A day after the erotic movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” was banned in Kenya, most citizens actually swore they would watch it. The Kenya Film Classification Board warned theaters not to show the much-anticipated film, citing “prolonged and explicit sexual scenes depicting women as sexual slaves.” Under the ban, anyone who distributes or shows it in Kenya is liable to a fine, imprisonment or both.
The movie which is an adaptation of author E.L James’ novel trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey premiered worldwide on Valentine’s day. It stars Dakota Johnson (as Anastacia Steele) and Jamie Dornan (as Christian Grey). Kenya was not the only country that rejected it, as it was also banned in Malaysia with the Asian country’s authorities deeming it to be “more of a pornography film than a movie”. France on the other hand, set an under-12s restriction for watching of the film while Singapore set the age limit for the film at 21.
Kenyans were still set to watch the prohibited movie
For us, this was not a restriction in any way since movies are hardly distributed via the theaters. Most of us simply walk to a movie shop and ask for a film which is quickly downloaded from a popular movie site and burned onto a DVD. So, how was KFCB going to stop the nation? After all, this was not the first time. Last year, the Board banned “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013) which ended up being watched across the city.
On the popular NTV show ‘theTrend’ last Thursday, one of the guests, Ciku Muiruri commented in a way that reflected almost all Kenyans’s reaction to the ban. She said, “The board should not have restricted the film distribution at all because that only served to market it and now majority of Kenyans will watch it.”
Controversial film fails to meet audience expectations
All the hullabaloo aside, it’s worth it to note that the restricted movie did not perform to standard. For those who did not bother, rest assured that the Vancouver- shot film was overhyped! This is because it has continued to receive very poor reviews since its release. A movie review and distribution site ‘Rotten tomatoes’ for example, gave it a score of 25% against a possible 100%.
This kind of poor rating continued on yet another popular site, ‘IMDb.com’.
So, for movie lovers that felt the Kenya Film Classification Board was too restricting, you can rejoice in knowing that the film was in fact over-hyped, and maybe thank the Board for saving your 125 minutes from going to waste.