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Blonde (2022)

A look at the rise to fame and the epic demise of actress Marilyn Monroe, one of the biggest stars in the world.

As Netflix’s ‘Blonde’ skyrockets to no.1 on the streaming platform it has been branded by audiences as “sexist”, “cruel” and “one of the most detestable movies ever made”. These are strong words but after viewing I understand the distain. “Blonde” is based on the unconventional Joyce Carol Oates novel of the same name and loosely recreates the many heartbreaks and tragedies of Monroe’s life and career. An abusive mother and various sexual assaults in Hollywood, this feature has ignited outrage for its non-stop harassment, exploitation and traumatisation of Monroe. I expected and longed for more, Blonde (2022) delivers the same exact image of Monroe everyone expects, a version of the star that is overworked, tragic and unsettling.

While Ana de Armas’ performance has received universal acclaim, the film itself is a tasteless depiction of Monroe’s heartbreak and struggles. De Armas does deliver a magnificent realism, she performs elegantly through each scene, even those than demand a lot from her emotionally. Sadly, her performance was bigger than this film, she deserved better as an actress.

Visually expressionistic, attempting to be art rather than cinema, it has a charming allure but rather a distorted, brutal and harsh approach. Which happily uses exploitation as a medium of choice but doesn’t deliver in entertainment value.

Unimaginative and distasteful, Blonde is yet another version of her imagine which brings no originality or admiration. This film was made for the shock factor, the acclaim rather than any passion or love towards Monroe.

The storytelling centres around child loss and her experience with miscarriage, it’s truly saddening, the scenes of abortion are disgustingly crude and intrusive. I found these factors to be handled clumsily and inattentively.

Once we meet Arthur Miller (Adrien Brody) the tone changes slightly, we see recreations of famous pictures, it’s refreshing to take a breathe and see her ‘living’ rather than suffering.

The irony of a male screenwriter and a male director to tell the powerful, sensitive story of a female is beyond me. When will we learn sometimes men don’t understand women’s struggles and won’t be able to depict them respectfully on screen. Blonde (2022) is an emotional, upsetting feature, it is truly exploitative and beyond audience entertainment. I wanted to enjoy this film, I truly wanted to watch a film which brought some respect and gratitude to Monroe but I did not see that. In life and death she is a conspiracy- this film continues with the farce.

There are many ways to analyse this film, seeing Monroe as the sex image she was exploited as, seeing her literal insides, baring all, holding nothing back. This is a field day for film students but entertainment value is little to none, enjoyment value is low and overall, it’s just another boring movie about Monroe’s vulnerability, tragedy and exploited image.

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Actor Writer Critic Film Movie Reviewer

Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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