As we’ve been teased with over the last few weeks, the first official promo for the upcoming Fifty Shades Darker has finally arrived. Set against a backdrop of a luxury resort in the Maldives, the video teases us with a darker and more visceral take on the BDSM storyline. But who is this version of our favorite couple? And what are we seeing here?
A More Intimate Setting
Where the original Fifty Shades of Grey saw an over-the-top and exaggerated take on BDSM, the new film goes in a more intimate direction, exploring the less-abused and more-relaxing side of the lifestyle. We’re presented with a darker and more brooding Anastasia Steele (Kate Winslet), who explores her desires and frustrations with the help of a professional dominatrix (Sylvia Hoeks).
To emphasize the shift in focus, director James Foley removes one of the novel’s hallmarks: the cartoons. Yes, we’re treated to a rather more realistic portrayal of anal sex, something that wasn’t seen in a mainstream American movie since the 1950s.
Some scenes are so intensely intimate—and yes, even kinky—that they’d be inappropriate to share with someone who isn’t yet ready to dive into the world of BDSM. While other scenes, such as the ones at the nightclub and dinner with CEO Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), feel more like extensions of the book, peppering in some of the more traditional elements. So which is it? Is Anastasia Steele’s seduction an act of submission or an act of domination? We may never know, as the film adaptation is bound to be controversial.
A Larger Cast
Fifty Shades Darker also boasts a much larger supporting cast, featuring an ensemble of adult film stars, such as Teri Lindahl, Jessica Drake, and Bridget Regan. These are all recognizable faces to anyone who’s followed the adult film industry for more than a few years. But who are they playing? And what are they doing?
Before the end of the year, we’ll find out the answers to those questions, as all five of the films in the Fifty Shades trilogy arrive in theaters. But until then, we have to make do with teasers and trailers. Though we’ve seen a handful of them, they’ve never stopped teasing—and, in some cases, revealing—significant plot points before the theatrical release of a major motion picture. That’s why, even today, we’re still not truly prepared for the big coming-out party that is the final installment of the Fifty Shades saga.
A More Realistic Look At BDSM
Another significant shift this time around is that the performers aren’t wearing lingerie or bikinis, but business attire instead. While we’ve seen sexy dresses and lingerie in the marketing material for the film, the onscreen product seems to be taking the more realistic approach. Why? Perhaps because real life is more interesting than artificial—and occasionally more painful—embodiment of passionate love.
Artificial insemination, for example, is a common practice amongst male movie stars who want to get some kink out of their marriages. Some of the women who get involved with these relationships often become dependent on drugs and alcohol, which their partners often use to control them. One need only look at the stories of Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow to see what can happen when a woman falls under the spell of a powerful man. If not for the interference of a fairy godmother, these two women probably would have wound up killing each other.
The scene in which a bound and blindfolded Anastasia Steele gives a truly passionate embrace to Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, is one of the most intimate we’ve ever seen in a major Hollywood film. The pair’s love scene is not only intensely romantic, but it also has a real carnal appeal. Theirs is a sensual relationship that borders on the obsessive, and it culminates in a bout of mutual masturbation that sees Grey ejaculate all over the sheets and mouth of his lover. If that’s not your thing, then you may not want to see the movie.
The Fifty Shades Darker trailer doesn’t pull any punches in terms of the rough sexuality of the characters, and it looks like the final product is going to live up to expectations. So if you’re looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush, be sure to watch this one, um, closely.
For those of us who love the novels and want to see the movies, the wait for the first installment of the Fifty Shades trilogy isn’t nearly as torturous as the wait for the next installment. We’ve gotten to know the characters and their desires through the eyes of author E.L. James, and we can’t help but feel like we know them better than we know real people. Perhaps that’s what connects James and her characters: in spite of all their faults and imperfections, they’re all very much like us. We just happen to be blessed with amazing breasts and ass that they want to use to their advantage.