By Tori Ledoux ’23
The highly anticipated Marilyn Monroe Documentary, Blonde, just premiered on the 28th of September, as a Netflix original movie. The film is directed by Andrew Dominick and has been in the works since 2019 but has had many delays and complications due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After the Elvis biography was released earlier this year with massive success, another biopic about a famous Hollywood icon is extremely enthralling. A film portraying one of the most influential actresses of all time and her journey is exciting and most people had high hopes for its success.
Marylin Monroe is played by up in-coming actress Ana de Armas, famous for her outstanding roles in Knives Out, Deep Water, and The Gray Man. The movie is supposed to portray Monroe’s life in a way that represents her struggles and the unfortunate treatment she received from the public. Although, since the film’s premier it has received immense backlash not only for its flawed storyline but especially for its depiction of Monroe, being criticized for over-sexualizing her.
Although only a few weeks after its release, this movie has stirred up a lot of attention and varying opinions. The film as of now has a 42% on Rotten Tomatoes, a 49% on Metacritic, and a 5.6/10 on IMDb. The copious amounts of low ratings seem to all agree on one thing;that the movie is a mess. Some still argue, however, that the movie is a harsh but realistic portrayal of Monroe’s course of life.
Throughout the movie’s 2 hour and 46 minute run time, the story attempts to portray a different side of “The Marilyn Monroe” we all know. The film attempts to be a speculative plunge into her psyche, similar to the spectacular film Spencer which was released last year, as director Pablo Larraín’s tribute to another famous icon, Princess Diana, who was portrayed by Kristen Stewart. Spencer successfully fulfilled this psych deep dive and was my favorite movie to come out last year compared to Blonde, which missed the mark. During her lifetime, Monroe was treated unacceptably by the public and those in higher-up positions. Her life was a struggle and how Hollywood treated her was repulsive, and the movie only added to this unjust treatment. As commented by a renowned Rotten Tomato top critic Catherine Singh: “Not only does the film pile on the gratuitous horrors, adding hard-to-stomach events and scenes that aren’t rooted in reality, but it also presents viewers with an aestheticized version of the star’s actual trauma”.
Biopics are often difficult to accurately portray the widely loved or famous people that they are about. The film in several viewers’ opinions just went too far and seemed disrespectful towards Monroe and her short life.