Blonde

Blonde

Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for, when we get to watch the NC-17 version of Marilyn Monroe's fictionalized (and therefore) not-quite-biopic directed by a man!

Before I even saw Blonde, I was forewarned by the one person I knew who had already seen it: "Don't watch it."

But I literally had to watch it, so I did, bringing with me a hopefulness that I might see something different in the film and, who knows, even enjoy it? But I, and everyone I know who's watched it, felt exactly the same. Sure, this film might have a lovely veneer and its director (Andrew Dominik) may even think he's being feminist in portraying just how truly hard (it may have been, because this is fictionalized, don't forget that!) Marilyn's life was, but in amping up the sexual horrors and celebrity hounding she surely endured on some level, without any real moments of introspection amounts to gross negligence here.

Introspection, or a glimpse, however fictionalized, into Marilyn's inner life beyond men, beyond celebrity, beyond her untimely death is what's missing from the genre of film surrounding the immortalized actor. Of course, Oates' novel, on which this film is based, might be better at taking these things into account, but I don't know. I haven't read it. Novels typically do a better job at depicting inner life.

The runtime is long, the rape scenes unending, and when I tried to watch an actual Marilyn Monroe movie afterwards, I felt queasy. Make of that what you will, even if it means you walk optimistically to the theater, as I proverbially did, saying "Who knows?" and then, because you f--d around, you "find out."

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