WARNING: This review does contain spoilers.
What started as “Twilight” fanfiction, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy comes to a brilliant end with its newest installment “Fifty Shades Freed.” From the wedding and honeymoon to a car chase followed by adventurous sex, this film adaptation had everything that any true “Fifty Shades” fan was hoping for.
In 2012, author E. L. James gave readers the final chapters of Anastasia “Ana” Steele and Christian Grey’s love story. With the 2018 film adaptation, readers of the popular erotic novel would be pleased to know that the film stays very close to the original print story. However, like every novel that makes it to the big screen, there were pieces of the story that did not make it off the cutting room floor.
The movie begins with Ana and Christian’s wedding (Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan), followed by their French honeymoon. After getting an urgent call that Grey Enterprises Holdings was infiltrated by antagonist Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), the newlyweds end their honeymoon and rush back to Seattle. This fiasco leads to Christian, being the protective and controlling dominant that he is, hiring personal security guards for Ana and his whole family. Hyde eventually makes his way into the Greys’ home and takes Ana “hostage” at knifepoint, until he was caught by the security guards and whisked off to prison, where his bail was set at $500,000.
Soon after, Ana learns that she is carrying Christian’s baby, and he does not take the news lightly. After a huge fight with Christian, Ana gets a call from Mia Grey’s phone (Rita Ora), that turns out to be Hyde; he is holding her hostage for a $5 million ransom. Ana quickly dupes her security and races to the bank, where she was abruptly met with a phone call from Christian. When Ana rushes out of the bank, he tracks her phone that eventually leads him to the big “boss battle” with Hyde. Ana ends up taking a couple of backhands to the face and a nasty kick to the stomach, but manages to shoot Hyde in the leg just before she loses consciousness.
There is a flash forward to Ana waking up in the hospital to Christian and all is forgiven. The audience gets a glimpse of the happy ending a few moments after the credits start rolling where Ana, pregnant with their second child, and Christian are playing with their now toddler outside their dream home.
With one of the biggest aspects of the film being the likeness to the novel, there were several changes in the Hollywood adaptation. The biggest variation was within Christian’s character himself. Director James Foley seemed to have toned down Christian’s anger and controlling nature that is seen throughout all of the novels. When Christian believes that Ana is leaving him at the bank, he is more cavalier in the film. The novel portrays Christian as distraught and devastated that Ana was “leaving him.” The change in his character took a powerful moment away from the audience.
As a person that has read the novels, there was a pace in the film that the novel did not have. The last 25 minutes of the film felt rushed. This could have been due to the fact that there were several minor scenes from the book taken out of the film that prolonged the ending in the novel. The rushed feeling could also be from Ana’s inner monologue and thoughts not narrating the entire film. However, I do feel that it was necessary to cut Ana’s narration from the film series in order to stray from the “Twilight” fanfiction feel that started the series.
Finally, for those that are wondering… yes, there was a lot of sex in the movie. Christian and Ana are newlyweds, and we can expect them to still be in the “honeymoon” phase. Despite the drama that takes place, there was still plenty of sex. There were a few new sex toys introduced that audience members from the previous films had not yet seen in the series. There were even encounters that strayed from both the bedroom and the playroom, making the scenes feel less familiar and more adventurous. The one cut that readers may be disappointed about was that Christian’s private jet saw no new inductions into the “Mile High Club.” The newest movie, however, did not fail to leave viewers, for the lack of a better word, satisfied.
The film adaptation of “Fifty Shades Freed” was no doubt a success in the eyes of true “Fifty Shades” fans. The film had the right mixture of drama, action and romance that made members of the audience “feel all the feels.” From flipping pages to watching it all unfold on-screen, fans were treated by the journey they got to take with Ana and Christian for all three films.