One of the most classic, unforgettable Hollywood stars of the 20th century was Marilyn Monroe. Born with the name Norma Jeane, Marilyn was a successful pin-up model during World War II before landing her first acting job. The actress and model who was admired for her beauty, voice, and elegance became the quintessential “sex symbol” of the 50s with her comedy portrayals. Her global impact on pop culture continues today.
The movie, Blonde, contains good pieces and designs that should be acknowledged. The film’s portrayal of the 50s and 60s was realistic and seemed on page with the classic, Hollywood feel. The costumes, movie sets, and dialogue were very accurate to the time period as well. While the movie throws viewers into this picturesque period, it is worth noting that the film based on the 50s star is not technically based on her, but rather the 1999 novel of the same name that is more historical fiction than fact.
Ana de Armas, the actress who portrayed Marilyn Monroe, displayed very proficient acting that let the audience really feel her thoughts and emotions. While the movie had multiple pros, it had a big amount of cons and the movie faced a lot of backlash from the media for them. To many viewers, the movie was viewed as disturbing and unsettling, especially to Monroe fans for how Monroe was portrayed. The scenes in the movie showed a lot of Monroe’s trauma and what she went through. In the scenes, Monroe was often manipulated and sexualized in most of the scenes for her appearance.
It is no secret that Monroe, in real life, struggled with mental health and her personal life including multiple miscarriages. The movie seemed to suggest they were abortions, even including a disturbing scene where her unborn child chastizes her and makes her feel guilty. The movie focused on sexualizing her than actually acknowledging her talents and other important events in her life.
Blonde should’ve included a mix of her happy and sad moments to really capture what Marilyn was like. While her life was not the most joyful – she often dealt with depression and lack of support – she was still a very interesting person that deserved an authentic documentary that demonstrated that.
Monroe is one of the biggest trailblazers for women in the entertainment industry. Due to her natural charisma on screen, she helped other women step into leading roles and showed how women could bring themselves up in the industry.
Blonde neglected to touch on the fact that Marilyn had her own production company. Today we see stars like Drew Barrymore and Reese Witherspoon owning their own production companies, but back then it was quite rare. Marilyn was only the second woman to ever have her own company in Hollywood during the 50s and 60s. Fans admire and love Marilyn even though she’s been gone for more than 50 years. Her story is one worth telling, not her sex appeal or her personal life, but rather her immense talent and ambitious nature for a more progressive and equal future.
Besides the offensive portrayal of Monroe, the movie itself was very good and it can definitely be recommended. Although it may leave some feeling uneasy, being aware of how Marilyn was treated in the 50s should be taken into consideration. It’s important to look at the people we idolize and think to ourselves about how she fought through her bad times and how she had to cope without the support systems available today. It is also essential that people do their research on what is true or not before diving into Blonde.
This article originally appeared in the Viper Times.
Photo credit: Pixabay