A blonde.


Blonde is a film about the life of Marilyn Monroe that has been panned by critics and has been rejected by audiences. I didn't want to make my own judgement, but after viewing the film for nearly three hours yesterday, I can see what's going on. It is an extremely difficult feature. I can't recommend it to anyone who isn't a fan of either Marilyn or the actress who plays her.

There will be graphic language in this article.

The good must be the first thing. Even as Marilyn, Ana de Armas is still stunningly beautiful. The way the film is shot makes it look like historical photos in nearly every frame. The rest of the film is pretty ugly, but this is the only way the film is beautiful.

When I watched ThePassion of the Christ, it was pure brutality meant to show the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but it all felt weird and gross. Under the guise of telling Marilyn's story, Blonde has nearly three hours of her being gaslit, talked down to, physically and sexually abused for the whole duration.


A blonde.


As a child, her mentally unstable mother tried to kill her. The studio president raped her after she broke into acting. Two men tried to blackmail her first husband, Joe DiMaggio, who physically abused her.

It's all just...incredibly bleak, and this feels less like a truth-telling mission to vindicate Marilyn but more like vomiting up all her trauma onscreen doing further damage to her. The film went for the NC 17 because of its publicity value. While de Armas is frequently topless, that isn't the reason why it's rated. There is a brief flash of a penis during a rape scene, and then an absurd two minute sequence where Marilyn is having sex with JFK. It is about as graphic as you can make it. Both scenes are not necessary.

Ana de Armas is one of the issues here. I love de Armas in everything I have ever seen her in, and now that she is on the A-list, I think she deserves it. Her very pronounced Spanish accent keeps slipping into Marilyn's speech even though she looks like she can express terror and grief. This wouldn't matter in any other movie, but when she's playing a very specific, real-life person, it's distraction, and between her performance and the nonstop brutality, I kept wishing I'd watched it again.

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The film is not good. I don't know how to say it. It doesn't feel like a tribute to Monroe, it's exploitation. I think hair and makeup work is what makes it not a very good movie. The concept of a risqué, artsy Marilyn feature starring de Armas may sound appealing on paper and in trailers, but I don't want to see it.

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The Herokiller series and The Earthborn trilogy are available for purchase.