It is all anyone wants to talk about. Fifty shades – Whether you love or loathe it, it is still the words rolling off everyone’s tongues. Cleverly marketed, both singletons and those in relationships alike rushed out to cinemas to watch it over Valentines weekend.

I read the first book and half of the second, but eventually gave up because I felt they were so badly written. I was intrigued about the characters though and so happily accompanied my mum (yes, I went to watch it with my mum) to the cinema. Luckily, the film was much better than the books. Watching Jamie Dornan parade around in suits (or less) probably helped. It was also great to see that Ana was a lot smarter and sassier than her literary counterpart.

After watching the film myself on its UK release date, I stumbled across various complaints claiming the franchise is only romanticising abusive relationships and that without his millions, helicopter rides and brand new cars, Christian Grey would be nothing but a ‘jerk who beats up women for pleasure.’ That is one way to look at it I suppose. I had not considered the BDSM relationship in Fifty Shades to be an abusive one, though I can see why perhaps some people feel that it most certainly is.

Clara Goodwin, 20, a DMU student studying Creative Writing and English Literature, said: “I’m a massive feminist and I hate it. There needs to be respect and boundaries. There are multiple instances when what Ana wants is ignored.” The film’s Director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, explained: “What Dakota (the lead actress) and I did throughout the journey of Anastasia was to empower her. Every sexual encounter that she has with Christian is one that she has gone into willingly and complicity until the moment he crosses a line. And when he crosses that line it is a very firm no and she has the final word. She has all the power and he is the vulnerable one so I do not think there is any glamorisation of it.”

I do not personally feel that it is glamorising abusive relationships and I do not think it encourages misogynistic behaviour from men. Whilst Christian is undoubtedly a control freak, Ana is equally resistant to his demands and as the film’s Director mentioned, she does nothing unwillingly. She knew the safe words, he did not get carried away – in fact, he insisted she count with him as he slowly dished out the ‘punishment’ and she could have demanded that he stop at any point. She showed no sign of wanting him to stop (though to audience members with clever camera angles, it was perfectly evident) and indeed counted with him after each blow.

I suppose it also depends on your character as to how you perceive Christian’s controlling actions. I like self-assured, strong-willed men with bucket loads of ambition and determination. So for me, Christian was a breath of fresh air. He is by no means perfect and his sad, abusive start to life certainly provided a backdrop for why he is the way he is, but I was by no means intimidated by the portrayal of a good-looking control freak.

However I do understand that for many, Christian was just too much. Too creepy, too controlling and too much like a handsome stalker. By stalker, I mean the fact he meets a woman once, has a conversation with her and then turns up at her workplace knowing little else about her. This is where opinions differ. To some, that’s just completely weird. To others, like myself, it shows a man who is interested and prepared to chase what he wants – very attractive. I think that is the point though: not all women will be interested in Christian, or men like him. Other’s will be more attracted to his friendlier, soppier and more extroverted brother. We are all only human after all.

The whole franchise divides opinion and that always makes for great reading. It is fantastic to get so many differing opinions on one topic and it is what these filmmakers want. No press is bad press and the only thing worse than negative publicity is no publicity at all. This film was always going to be controversial. The same issue occurred with the Twilight saga. Whereas some thought Edward’s passionate love for Bella was adorable, others deemed it an unhealthy obsession. It is exactly the same this time round. Some think Christian making Ana eat more regularly and healthily is damn right out of order, whilst others, like me, think it is sweet that he is clearly concerned about her wellbeing – she is described as ‘underweight’ in the book, after all.

Domestic violence campaigners have urged couples planning to watch Fifty Shades of Grey to donate money to domestic violence charities, rather than splash out on cinema tickets to watch the film. Campaigners also boycotted the UK release in London, donning signs and posters with messages protesting against abusive relationships. Domestic abuse is a hugely important issue and so ultimately, the fact the film’s release has brought so much attention to the problem can only be a good thing. Ticket sales are great, but public awareness of delicate issues is even better.