The tumultuous love story between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey comes to an end. For a trilogy based on the coveted novels by E.L. James that attracted everyone’s attention due to the sexual landscape it depicts; it all ends without a bang if you excuse the pun.
Not that the ‘Fifty Shades’ films are high caliber cinema but at least it gave some alternative to what adults could watch at the theaters. This one can easily have been slipped right after the 'Cloverfield' premiere on Netflix. 'Fifty Shades Freed' tries to balance a love story with a thriller subplot that seems to be added in desperation. It really does not help the story or add any interesting ideas on Grey’s foster child life.
For the most part, the film is a tug of war between the two forlorn lovers. Anastasia wants her independence and Christian wants to control every aspect of their newly wedded life. To the point, that even she is unsure of what the future may hold for them. When she asks, “Do you want children?” The stuffy silence from Grey creates an echo in the audience, and some laughter too. How is it possible that she never wonder that before? It poses the question, is it naïveté or stupidity?
For most of the film, the dialogue between the character is that simple. Ask a question, get a cliche-filled answer, and an eye-roll too (from the characters and the audience). There is nothing thrilling about a relationship that seems problematic or at least that alludes to problems. If Anastasia disobeys then she’s denied sex. If Christian confides in Elena (whom Anastasia calls Mrs. Robinson), anger quickly turns into self-doubt and abandonment. They truly seem like children at the playground who throw tantrums to see what kind of response these could get.
There are some points in the film that relate back to the novel but not enough to redeem itself. Yes, there is the sexual formula to 'Fifty Shades Freed' but it seems tamer than before - as if saying marriage means tamer eroticism or even worst that kids are on the horizon. And yes, that happens too. This chapter is not a memorable ending, and if anything makes one wonder why there was a need for a film trilogy at all. No one is going to swoon or miss it. It will certainly be in the backburner for some in a month that is filled with Oscar hopefuls and new Marvel flicks.