What a fuss. Where do we go from here?
First of all, if you are still with me on day 5 of my countdown then huge hugs from me because you are my kind of people. I began with an idea of writing five blog posts but only had content for the first four. I wasn’t sure how i was going to finish the series, but now that I’m here it seems an easy thing to do.
If you’ve followed me this far you’ll know that I’m not a fan of That Film. On the other hand, I’m known to be a very positive person, so why have I devoted so much time to discussing it? The answer to that is simple: I see every experience as a learning opportunity. There is no such thing as a bad experience so long as you can walk away from it a better person than you were before.
In June 1997 a book called Harry Potter And The Philosophers’s Stone was released. This quickly became very popular among young readers but had very mixed reviews and many detractors who condemned it’s supernatural themes and its dark story lines as being unsuitable for children. I was a school teacher at the time and merely thought the idea of the book to be a bit silly. I very quickly changed my mind when all around me children who did not normally choose to read were picking up the book. They were not just reading it, but became engrossed in the story and they were discussing characters and plots with each other. J.K. Rowling did more to encourage children to read than any educational initiative ever did. But how many of them went on to form witches covens and start practicing the black arts? I rest my case.
Lets jump forward fifteen years and the release of all three books in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. I was amazed at the hype, but if I was to comment on the book I felt that I should read it first. You all know my feelings about how bad the book is, but I have also made clear that looking forward, That Book did three very positive things. First, it created a discussion both about books and about BDSM. Second, it made BDSM in romantic fiction mainstream. Because of this, the demand for similar content exploded. Thirdly, the content caused many readers to become aware of whole new genres of books that they had not picked up before. A readership was born and as a writer I have to celebrate that.
Of course there were consequences. There has been a lot of very bad BDSM written since then. Demands for sex toys spiked, as did call outs to fire and rescue services and visits to hospital A&E Departments.
So what of the film? Experience tells me that the enormous hype surrounding its release can never be matched by the product itself. I believe that those with doubts will stay away and those who have objections should stay away. For those who go to see it I suspect that they will enjoy it but may well end up feeling that it did not live up to the hype and that it may even be a bit of an anti-climax.
Of course the film will also have consequences. BDSM will be discussed even more and there will be other films spawned from it. This in turn will provide more opportunities for practitioners, writers, readers and film goers.
As we have seen, the sex toy industry and the DIY stores will experience a spike in sales. All of this is set to be repeated later when the DVD is released and again when film versions of the second and third books are released. I also hope that the film generates serious discussion about the problems both of domestic abuse and of non-consensual sex.
We’ve reached the end so I must declare my feelings about That Film. No, I will not be going to see it. As for its impact on my life going forward then the best I can say is that it will be no bad thing.