The Movement Control Order is in full effect. You’re sitting at home, bored out of your mind. You are tired of listening to your mom nag at you to do your house chores when there are no house chores left to do as that’s literally what you’ve been doing from morning to night. How else do you keep yourself occupied? It’s either mopping the floor, watching home workout videos and telling yourself you’ll start tomorrow, or drawing carrots on Instagram. Which you’ve also done to death. I mean at one point you purposely spilt milk on the floor and cleaned it up yourself, just so you can take a break from your new full-time job as a professional carrot artist. Your life right now is literally chore, carrot, stare at the ceiling, chore, carrot, stare at the ceiling, chore, carrot, refresh Malaysiakini, chore, carrot, chore, carrot, sleep.
And then, something happens to restore your faith in the heavens above. Something that makes you smile and tear up at the same time. You receive a notification that — no, not about Malaysia successfully flattening the epidemic curve (you need proper leadership and citizens that don’t insistently go to the supermarket every day to stock up on tissue paper, for that to happen). You receive a notification that Fifty Shades Freed has dropped on Netflix. Yes, the final chapter of the franchise that was based on crappy erotic fanfic based on a slightly-less-crappy film series about a love triangle between an emo chick, a sparkling vampire and a hunky werewolf, adapted from OK novels.
Look, the keyword is EROTIC.
“Is god, real?” You ask yourself as you count your blessings. “No mom! I will not mop the floor for the 757th time today,” you yell as you dash to your bedroom at breakneck speed. The sheer audacity of that woman, I tell you. Doesn’t she understand that the franchise was banned in Malaysia due to its “overtly-sexual themes and graphic depictions of sex,” and now, we get to watch its climax on UHD in the comfort of our own bedrooms.
So, you get your lotion ready (vibrator if you’re a woman) set it on your table and hit play. 1 hour and 45 miserable minutes later, your vibrator is still unused and your bottle of lotion is still full. Disappointed? Well, I certainly am. I knew the movie wasn’t going to be anywhere close to good, but I expected some raunchiness at least. All the books and films were banned in the country, for crying out loud. What it actually is, is a nothing movie. It’s not terrible — at least Cats was so laughably horrendous that it provided me with a tray of delicacies to poke fun at — it’s not good either. It’s just kind of there. A lot of mundane stuff happens and then it ends. So maybe, it’s secretly a memoir of my life. Fifty Shades Freed is an erotic thriller that doesn’t make your wood stand, panties wet or your heart pound.
You probably already know the plot. After all, this debacle is the number one trending movie on Netflix in Malaysia right now #HornyDuringMOC. But to the few smart individuals who skipped this one to get your fix on XVideos instead, here’s what Fifty Shades Freed is about. Rich monotonous hot guy and previously-timid-now-not-so hot girl are now married. They’ve got issues. At the same time, hot girl’s psycho stalker ex-boss follows them around. In between all of that is not-sexy time.
Let’s first talk about the sex. For a movie where a character has a super-secret dark playroom filled with super kinky toys, the sex we actually see is super PG-13 (discounting the occasional flashes of boobs and butts). During the wedding, Christian Grey AKA monotonous hot guy (Jamie Dornan) tells his now-wife, something along the lines of “wanna get out of here and f*ck?” You know cause he’s a total bad boy. And then they go home, don’t get fully undressed and have sex MISSIONARY STYLE. Talk about being filthy wild animals.
Oh strap on your seat belts and hold on tight cause it’s about to get freakier. Later in the movie, they really get down and dirty with some handcuffs but before you can say mama mia, they engage in more MISSIONARY SEX. #JohnnySinsAintGotNothingOnThem. There’s also an ice-cream on legs and hairy chest, licking session. Heck, the only time things actually get steamy — handcuffs, blindfolds and vibrator involved — Christian and Ana AKA hot girl (Dakota Johnson) end up not having any sex at all. The only thing Fifty Shades Freed proves is that America is almost as big a loser as Malaysia when it comes to sex. Wanna see proper erotic art, watch Park Chan Wook’s The Handmaiden.
Look at the picture above. Look at how Park Chan Wook frames a woman going down on another. There is an intimacy, absurdity and unfiltered rawness about it. It’s in parts, uncomfortable to watch, as if you’re prying on a very personal moment, yet you can’t look away because Park Chan Wook hypnotises you like a snake charmer with a Python. And this is discounting the overall brilliance of the narrative, storytelling and performances. The Handmaiden is a masterpiece of an erotic thriller. Fifty Shades Freed will make you want to draw more carrots on Instagram. It’s a movie where the sexiest scene involves not-sex but an Audi car chase scene accompanied by The Wolf by The Spencer Lee Band with lyrics that go ‘I wanna jack it, smack it; You know the shit that turns you on? Ah; I wanna lick it, kiss it’. I only wish director James Foley would’ve kept his tongue squarely in his cheek throughout the movie.
Okay, forget the sex. What about the rest of it? Sorry to report that the rest of it is just as exciting as Ana and Christian’s sex life. Well, at least there’s some consistency. What can I say? If you’d like to watch a tremendous exploration of marriage with emotional heft, there’s Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story also available on Netflix. But if watching newlyweds bicker like teenagers over an email address (you see, Christian is terribly cross that Ana’s work email is still anasteele@gmail instead of anagrey@gmail) is more of your jam this depressing Movement Control Period then I fully recommend Fifty Shades Freed. Just don’t bother with the lotion.