There is no lack of drama, romance or strong women in the third and final installment of the “50 Shades of Grey” movies,”50 Shades Freed,” which premiered last Friday at cinemas across the world.
The “50 Shades” empire is based off the series of novels by E.L. James, the first of which was published in 2011. Since the completion of the trilogy, the movies have sparked an uproar filled with controversy.
If you haven’t already immersed yourself in the world of “50 Shades” – either the books or the movies – it follows a young graduate student by the name of Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, who gets swept off her feet in an unexpected way.
Suave millionaire-bachelor Christian Grey, actor Jamie Dornan, is the CEO of his own company, and dominant in all aspects, including his love life. Grey introduces innocent Steele to a world of pain and pleasure, otherwise known as BDSM – bondage/discipline, dominant/submissive, sadism/masochism.
But hold on, there is more to this story than sex! Steele is more than a play-thing to Grey and it’s not long before they both fall head over heels for each other, but can he give up his sadistic side?
The first “50 Shades” passed the $500-million mark at the box office, and scored record-high numbers on opening night and opening weekend. Worldwide, the films have become a phenomenon and “50 Shades Freed” is no exception.
A wedding, a romantic topless getaway, what could go wrong? Unfortunately, the answer is a lot. Steele and Grey are tested in the most difficult ways yet, inside and outside of their relationship. We are introduced to a new woman, a man out for vengeance, and a happy accident.
This movie speaks more to the epic romance of Grey and Steele, and Steele’s serious development. Not only do our characters face some life threatening moments that brings them closer, we as an audience can see more of the story behind Grey’s twisted past and how they change to be together.
“50 Shades Freed” has been praised for Steele’s growth, as she learns to fight her battles and stick up for herself. In light of the #MeToo movement, this film also addresses consent and power, with Steele taking hold of her sexuality, and feeling confident in herself.
Steele also commands Grey in this movie more than before. She defies Grey and stands up to him as well as others who try to get in her way, a far cry from the shy Steele we met in the first film. Not to mention she ties the knot with Seattle’s most-eligible bachelor, a considerable feat in itself.
The “50 Shades” series has been of controversy since the books were published, and the movies have received the same heavy criticism. People have raised suspicions about Steele’s consent and whether their relationship borders on abusive. Feminists have also expressed concerns about Steele’s submissive personality in light of Grey’s dominance, something the third movie challenges.
Supporters of “50 Shades” argue that others simply consider BDSM taboo, if not flat out inappropriate, for mainstream media, and argue that it has its place. They also argue that because of this, the real story is overlooked, which is about how love can change you, for better or for worse.