I have no idea how today’s young audiences might react to seeing a lady named Marilyn Monroe on screen, but I know generations of us were fascinated by it. She possessed light, style, beauty, and a sensuality capable of stirring the frigid. She moved with ease and grace in comedy. She could move you by the vulnerability of her, something transparent in rebellious lives, in their cries in the middle of the desert asking them to let the wild horses go free. The smile, the joy, the curiosity (how they were and how Mrs. Monroe used her beautiful face and that legendary anatomy of hers) appears to me every time I remember her or review her movies.
But in Blonde, the hypermodern and conscientious director Andrew Dominik has set out to tell us the truth about that eternally desolate goddess since she was a creature named Norma Jeane. Adapts the novel that Joyce Carol Oates wrote about her. I haven’t read it yet, but her signature inspires a lot of respect. The meticulous and experimentalist director needs three hours to portray the permanent disgrace of that crazy woman. And I feel knocked out and on the verge of a nervous breakdown before such a neurotic person, even if there were reasons for it. For three quarters of the footage I watch a woman crying and screaming in each sequence. And my head turns into a rattle. It turns out that she was screwed since she was born by a crazy mother and a father who ran away, in the orphanage, in the offices of the sordid producers who fucked her in exchange for offering her roles, before the cameras that sold an image that she hated. She couldn’t stand being Marilyn Monroe. She only wanted to play Chekhov in theater, so that her person would be respected and her talent admired, not only by the public and her colleagues, but also by her husbands and lovers. But baseball legend Joe DiMaggio not only called her a whore, she also gave him shit.
And the great intellectual Arthur Miller, playing Pygmaliondid not alleviate his darkness either. And the obscene and ruthless John Kennedy demanded fellatio from him while he negotiated the problems of the universe on the phone. And he wanted children but he kept aborting. And she felt that no one loved her for herself. And she was downing alcohol and pills all the time. This dark, depressing and crazy world is portrayed with an aesthetic that sometimes annoys me and sometimes repels me. The director alternately uses black and white and color, changes the image formats, photographs sperm, there is a long sequence of an abortion filmed with the camera placed in a presumed uterus. I just got fed up with so much screaming and crying. I pity the endless torments of that human being, but the company of him overwhelms and saturates me: they cannot make me forget that this person so in pain and complaining was also the most beautiful, rich, desired, powerful, admired and famous. There are suicides who fared worse in life. And they tell me opinions that I respect Ana de Armas is great giving life and death to the self-destructive diva with whom the world did not stop raging. And I admit that it is an interpretation with all the ballots to receive the Oscar.
My problem is that the character bores me and also makes me nervous. The beauty of this lady is evident. And her certainty that she has found the role of her life. But she tires me. In other words, I will urgently return to enjoy that comic masterpiece entitled Whit skirts and being crazy. Or to rejoice in the subway air lifting her skirt in Temptation lives above. That’s how insensitive, prosaic and vulgar I am.
Address: Andrew Dominic.
Interpreters: Ana de Armas, Bobby Cannavale, Adrien Brody, Michael Masini, Caspar Phillipson.
Gender: drama. USA, 2022.
Duration: 166 minutes.
Premiere on September 28.
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‘Blonde’: Marilyn, don’t cry or yell at me anymore!