All of Monroe’s movies take advantage of her, but ‘Blonde’ shows her vagina

Blondethe new one movie of Netflix by Andrew Dominik, adds so much nuance to the idea of Marilyn Monroe as can be expected from a gynecological exam. The volatile movie star has long established herself as a tragic figure, a woman who suffered abuse at the hands of film studios. Hollywood, her husband Joe DiMaggio and, as a child, her ill mother. Rather than defy conventional narrative, director Dominik’s horrific film, adapted from the 2000 fictional novel by Joyce Carol Oates, takes her to an even darker and more invasive place. If you want to understand Marilyn Monroe, she suggests, you first have to get inside her womb.

This somber drama takes us into the uncharted depths of Marilyn Monroe’s vagina multiple times throughout its staggering 2 hours and 45 minutes. I’m not going to spoil everyone, but in the first hour of the film, we see Monroe, played with distressing fragility by Anne of ArmsExcitedly holding her radiant womb as the camera cuts to her womb, the scene is completed by a spectrally illuminated fetus. A few scenes later, we follow Marilyn to the operating table, where the doctors perform an abortion to which she has not consented. “Please, can you hear me? I’ve changed my mind,” she pleads, as her doctor inserts the speculum, a procedure that is horribly depicted head-on, from the point of view of Marilyn’s own cervix.

Dominik insists on the animating side of his film, which itself feels derived from that famous line by Rita Hayworth about her most iconic and compelling film role: “Men sleep with Gilda and wake up with me.” In Blonde, sycophants and bigwigs hoping to get a piece of the Hollywood stardom find a more timid and desperate woman named Norma Jeane, who turns out to be identical to Marilyn Monroe. That may be interesting as a passing observation, but the movie makes this point over and over again. “She’s pretty, but she’s not me,” says Norma Jeane, looking at a glamorous photo of herself in a magazine. “Fuck Marilyn,” Norma Jeane yells later on the phone. “She is not here”.

If Dominik’s point is that Marilyn is an invention, “baby’s first toy,” one of his lovers confusingly notes, then perhaps these scenes of excruciating body horror are the director’s sadistic means of reminding us that she is more than its two-dimensional projection. If you subject Marilyn Monroe to the coercion of an abortion unwanted, don’t you scream in speechless agony? And if Norma Jeane becomes pregnant again years later, doesn’t her unborn fetus acquire the ability of human speech?

Ana de Armas and Adrien Brody star in the Netflix film

( Netflix)

I promise you, you read right. In one of the film’s most disturbing body sequences, Marilyn’s talking fetus, who somehow also possesses knowledge of her previous miscarriage, pleads with her hostess to allow this pregnancy to continue. in the eyes of Blonde It is not only “alive”, it has a will. Marilyn can hear it. She replies out loud as if they were having a conversation. I had to watch this scene several times to make sure I wasn’t freaking out, but no, right in the middle of Blondethere is a crazy prequel by Look Who’s Talking.

Politically, these scenes of a woman burdened with years of regret over abortion are highly controversial. As a narrative mode, they are quite alienating. Marilyn Monroe never seems less to me real than when conversing joyfully with the unborn child in her radiant womb. Am I to believe that all movie stars are lit from within?

Marilyn never feels more like a Hollywood plaything than when Dominik subjects her to bloody sexual and medical violence. She is catheterized and sordidly described how it feels to be one of the most famous women of the 20th century from the inside out. Blonde it’s not a movie on the exploitation of Marilyn Monroe, but a new low point in Hollywood’s treatment of her: a sexual object reduced to a sexual organ.

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All of Monroe’s movies take advantage of her, but ‘Blonde’ shows her vagina