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A little taste of the dark side hit the Radford Theatre just off East Main Street in Radford, VA with the Valentine’s Day showing of Fifty Shades Darker. The highly anticipated sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey went out on the holiday to rave reviews and an astonishing turnout. Opening weekend the film received $46,607,250 as of Feb. 10, 2017. The gross income as of Feb. 17, 2017, hit roughly $89,663,300 in the box office. The film encouraged its viewers to slip into something a shade darker for the film. The Fifty Shades film trilogy is based off the novels of the same name, written by the award-winning author E.L. James.
Dakota Johnson reprises her role as Anastasia (Ana) Steele, the timid recent college graduate who had fallen into a compromising relationship after being introduced to Jamie Dornan’s character, Christian Grey. The two fell for each other during the first film, and it ended with an intense fight for dominance which caused Anastasia to run away from the self-made billionaire. Following the events of the first film, Ana had begun a new job at Seattle Independent Publishing as a personal assistant to the famous Jack Hyde. Jack Hyde proves to be more than meets the eye towards the climax of the film.
Along with the difficult situation with Jack Hyde, there is another blast from Christian’s past when a former submissive threatens to return. Appearing outside of Ana’s work she sees Leila Williams, who then continues to stalk her. Leila’s husband had passed away during the events of the first film which sent her spiraling into a mental breakdown, causing her to wonder what Ana had that she didn’t.
The last struggle that Ana and Christian face is in the form of Anastasia’s own insecurity about being able to fulfill Christian’s sexual needs. After previously uncovering Christian’s fetish for the BDSM (bondage, domination, submission, and masochism) lifestyle, the thought still lingers in Ana’s mind if she could survive his lifestyle. After all, it was indeed his heavy hand in the bedroom that drove her away from him in the first place. In Fifty Shades Darker we see Anastasia’s confidence grow upon hearing how much he needs to have her in his life. This causes her to become more abrasive with her humor and her social life.
Just when we believe that Anastasia and Christian’s relationship is solid at last we meet the devil herself, Elena Lincoln. Elena is one of Christian’s adopted mother’s close friends, and she is also the woman who introduced him to the world of BDSM. Upon first seeing Elena it is easy to see Ana’s response to meeting her, she eludes dominance in all she does. Threatening Anastasia to end her romance with Christian, we see Ana’s self-esteem crumble until one night after making love Christian asks her to marry him.
It is at this point in Fifty Shades Darker that the climax of the film erupts when Christian’s helicopter goes missing on a tour and the audience is left breathless with a million questions up in the air. The film does a beautiful job at making the audience feel almost involved with the Christian Grey proclaimed ‘fifty shades of fucked up’ relationship that the two lovers have. The director, James Foley, chose awe-inspiring shots and scenery that causes those who read the novels to step back and feel as if it was all real. Fifty Shades Darker will make you indeed wish you had slipped into something a shade darker because every fairy tale has a dark side. 5/5