The world went mad with the series of low quality books and not a good movie branded with Mr Grey’s name. The movie seems to be quite revolutionary as it addresses the topic of different sexual preferences. In reality it’s just another version of a story of an average girl who knows why gets the Most Amazing Guy and changes him sprinkled with some spanking for women who’d like some of that but are too afraid to ask. On the top of that, the BDSM theme isn’t new to the mainstream cinema. Already in 2002 a much better movie was made, that had a different take on the subject. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to the “Secretary”.
The film debuted on the Sundance festival which basically means it has the “ambitious” quality about it. It’s based on a short story “Bad Behaviour” and tells the audience about a dysfunctional yet attractive Lee and her controversial employer, Mr Grey (coincidence?). The two of them develop a sexual relationship and let me tell you that the movie is much more stimulating to watch than “50 shades”. Even though they pursue behaviors that one would consider to be far away from the norm, if one manages to get out of their judgmental mindset he or she realizes that the unconventional relationship is far from being unhappy or abusive. To say more would be to give away the plot. Let me assure you, however, that it’s truly good story telling.
The main roles are played by Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader who are both brilliant actors. Spader was still a hottie at the time that the movie was directed, meaning before he lost hair and picked up weight. The actors have a very good energy between them which makes the relationship and the drama believable.
The movie is intriguing and is definitely not your typical love story. I remember watching it with my mom and I wouldn’t recommend Dear Rinsers to do the same. It is after all an erotic movie and these should rather be watched in company of one’s partner or on our own.
Apart from the obviously controversial take on the topic of people having different sexual preferences who manage to form something that makes them happy, the movie also plays with other stereotypes. After all Lee is an employee and Mr Grey is her subordinate. A relation of that sort should not even be allowed in the overly PC world where everything can be mistaken for sexual harassment.
Last but not least, I remember the music to be particularly good and getting the viewer even more into the very particular mood of the movie. I’d recommend that film to anyone who likes to see something that’s not schematic and isn’t afraid to watch a feature that may challenge their thinking.