internet user. Online forums are full of the movie’s reviews, its stupendpis box office collections and there is a swarm of people (mainly women) going crazy, landing up in Dream Ville. Personally, I have not read the book though I remember  going into a book store once and coming across the book and finding the title interesting (I love grey. The colour I mean).

Coming to the movie, it’s available on the Internet and can be easily downloaded. I watched it on the Internet mainly because 1. If a movie like this were screened in India, I expected only the beginning and the credits in the end to roll out because the rest of the movie’s content would be censored (i.e if the movie makes it to the theatres) 2. Read the newspaper people! Swine flu is spreading like wild fire! Avoid public gatherings! and 3. Watching a movie at home means pausing it or stopping it at your own free will.

With a clean slate and an open mind, I started watching the movie. The movie has been projected as a love story that also has a BDSM aspect to it. As the movie progressed, I couldn’t help but mentally go through my check-list of a stereotypical romantic movie and was happy to see I scored full marks. Not even a single miss! (My parents would be so proud of me ).

The list goes like this. Ideally, when a love story is presented, it consists of a few inevitable aspects. A ‘good’ girl (for those who are sticklers for detail, here is a link to the qualities of a bad girl that recently got published in one of the forums and then got shared all over the world much to the shame of our country), preferably a virgin (umm, make that definitely), slightly confused, doe eyed and a boy, manly, not a virgin (because hey, c’mon, its 2015! Who cares about the virginity of a man!?) and oozing masculinity in every possible way (like even while paying the bills and gifting cars. Oops! But that is a man’s job, right?). And then, ta-da! Opposites attract, simple physics and guaranteed chemistry.

Somewhere in the movie, a little after the male lead discloses that he is a Dominant, there is a very important conversation that takes place between the two protagonists. It goes something like this:

Christian: Well, when you had sex was there anything that you didn’t like doing?

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Anastasia: I don’t know…

Christian: What do you mean?

Anastasia: I haven’t…..

Christian: You are still a virgin! You’ve done other things, right?

Anastasia: No

Christian: Where have you been? (holding her close)

Anastasia: Waiting

And they kiss.


Was I the only one who went mehhh on that one? Did it not ooze double standards? Especially when Christian admitted to having brought 15 women to his house for sex? Shouldn’t Anastasia just slap him for being such an MCP?

There are so many incidents in the movie that defy logic or reason. (But then, so do Rohit Shetty flicks, so we’ll leave that part out for now.)

When a movie is made, it targets a certain audience. It falls into a certain genre. It becomes part of a group or category. Some movies are publicized targeting a certain audience, promising a few aspects (grossly misinterpreted) and become a rage. This one, sadly, is one of those movies.

It’s not necessary for a movie to have good content. I mean, if someone has money and wants to create trash, who are we to stop him/her? It’s not necessary for a movie to be logical (being Indians, we know that by now). Neither is the movie required to represent facts because it is nothing but a fictional depiction and if you have got a problem with it, don’t watch it. It’s as simple as that. What’s disturbing here is how such movies or such role-playing gets widely accepted across the world, across different cultures.

Every movie should make us think; good things, bad things, funny things or anything. This movie made me think that the image or social expectation of women is not just because of men – it exists as much because of women. After all, a large number of women still think that the ‘good-girl-never-done-it-before’ act is a mantra for finding true love.

I read a few reviews which felt that the lead i.e Christian Grey is a man who rapes, tortures and stalks a girl. Well, I think he is the only ‘normal’ character in the movie because right from the beginning, he sticks to his character. He asks for permission, explains the scenario, lays it out loud and clear that opting out at any given point is an option. And there is Anastasia. Full of confusion, a hopeless romantic and someone who cannot speak for herself, enjoys violence and at the same time feels sorry for her own self.

Secretary, a movie released in 2002 starring James Spader (his name in the movie is Edward Grey. Coincidence I guess) and Maggie Gyllenhaal dealt with Dominant-Submissive behaviour. I would like to add here, the word ‘actual’ Dominant-Submissive because if you are treading on such grounds, the research has to be done, correct portrayal of the behaviour should be shown and the subject should be handled with maturity.

50 Shades of Grey is a stereotypical love story with the supposedly ‘normal’ girl being a complete nut job and the ‘troubled’ Mr Grey being the only consistent thing in the movie. It seems the movie has had a huge opening, collecting good money and that is something scary and to be worried about. If we go by the demand and supply theory, such movies are made and supplied because there is a demand for them in the market and the demand for such movies mean that the self image of women (here I speak mainly about women because most of the fan following of the movie seems to be women) is that of a helpless, meek, sorry soul who can go through anything to be ‘loved’.

It is now time for a 2 minute silence for all the women who thought equality and individuality is essential to a woman’s existence.


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