Few of the countless novel-to-film adaptations produced over the decades have resonated with audiences the way the Fifty Shades franchise has. The series kicked off in 2015 with Fifty Shades of Grey, and the first chapter in Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey’s tumultuous love story was a great success, earning $571 million at the global box office on a $40 million budget.
The saga’s success continued in 2017 with Fifty Shades Darker, which delved deeper into Christian’s past and gave more insight into his relationship with Ana. Now, the franchise will come to a close with Fifty Shades Freed, slated to hit theaters on February 9, 2018.
As the end of Ana and Christian’s love story approaches, let’s take a look at six of the most powerful moments in the Fifty Shades series so far.
Christian And Ana Dance (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Anastasia and Christian’s relationship didn’t start well. Ana was reluctant to embrace Christian’s lifestyle, and Grey wasn’t looking for a long-term commitment. Soon, however, both started to set aside their differences and slowly accepted the strong connection between them.
This dynamic was perfectly represented by a dance sequence set to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Witchcraft.’ While short, the scene served as a powerful (yet subtle) demonstration of their growing feelings. There was also a compelling sense of spontaneity in the actors’ body language, which helped drive home the idea that Ana and Christian were connecting in a level that neither of them expected. That’s quite a difficult dynamic to pull off, but Fifty Shades of Grey perfectly took advantage of it, and used it to create a touching scene.
Ana And Christian Break Up (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Despite their fondness for one another, Ana spends the majority of the first film struggling to accept Christian’s sexual fetishes. Eager to understand him, she asks Grey to “punish” her, and as Christian whips her the pleasure he gets from hurting her completely disgusts Ana, and she walks away from their relationship.
Before leaving, Ana confessed that she had fallen in love with Christian. That revelation made their breakup all the more impactful, because it marked a turning point for Anastasia. Yes, she was in love with Christian, but she wasn’t willing to accept a life that made her unhappy. This pivotal evolution carried over to the sequel, as Ana became much more confident and became aware of what she wanted for herself.
Christian Opens Up About His Past (Fifty Shades Darker)
The Fifty Shades franchise has made clear that Christian Grey is a troubled soul. Due to the character’s mysterious nature, however, no one, even Ana, could easily see what shaped him. A powerful scene in Fifty Shades Darker lifted the mystery around the young billionaire. During a heart-to-heart with Ana, Christian revealed that his birth mother was a drug addict who physically abused him.
His mother eventually committed suicide, and young Christian spent three days trapped with her corpse until the police found them. The revelation of his painful backstory did something very special for the character: It stripped Christian of his mystery and eccentric billionaire persona, and allowed audiences to see the human beneath those elements. At the end of the day, Christian is just a scarred individual, desperate to overcome his past, and this scene made that clear.
Leila Confronts Ana And Christian (Fifty Shades Darker)
Throughout Fifty Shades Darker Ana is stalked by a woman named Leila, one of Christian’s previous submissives. Leila had parted ways with Grey and gotten married. Yet she suffered a mental breakdown after the death of her husband, and started stalking Christian and Ana. Her obsession reached a boiling point when she broke into Ana’s apartment and held her at gunpoint, trying to figure out what Christian saw in her. Before any real damage could be done, Christian stepped in and quickly subdued her.
The three-way confrontation was one of the franchise’s most nail-biting moments, and its intensity was heightened by Christian psychologically forcing Leila to obey him. Up until that point, the franchise had (mostly) refrained from delving into what made Christian so dangerous. This scene gave viewers a sense of how controlling and dominant he was prior to meeting Ana.
Christian Kneels Before Ana (Fifty Shades Darker)
The conflict with Leila deeply disturbed Ana, motivating her to confront Christian about their relationship. Desperate by the prospect of losing her, Christian kneeled before Ana and confessed that his sadistic practices arose from his traumatic childhood. Grey then vowed to change his ways, and promised to be faithful to Ana forever, telling her “You mean more to me than anything else […] All of me… I’m all yours.”
The sequence was a fascinating peek into the billionaire’s broken psyche. Christian’s confession gave him the opportunity to leave his dark past behind and finally grow as a character.
Christian Proposes To Ana (Fifty Shades Darker)
After enduring countless relationship struggles, Christian finally got on one knee and proposed to Anastasia, who accepted without hesitation. This quiet moment between the two was so powerful not only because of the proposal itself, but because of the fact that, for the very first time in the franchise, audiences got to see a Christian that didn’t have a chip on his shoulder.
He wasn’t battling his demons or trying to reset himself. He simply put himself out there, opened up to Ana and built up the courage to ask her to spend the rest of her life with him. Considering where the character started off, that evolution is quite an achievement.
Fifty Shades Freed is in theatres now.