Blonde is an extremely difficult movie to watch for several reasons. Ana de Armas’ incredible performance can’t even save it.
In the interest of good journalism, we made sure to finish watching all 2 hours and 46 minutes of Blonde — but that doesn’t mean we wanted to. By the time the halfway mark hit, we were already uncomfortable and struggling to continue watching, and unfortunately we hadn’t even seen the worst of it yet.
This film showcases the supposed life of Marilyn Monroe, whose real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson. And what a life it was. Full of trauma, abuse, and depression, it is all laid out on the screen — and it is a tough pill to swallow. It almost feels like you are a peeping Tom, watching things that were never meant for your eyes. On top of that, the majority of these things are myths about Monroe’s life.
The biggest issue of the film lies in just how unnecessary pushing to earn that NC-17 rating was. Viewers will see far more than they have ever seen of Ana de Armas, and there really was no reason why they needed to.
A few flashes of her topless would have gotten the point across, but instead she is showing off her body for more than half of the film. This, coupled with the things that she went through physically, are enough to make the audience sick to their stomachs.
Knowing that Marilyn herself was abused and objectified, we cannot see why Armas would agree to do, more or less, the same exact thing. This crosses the line of art and ends up in the near pornography category, and quite frankly, it is disgusting that this was allowed to occur.
As someone who has not read the book that Blonde used as source material, and shares the same name, but has heard that it is filled with falsehoods, it makes this movie even more revolting. Lines were unnecessarily crossed, while somewhat sullying Monroe’s name even more so, and that is painful to experience. The myths surrounding her life are only instilled further into the minds who don’t know better thanks to Blonde, and that is NOT a good thing.
While the majority of the cast is great, and Armas gives a phenomenal portrayal of Monroe, it cannot save the movie as a whole. The dialogue is cringey, the direction is misguided, and again, there is far too much skin shown. That’s not even including the graphic abuse scenes that go too far.
Blonde isn’t subtle, that’s for sure. Sometimes pushing the envelope helps a movie excel, but in this case it doesn’t work out. In fact, it drastically takes away from what this could have been.
Nearly the entire film features Marilyn Monroe crying or acting hysterical. It never shows fans a happy or positive side of her, not once. The nearly three hour long movie (which the length is an issue in and of itself) mostly shows the faults of the iconic actress and singer. Not once is she applauded for her intelligence. Instead Blonde further objectifies her and drags her down. Armas is fantastic, but she is never allowed to breath any real substance into Monroe, which is completely and utterly sad.
Overall this movie is a struggle to get through. Blonde is so uncomfortable to watch that most viewers will need to take a shower after watching because they will feel that dirty. In other words, skip this one, you won’t be missing much.
Rating: 1 out of 5
NEXT: Pearl Review (2022 Movie)
Based on the bestselling novel by Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde boldly reimagines the life of one of Hollywood’s most enduring icons, Marilyn Monroe. From her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, Blonde blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves.
Blonde comes to theaters on September 16th
and Netflix on September 28th.