After the enormous eruption of Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaption of E.L.James’ “erotic romance” Fifty Shades of Grey, there hasn’t been a more eagerly awaited film this year than Fifty Shades Darker.
Here we are two years later with director James Foley at the helm and it’s safe to say that he’s done a good job in maintaining the racy themes but also exploring relationships deeper than just their sexual desires.
The story picks up where it left off. Ana (Dakota Johnson) has a new job as editor’s assistant and throughout the film we see her trying to hold onto her own life and wishes, Christian (Jamie Dornan) on the other hand is continuously trying to fight his urges to take ownership of his ‘girlfriend’ and win her back.
Whilst following the romantic but troubled duo, figures from Christian’s past pop up throughout. Elena is introduced early on in a scene that generates an uncomfortable atmosphere both for Ana and the audience, and Leila, a previous submissive lover of Christian’s, who develops an obsession and hatred for Ana. Established as the potential love rival is Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), Ana’s boss, who Christian has fired after he tried to seduce Ana. We see him staring menacingly from afar at the pair near the end, leaving the audience with a sheer sense of fear as to what will happen.
Unlike the first film, this one explores much more than just how dark Christian is and how far he will go in the bedroom. It discovers his mysterious past that lead him to the life that consumes him, and the dark troubles that are hidden within.
This is a better film than the first with a tad more charm, with moments of coy and silly comedy that keep an element of light-heartedness. It is a silly wish fulfillment for viewers, who desire the dramatic and fabulous lifestyle that Ana leads, due to her boyfriend being a very wealthy businessman, and it is precisely that intensified superficiality that makes the film a success.