Fifty Shades Of Grey sex scenes did not live up to the hype

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star in Fifty Shades Of Grey. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star in Fifty Shades Of Grey. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES

It is probably one of the most sexually explicit films to be passed uncut for a commercial release here.

It has been banned in Kenya, Indonesia and Malaysia, where the authorities described it as "more pornography than a movie".

But some Singaporeans who watched the R21-rated Fifty Shades Of Grey - released last Thursday - think the sex scenes do not live up to the movie's hype.

Full-time national serviceman Aaron Donovan, 21, who watched it with his girlfriend on Valentine's Day, says: "I thought the scenes would be raunchier and more intense, based on the news I read online and what friends who read the book told me.

"The sex scenes were steamy, but definitely not as hardcore as pornography."

For realtor Khoo Ai Kim, 57, who watched the movie with two female friends last Friday night, there was "nothing spectacular" about the bedroom scenes.

She says: "After the hoo-ha about this show, I had some expectations that there is more sex on screen. But there is nothing much at all."

Fifty Shades Of Grey, a two-hour erotic romance adapted from E.L. James' best-selling book, features a relationship between female college student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).

It contains 20 minutes of sex scenes, featuring elements of bondage, discipline and sado-masochism (BDSM). In some scenes, Steele has her hands bound with a necktie or rope.

Six out of 10 people who talked to Life! say they are not surprised that the film was passed uncut.

Student Denise Chiew, 26, who saw the movie last Friday with three female friends, says: "The sex scenes were tastefully done and not explicit. I was not offended by them at all.

"In fact, I think they were crucial to developing the story, so the audience can understand the psyche of the male character. In any case, I think our society has matured over the years in terms of openness and acceptance of movies with sexual content."

Ms Mastura Wahab, 25, is also of the opinion that the film is largely innocuous.

The account manager who watched the movie last Saturday with a female friend says: "It's not like the content is racist or violent. Although it is sexual, I don't think it'll be harmful to mature viewers with open minds.

"After all, the female character gave her consent for all the sex acts done to her. It's not like she was raped."

Those who have read the book think the sex scenes are tamer than in the book.

According to marketing executive Dexter Bioquino, 30, the book is "by far more explicit and written with much more precision".

"You get a stronger sense of the emotions between the characters in the book. In the movie, the relationship seems less passionate and the chemistry is somehow lacking," he explains

Ms Eileen Poh, 23, who runs a website selling cosmetics, is another person who finds the book saucier than the movie because it "leaves more room for imagination, so of course, the description is more explicit than the movie scenes".

"Anyway, the sex scenes in commercial films are usually shot quite conservatively, so I wasn't expecting much," she adds.

Nonetheless, some viewers were surprised that the film was passed uncut.

Ms Jesmin Kaur, 26, an assistant manager in a Pro Audio company, says: "Singapore has always been strict on such movies that veer away from the norm. It's nice to know that this is allowed because it touches on a psychological issue that we don't see very often."

Financial adviser Kate Soon, 28, says she is surprised the film is screening here entirely intact as "Singaporeans are generally conservative about sex and might feel uncomfortable watching films about such topics".

"But, in this case, the sex scenes didn't seem to be only about sex. They also explored the relationship between the dominant and submissive parties," she says.

"I expected to feel weird in some of the scenes, but it turned out to be pretty all right."