After dragging myself through the utter slog that was the other two films in this trilogy, I expected 50 Shades Freed to be nothing less than hilariously shit.
My memories of the previous two films was chuckling and squirming my way through awful sex scenes and cheesy one-liners that should have stayed locked away in Gray’s Red Room.
It seems that with my memories of the previous films I have remembered how hilariously bad they were, and airbrushed out all the underlying slightly sinister sexual politics of the stories, and how they play into its skewered representation of healthy relationships.
I didn’t take the same pleasure in despising this film as I did the other two, probably because this one was about a marriage, and immediately that sets off all kind of alarm bells about possession and dominance that feel like far more realistic struggles many women face within marriage, rather than the sensationalised luxurious drama of a relationship which is portrayed in the previous two films.
I cringed with genuine discomfort watching Ana tiptoe around her husband in order to live her life. The film tried to depict this as some sneakily mischievous and defiant act, cutesieing her supposed rebelliousness. In actual fact it just felt like watching a teenager sneaking out from under their parents noses to have a few tinnies in the park, only to be discovered by their mum with sick on their shirt and beer on their breath when they make a racket arriving home at 1am.
If I had to find some sort of redeemable features to the film I guess it had a good soundtrack and I enjoyed playing ‘drink every time you see Ana’s nipple’ which I would average is about every 5 seconds, but to truly summarise the film: the sex was shit, the relationship was upsettingly abusive and the supposed action within the film (a car chase, kidnapping) was vapid. I got about as much joy from the hour and a half I spent watching this film as one usually gets from scraping dog shit off their shoe - perhaps even less.