When we talk about an erotic love story based on a fetish like BDSM, we have to remember that there are two people and two approaches to it. Take the case of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. There would not be an erotic love story or a BDSM inspired relationship if there was no submissive Ana to a dominant Christian. They are like this perfect foil to each other and almost like his yin to her yang, or vice versa. Hence, when it comes to portraying this subtle difference between who is a dominant partner in the relationship and who is the submissive partner, most of the times the body language of the actors and the expressions matter the most.
“Fifty Shades…” is not a novel, and a film, that merely touches upon these issues, but the characters have been penned in such a way that the relationship tension between them is infectious and is evident in the posters as well. Case in point is the new still or poster which has been released. But just because we have a new poster does not mean that we will forget the old poster! Both the posters are important to analyse this subtle difference between Dakota’s submissive Ana and Jamie’s dominant Grey.
If the first poster celebrated the machismo and the masculinity of Christian Grey, the second poster reminded us of Anastasia’s coyness and vulnerability. For all those who remember seeing the first poster, they will remain that a suited Jamie Dornan (As Christian Grey) standing with his back to us, hands nestled inside the front pockets of his trousers and looking out if the floor to ceiling window in his office at Grey Enterprises. In the novel the setting of all the action is Seattle, and though the film has been shot in Vancouver, in the poster, Grey (Dornan) looks over the Seattle skyline.
The poster reeks of Christian Grey’s love for power and control. It is this controlling streak in him that helps him seduce a naive and shy college graduate Anastasia Steele into becoming his submissive partner. On the other hand, since there cannot be a Christian without Ana, that is, there cannot be a dominant partner without a submissive one; the second poster is a revelation of this complex and emotionally draining relationship that Ana shares with Grey.
In the second poster, which comes with the caption “One Year. Valentine’s Day 2015”, Ana can be seen standing timidly at the entrance of Grey’s cabin/office with a file/paper. A man, presumably Grey is seen again with his back to us. If the first poster carried the option “Mr. Grey Will See You Now”, this poster also seems like a continuation of that thought. Actually, Ana is there on some business, as she has to take the self made entrepreneur’s interview for the college paper. Although she is shown as a student who has majored in English literature, it is her friend and roommate Kate, who was scheduled to take the interview, but was indisposed, in her absence, Ana, slips into her shoes and comes to take Grey’s interview and this chance encounter, changes both their lives.