Marilyn Monroe’s rocky rise to stardom is showcased in the highly controversial Netflix film, Blonde, starring Ana de Armas.
Boasting a NC-17 rating, this is certainly not your grandmother’s biopic. However, despite its ambition to adapt Joyce Carol Oates’s fictionalized novel by same name, Blonde is a bloated, slow moving, empty, anti-abortion, pretentiously over dramatic mess.
It is very clear that Andrew Dominik had a unique vision for this film and wanted to include A LOT of Marilyn’s life. However, we all know less is more leaving Blonde is a fever dream of trauma, lacking in any cohesive storytelling. The film thrives in its quieter moments rather than its larger and more surreal sequences, losing a lot of the narrative’s overall impact.
The life of Marilyn Monroe was undoubtably tragic. The icon was exploited, assaulted and abused. Over and over. She was treated like a piece of meat and Blonde has no issue reminding the viewer repetitively.
Dominik was unafraid to be explicit in a lot of this part of Marilyn’s life, which may be very triggering to viewers. I could go into this discourse all day, but overall I can’t help but question; Why are we exploiting this woman more than she already has been? Why can’t we tell a meaningful story about Marilyn’s life — one with her shirt on, please?
Thankfully, Ana de Armas is able to rise to give a career best performance. Her ability to capture the charism, charm, desperation, loneliness and darkness of Marilyn is captivating. And without a doubt, this is one of the most impressive biopic transformations I have seen in recent times. It is a rare chameleon performance where you truly need to a do a double take during certain moments.
Ana de Armas is a shining star in an otherwise dismal attempt to honor Marilyn Monroe‘s legacy.
Blonde is not only a let down to audiences but a let down to her. I’m sorry, Marilyn. You always deserve better.