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London - Fans of the multi-million selling 50 Shades Of Grey books were given a first glimpse of the film adaptation with the release of the official trailer on Thursday. Within a few hours the montage of scenes, based on the erotic novel about a pair of lovers who engage in bondage under contract, was trending on social media and had amassed hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Here Jan Moir gives her verdict.


There is no spanking to speak of, barely any bare, the merest whisper of a thrashing and only a snip of whip.

Perhaps we should expect no more and no less from the highly anticipated trailer to 50 Shades Of Grey.

With the full film adaptation of the EL James novel not due for release until Valentine’s Day next year, this was the first tantalising glimpse of Dakota Johnson as the heroine Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as saturnine Christian Grey, sado-masochistic master and all-round good guy.

And what of it? Well so far, so tepid. So very well mannered, my dears.

Yes, Christian appears to get his top off without delay and wanders inexplicably through several scenes like a scaffolder on a hot day, keen to show off his abs to any passing babes.

The main thrust, if I may say, of the clip focuses on one of the most innocent, earliest scenes in the mummy porn novel, where gauche Anastasia in a terrible blouse and a tumbledown ponytail attempts to interview millionaire bigshot Mr Grey in his chrome and steel power office.

“I just have a coupla questions. Do you have any interests out of work?” she chirps, as he prowls around the room with a roll of masking tape poking out of his breast pocket while thwacking a riding crop into the palm of his hand. Well, not quite, but we all know where this is going.

Mr Grey tells Miss Steele that he doesn’t want to talk about himself, he is much more interested in her. He fixes his penetrating gaze upon her, much in the manner of a golden eagle sizing up a tasty vole.

Before you know it, Anastasia is up in his helicopter and sitting on his glider – and I must report that these are real scenes, not euphemisms. They have a bit of a snog in a lift and Beyoncé growls over the soundtrack as if she had a touch of flu and her big toe stuck in a door.

The clip ends with Anastasia chained up at last in Christian’s Red Room of Pain, the sado-masochistic lair where carefully choreographed punishments and humiliations are to be carried out upon her person on a regular basis. Well, they are in the book at least.

In the trailer we last see her chained to the bed, a silk blindfold around her eyes and a smile playing on her lips. A smile that says… what? That she got the role that every young actress in Hollywood wanted? That everyone will have to wait until next year to see what happens next.

Whatever happens, surely this Hollywood adaptation cannot be as bad as the books; a trilogy of clumsily written teen-style, steamy fiction which Salman Rushdie said made Twilight look like War And Peace.

The film has had a troubled inception, with a number of actors, directors, writers and key personnel all being changed at short notice.

British screenwriter Patrick Marber was drafted in to beef up the script, while Sam Taylor-Johnson was the chief director. After all, as Christian and Anastasia know, someone has always got to crack the whip. - Daily Mail