"Contradictory Messages Mixed with Perversity and Smut"
What You Need To Know:
FIFTY SHADES FREED is both a melodramatic romance and a thriller about a violent stalker rolled into one movie. The romance is often silly. The thriller part plays better, but seems like a different movie altogether. FIFTY SHADES FREED has less sadomasochistic content than the previous two movies, but there are more explicit bedroom scenes and plenty of strong foul language. The graphic, offensive and extremely lewd content is mixed with a pro-life, pro-family theme in FIFTY SHADES FREED.
FIFTY SHADES FREED is the third movie adapted from a controversial trilogy of books which involve a young woman who has a torrid affair with a wealthy young man involved in sadomasochism. In this third movie, Ana marries Christian Grey, but the couple is still having control issues, and Ana is stalked by the man who tried to rape her in the second movie. There’s less sadomasochism in FIFTY SHADES FREED, but more graphic sex scenes with explicit nudity, mixed with a surprising pro-life theme.
The movie opens with a secularized marriage ceremony between Ana and Christian. Though Christian is less demanding, he still has control issues. For example, he’s resigned to Ana working during the day as the fiction editor at a major book publishing firm, but he wants her to come home right away. This becomes an even bigger demand when Ana’s former boss, who tried to rape her, has been released from prison and seems to be stalking her.
Things come to a head when the former boss tries to get revenge against Ana and Christian and when Ana discovers she’s pregnant.
Interspersed within this basic plot are lots of sensual, explicit bedroom scenes between Ana and Christian.
FIFTY SHADES FREED is both a melodramatic romance and a thriller about a stalker. The romance is often rather silly, eliciting laughs from some viewers. The thriller portion of the movie plays better, but it competes with the ups and downs in the personal drama between Ana and Christian. Setting aside their controversial nature, the bedroom scenes just slow down both stories. Despite its slick production values, therefore, FIFTY SHADES FREED doesn’t quite work on a basic story level.
There seems to be less sadomasochism in FIFTY SHADES FREED than the first two movies. As noted above, however, the story is often interrupted by other, more steamy, explicit bedroom scenes. Even so, twice in the movie, Christian shackles Ana’s hands and ankles. In the second scene, he’s angry with Ana, so he teases her, she becomes upset, and they have an argument that could end their marriage. A final scene shows Ana wearing a skimpy costume, kneeling before Christian and saying, “I await your pleasure, sir.” Ultimately, therefore, while there may be less actual sadomasochism in FIFTY SHADES FREED, and despite Ana’s assertions of independence, the movie still has an attitude promoting such perversion, which, in reality, amounts to a rape fantasy that obviously benefits men, not women.
Finally, early in the movie, when Ana asks Christian if he wants to have children, he says yes, eventually, but doesn’t want to “share” Ana with anyone else for the moment. So, when she announces to Christian that she’s pregnant because she’s been skipping her birth control shots, he becomes extremely upset. This leads to the biggest argument yet between them, an argument that threatens their marriage. Eventually, however, Ana convinces Christian that having a baby is a good thing. She also assures him that she thinks he’d make a great father. Sure enough, a final scene shows a pregnant Ana walking with Christian and their two-year-old boy in large beautiful yard next to their beautiful, newly-remodeled home.
This pro-life, pro-family theme belies the graphic, offensive and extremely lewd content in FIFTY SHADES FREED.