The moviegoers at 50 Shades of Grey proved more entertaining than the film itself. During the screening on Valentine’s Day, protesters outside the cinema greeted the very verbal audience coming out of the cinema with fake blood and banners. By Hayley Daen. Sub Editor Danae Diz.
Despite the protestations and unhappy rumblings of some of the moviegoers who had gone to see 50 Shades of Grey, there were others waiting just outside who felt even more strongly. Stan, a sprightly man in his early 40s, struggled to plaster every girl leaving the cinema with a flier damning the BDSM-laden film. Two of his colleagues, Charlotte and Oli stretched a banner that read ‘MR GREY IS A RAPIST,’ as they bellowed about the sick nature of BDSM and shamed all those who had seen the film. Another member of their crew frantically attempted to smear fake blood on the women flushed with excitement who were filing out of the cinema.
“Well I most certainly did not expect to spend my Valentine’s this way,” noted a passerby. “I was expecting a sexy movie and maybe a few drinks, not to have banners waved in my face and blood thrown on me.” Most got far more than they bargained for.
At 3:15 pm, still half an hour before the Valentine’s matinee of 50 Shades of Grey, weepy-eyed women and starry-eyed lovers began to dribble into the Odeon on Tottenham Court Road. Swept in by the gusts outside, they shuffled in line to purchase foil-wrapped plastic wine glasses and tubs of stale popcorn. As the start drew nearer, the theater was awash in a sea of tittering teenage girls, arms linked in anticipation of what they were about to see. “I’m just so glad my mom decided to let us come,” a girl frothed. Quite obviously more than a few years shy of the 18 years of age required by the R-rating, she gestured to herself and her friend cradling a copy of the book. “I mean- can you imagine if we’d missed this?”
The theatre guides motioned wildly like flight attendants on a plane in distress as the lights dimmed, and row after row of over-excited women tumbled into their seats. As the screen flashed with the opening credits, the room was blanketed in a thick quiet but buzzed with eager energy. Once the film began, all quiet dissolved, and the audience revealed themselves to be chatty, energetic bunch.
Every time a salacious scene was emblazoned on the screen, the audience would erupt in giggles, nervous yet keen for more. A few lonely viewers would snort in disdain each time Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, would turn his contrived, steely gaze toward Anastasia, played by Dakota Johnson. These girls were in the minority amidst an army of women aching for Grey as deeply as Anastasia Steele had. “I could feel my brain melting,” Irena Timofeeva moaned as the theatre emptied out onto the sidewalk. “I’ve lost a part of me I may never get back.”