In this week’s edition of “At the Box Office”, film critic Julia Swift reviewed Netflix’s new movie, “Blonde”, a historical drama loosely based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.
The movie, directed by Andrew Dominik, has garnered attention for being the first Netflix movie to receive an NC-17 rating.
Julia notes that the movie is not a biography, but rather a fictionalized take on Monroe’s life based on a book by Joyce Carol Oates, “where she takes a little bit of license with Marilyn’s life,” said Julia.
“And the director has then taken license from that and made an extremely dark, depressing film,” said Julia.
The movie paints a dark picture of the life of Marilyn Monroe, played by Ana de Armas. Throughout the three-hour-long movie, Monroe struggles with sexual abuse and manipulative relationships.
Julia said, “It definitely leaves you wanting to take a shower, wanting to go outside into the fresh air and see something positive, wanting to use your voice as a woman.”
One of Julia’s biggest issues with the portrayal of Monroe was her lack of strength and independence.
Julia said, “The thing that really got me angry when watching is that it’s as if even when she grows up she’s this childlike person who can barely stand up. And this is even before drugs and alcohol like she can barely stand up because she’s so wounded from her past and she’s sort of careening from one man to another.”
The NC-17 rating is certainly warranted, according to Julia. Ana de Armas is filmed nude in many scenes throughout the film as Monroe is repeatedly exploited by the men in her life. This contributes to the uncomfortable and dark mood of the movie, as the lines between the exploitation of Monroe and Ana de Armas become blurred, said Julia.
Julia says that Ana de Armas is the silver lining of this movie, and she hopes to see her in stronger, more complicated roles in the future because this was not one of them.