BLONDE Review: An Uncomfortable & Depressing Piece Of Art
Updated: Sep 28, 2022
Marilyn Monroe has been the subject of many controversies in her career as a Hollywood sex symbol in the 1950’s and I always admired her work, that’s why I was really intrigued by Andrew Dominik’s Blonde. It was later announced that Ana De Armas would play Marilyn Monroe in a nearly 3-hour and NC-17 rated biopic about the icon. I was personally very excited for this project until earlier this week when Andrew Dominik went on an interview and showed his lack of respect for Marilyn Monroe, I won’t go into details, but seeing the film now it all makes sense, I was very disappointed.
Synopsis: “A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.”
Blonde is an uncomfortable and depressing piece of art, it's an anti-biopic. Instead of paying homage to Marilyn Monroe, it feels like they're taking pleasure with exposing her demons and digging into her deepest secrets. There's no denying the high level of artistry but my first feelings are mixed because of the overly pessimistic approach, I understand she was a tortured icon but this was so bleak & sad from start to finish.
Saying that it's a piece of art is not an understatement, I think it’s one of the best looking films of the year thanks to the cinematography by Chayse Irvin and a powerful & moving score by Nick Cave. The recreation of her movies & photographs is simply impressive, as a lover of old cinema I take great pleasure in seeing the craft that goes behind that. My only issue is that Andrew Dominik’s style behind the camera becomes overwhelming. At some point I was asking myself the question, is the movie about you or Marilyn Monroe?
This can be very shocking and frustrating at times, part of me thinks this is exactly what Andrew Dominik intended. My question is, what's the point here? Making everyone feel bad and suffer for making Marilyn Monroe the icon she is today? I do think it's essential to show the struggle she had to go through, but this film felt like it was solely focusing on the lows and the negative of her life and career. My favorite scene was between her and Adrien Brody as Arthur Miller.
I’m going to digest this one a little bit, but I think it’s pretty obvious it’s not something I’d want to watch anytime soon despite the gorgeous production design, the beautiful lighting and the elegant costumes, it’s too repetitive and depressing. Another positive I can add is that Ana De Armas poured her heart and soul into this project, even though her accent might not be perfect, the resemblance to Marilyn Monroe is uncanny at times and she lose herself in the role; the film wouldn't exist without her. I’m just thinking maybe this movie shouldn’t exist at all…
Initial Score: 5.5/10
Blonde is now streaming on Netflix.