Spooktober: Blonde

Although this wasn’t really a part of the line-up, and also not really a horror movie. I thought there was no better place to talk about this monstrosity than on a Halloween themed event.

Blonde is the latest movie to come from streaming powerhouse, Netflix. Depicting the life of famed movie star Marilyn Monroe, the movie delves deep into her history from birth to death.

As someone who is an avid lover of true crime, Marilyn Monroe is a case I’ve looked over countless times. In fact, if you want to see a great depiction of her life on Netflix then there is an amazing documentary that uses actual evidence and real-life accounts from people that knew her.

So let's get talking about all the reasons why I was sorely disappointed by this movie.

First off, the movie doesn’t know what it’s trying to be, is it a retelling of her life? Is it a reimagining of her life? We don’t know, there's a lot of facts and a lot of fiction when watching this movie.

And although the movie has specific dates for the audience to keep track of, it still makes you feel completely lost, and I'm utterly confused as to how. But nevertheless, I could look away for less than a minute and be in the same scene yet be completely lost if I lose a second of interest.

Perhaps if the movie chose to focus on certain, more important events a little longer and not let them fly by or use them as a transition. Then maybe, just maybe, the film would feel more cohesive.

Speaking of transitions, although the movie has many strange choices for shots and camera angles. A lot of the time I am sat back in awe at how beautiful this film looks, besides the obscene amount of nudity in this movie that I wasn’t prepared for, there’s great lighting, great camera work, the whole shabang.

They clearly took time in the cinematography of the film, it’s just a shame they didn’t focus on the story nearly as much.

Though I did talk about the timeline and placements of scenes in this movie, I didn’t really touch on the actual story all too much, and there’s a reason for that. As I said this movie doesn’t know what it wants to be, and as such, that impacts the story it’s trying to tell.

It first starts with Marilyn’s home life as a child, with an abusive mother and father who isn’t in the picture. We then move onto her life as a budding young actress which quickly moves on to the star we all know her as, shortly followed by her downfall and eventual death.

The movie flashes through important figure-heads in Monroe’s life as though it was nothing, her first movie is just a scene where she’s watching it but is being groped. ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’, arguably her most known role, is just a small singing number and clapping. There isn't much fanfare for such important details in her life.

This is more apparent later on, the movie quite frankly just focuses on the negatives, never really giving the audience a chance to breathe. You just go to childhood abuse to rape in very few scenes and there isn’t a warning for it at all.

Speaking on the subject, they handle sexual assuly very weird. They don’t really talk about it in the movie, it just happens off screen and we as an audience are just meant to be okay with it? Sure, the movie is set in a period where that is seen as normal, but that doesn’t mean a movie not only produced and released in modern day should have nothing that empowers women who may be in that situation.

All the movie does is suggest to sit still and keep quiet, it’s normal.

Towards the later half of the movie, once Marilyn is married a third time, the movie seems to twist its focus on who’s the villain. Now, I’m not saying Arthur Miller was the worst of the worst but he wasn’t that nice of a man from the depiction in the movie.

Neither the wife nor groom were shining angels, but the movie puts a lot of blame on Marilyn for the way things ended between them and doesn’t highlight some of his ending attributes.

They also just skip over that Monroe had three marriages and not just the two seen in the movie, again, they miss a lot of important information.

Other gripes I had with the movie were a lot of the aboration or baby-centred scenes. Firstly, I despise the camera angle of the two aboration scenes, I never want to see that again. Secondly, I don’t like this ghostly child voice talking to Monroe through her stomach with cuts to a floating fetus.

It ruins not only the look of the movie, because the baby shots are so clean and bright compared to the rest of the movie which has a certain style it’s going for, but it also pulls you out of what little story there is.

Before I ramble too long about this movie, I’ll try to briefly list my issues.

The threesome plot line came from nowhere and lasted far too long into the story, I didn’t need to see a lot and I hated how those characters were recurring. The entire fiasco with President JFK, although they knew each other no one for sure can say what happened and implying that it was sexual relfects negatively on two people who cannot defend themselves.

The sudden spiral Marilyn has in the last 30 minutes of the movie, the illnesses she faced mentally and physically didn’t just suddenly happen overnight. But with the way the movie messes with time, it looks like she just woke up on the wrong side of her bed.

You rarely get to know anyone else in the movie i.e. important people in her life like her acting coach who she lived with for a period of time. Marilyn also questioned her sexuality or even if she liked the whole idea of sex, yet there isn’t anything like this in the movie.

I also don’t know how much research went into Monroe’s death for this movie, you’d like to think a lot but it has me questioning just how accurate they wanted to be. Not to be too grim but you can go online and look up pictures of crime scene photos the night Monroe was found dead and compare it to the movie.

There are some very big, key differences in circumstances leading up to the events and how everything was positioned. Although this could be considered a nit-pick, it’s important to remember this was the last frame of the movie, they’ve been fairly accurate in the looks department up until this point.

Not to mention the last shot of the movie is just her feet hanging off the bed for well over five minutes.

Overall, Blonde consists of dark and deep subjects such as child abuse, rape, sexual assult, miscarriages, abortion, drugs and overdoesing, suicide and self harm, etc. It doesn’t let the audience recover after each and every single bad thing that happens to Marilyn and it wears you down and makes you feel like an awful person.

Although Ana de Armas’ performance as Monroe is phenomenal, it doesn’t save the movie in the slightest and her reaction to scenes actually hurt more than the action itself.

Blonde gets 2 out of 5 diamonds from me.

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