So, the whole world has an opinion on Fifty Shades at the moment. The internet is full to the brim of judgements, reviews, and flame wars, and who am I to not join in and throw in my two cents? Er, pennies. As much as I’d like to, and could, I’m not going to review the film. I’ve seen highly professional, informative and fun blogs filled with abusive comments aimed at bloggers who dared to enjoy the film, and yet the posters of these comments are the protesters campaigning the ‘Fifty Shades of Abuse’ agenda. Ironic? Maybe, but there’s a genuine fear inside me that’s stopping me from actually reviewing this seriously.
Not that this little hobby blog is established enough to attract such a wide audience, but to any of these protesters who may be reading? You’re actually the reason I went to the cinema last night to watch it. I read the books, I knew what the film would be about, but all the horrific things you guys came out with made me curious. And well, my curiosity got the better of me. Seriously, the PR team behind all of this deserves a medal, because they’ve done a fab job!
For the record, I enjoyed the film. It was a huge improvement on the book. Loved the soundtrack. Not a romantic masterpiece, but like I said, I read the books. It was also the most fun I’ve ever had at a cinema in terms of atmosphere and audience reactions. But this isn’t a review! That’s all I’ll say on that matter. What I really wanted to talk about is the origins of the phenomenon, and what it might mean for the future.
No, I don’t want to talk specifics about the Twilight-inspired fanfiction, I didn’t read that, but I do want to talk about fanfiction. I’ve been a part of the community for about 10 years now, it all started in secondary school when me and my friend (who will remain anonymous for my own safety, not hers) would spend our weekends co-writing a novel-length fanfiction and several shorter stories. We even created a little Yahoo Community group where we would share it with the world. Now, our stories weren’t well written at all, but we had a darn good time writing them!
I don’t write anymore, other than on this blog, but I still visit a rather wonderful site called Archive of our Own (AO3) on a weekly basis to catch up with some of my favourite fandoms. Thankfully, the majority of the writing there is far better than my own, although you can find the occasional stinker. What I love most about fanfiction is the complete removal of boundaries that are found in published books and films. These writers don’t do it for the money, they write because it’s something they love to do. I’ve read fanfiction based on film series’ that is so good I’ve actually forgotten what really happened in the films, and some based on games that I play that has completely blurred my recollection of what was ‘canon’.
The point I’m trying to make here is that Fifty Shades of Grey the film has made history by being the first film based on fanfiction (as far as I know) and at a time where the cinemas are full of sequels and comic book heroes, maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to see some of the fantastic work written by others get their own adaptations on the big screen.