Category Archives: Review

Review On The Move – Oliver Sacks

On the Move - Oliver Sacks Image courtesy of
On the Move – Oliver Sacks Image courtesy of

Lately, I have taken to reading biographies of people I admire or who seem to have interesting lives – they have a biography after all. I chose ‘On the Move’ by Oliver Sacks because I had read his ’The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’ while studying psychology ages ago. I had enjoyed that book immensely, and I was eager to learn more about this doctor whose field was Neuropsychology, which was my favorite while studying as well. This book, however, was not as I had expected.

Roughly the first half was plain out boring. The book discusses him moving from England to Canada and then to the USA. To me, it was not that interesting to read. He tells how he travels a lot on a motorbike through the US. I don’t care for motorcycles. I don’t care whether he had a BMW or a Norton or a Harley Davidson. To me, it’s all the same. To me, all cars are the same, to the great annoyance of my husband. I wanted to read about the neurological problems, not read about an episode of Top Gear.

At a certain point, about halfway through, things got better, and the story picked up. Dr. Sacks got to work in a hospital, and he got to treat patients with rare conditions. I loved reading about his time with the patients who had the 1920s sleepy sickness. He wrote the book Awakenings about these patients, which was later turned into the movie with the same title. I was surprised to read how Robert De Niro and Robin Williams prepared for their roles in this movie. I had not realized they would actually spend time with patients and live like their characters for days in a row.

This book was both a disappointment and an eye-opener for me. It was a disappointment because a lot of what was told was boring to me, for example, meetings with other professors or woes in his family. On the other hand, I hadn’t known he had never had one university he worked for. He always remained something of a freelancer, hopping from one hospital to another while writing his books on the subjects he chose. He has one book: ‘A Leg To Stand On’ which has taken him years and years to write. He describes a 30-day trip he took to write, where he only wrote one day. Even successful writers struggle with writing.

In the end, I cannot decide, and I don’t think he could either, whether he was more a doctor/scientist or a writer. He just always wrote. Unfortunately, he has passed away last August. The world lost a great caring doctor and an inspiring writer. I am glad he has shared his wisdom with the world.

Review of Fifty Shades of Grey – the Movie

Photo : Facebook/Fifty Shades of Grey

So, is Fifty Shades of Grey the movie as tiresome as the books? No, not entirely. This movie evoked some emotions in me,  some more positive than others. I shall confess right now that I did read the books. I wanted to know what the fuss was all about and why there were posters of a BDSM-smut book on the railway station all of a sudden. I liked the first half of the first book because of the tension between Anastacia and Christian. I disliked the other two and a half books, but I read them anyway because I wanted to know how the story ended.

What I hated most about the books was that there were too many sex scenes. Yes, that made me chuckle too. I am not just a writer of erotica, I read the stuff too. I have read hundreds, maybe thousands of stories and still, or maybe because of it, this series managed to bore me. All the scenes were alike and when you write something similar to reality, your characters don’t just have sex every time they smell each other. A big plus for the film was for me that they eliminated most of these scenes.

About the characters in the movie, or rather the actors portraying them: Anastacia was okay, Christian a little less than okay. I think Anastacia played her submissive role okay. She is quite passive, but that is also how she is written. I doubt whether the actor playing Christian is a true dominant. I can usually sense these things and with him I sensed little. Of course there is still the question whether the character Christian Grey is a true dominant. In my opinion he isn’t, but we’ll get to that later.

The first sexual encounter between them is terrible. I refer to the ‘let’s solve that issue now’-‘lose the virginity’-scene. I hated that in the book and I still hate it on screen. That is not the way to deal with that ’issue’, which shouldn’t be an issue at all. If you do want to ‘solve’ it, then at least make it romantic and take your time. And give the poor girl some time to adjust to the idea.

Most of the sex-scenes in the movie were okay, some even a bit better than okay. I loved the first kiss in the elevator and the sex on the bed while playing with his grey tie was fun too. I even liked the scenes in his playroom. For once they did show the good side of BDSM. I loved how he demonstrated with her that the whip doesn’t have to hurt. It’s not the pain per se that turns people on, but more the impact, the shock of the impact. I thought these scenes were hot and arousing, though I could have done with a little less Beyoncé.

And then we come to the final scene. I hate it. The scene where he hurts Ana to show her his deepest desires is not about BDSM. No true dominant would do that to his submissive. It shows a lack of control and a breach of trust that can never be mended. But it’s in the book, so I can’t blame the movie for it.

I like the movie better than the book. There are annoying things from the book in the movie, but I enjoyed the movie more than I had expected. Christian is still jealous, obsessed, possessive and troubled, but he was okay to look at and I loved the twinkle in his eyes. Ana is a good portrayal of the girl I pictured when reading the books.

I think they found a good balance of the amount of sex in the books and transforming that to a movie that could be displayed to the general public in a cinema. I think the housewives who got red ears from reading the books won’t be disappointed and even the more kink-oriented people will be entertained somewhat. Was it the best movie I have ever seen? Not by far. What is my final verdict? Considering the material they had to work with the movie was okay. Not brilliant or abominable, but okay. Good enough.