After months of anticipation, Netflix has finally released Blonde, the stunning biopic about the life of the late Marilyn Monroe.
From Kim Kardashian wearing Monroe’s infamous John F. Kennedy birthday dress to this year marking the 60th anniversary of the icon’s heartbreaking death, some believe the 2022 film could not have come at a better time, as it is very important to know all about the legacy of Marilyn Monroe.
However, there are those who believe that the film shouldn’t have been created at all, especially because there are many other ways to honor Monroe’s life other than making a biopic. Nevertheless, the Netflix film is here, and so are the many reviews and ratings of the 2022 film.
Did Blonde do Marilyn Monroe justice, or is this film yet another exploitative title that should be tossed into the sea of forgetfulness? Here’s the verdict.
How critics feel about Blonde
As we stated before, there are some who are all for this new biopic and there are those who couldn’t be anymore against it. This could explain why, as of today, Blonde is receiving mixed reviews and ratings.
Rohan Naahar of The Indian Express praises director Andrew Dominik’s choice to depict the most traumatizing aspects of Monroe’s life in a way that highlights her humanity as opposed to giving her abusers the spotlight.
“But this isn’t an exploitative movie,” Naahar states. “The perspective never shifts from Marilyn; the film never leaves her side. In moments that could be perceived as dehumanising, Dominik’s camera trains its focus on Marilyn’s face. He isn’t going to dignify the abuse by showing it on screen; he’s concerned only about what Marilyn is feeling, as he implores viewers to lock eyes with her and stay until the end.”
Austin Chronicle‘s Jenny Nulf also felt that Blonde did a stellar job at removing the rose-colored glasses we often have when remembering Monroe’s fame, stating:
“Marilyn Monroe was every American’s fantasy – a desirable beauty with a sublime balance of sex appeal and approachability, a ‘cool girl’ of her time. Blonde seeks to destroy that perfect pinup and topple the pristine myth of Monroe’s celebrity.”
Though the film was able to do Marilyn Monroe’s trials and tribulations justice without glamorizing her trauma, in many ways, some feel that this feat simply wasn’t enough to overshadow the otherwise “hollow” film.
Screenrant‘s Mae Abdulbaki gave the film two out of five stars because it failed to show anything other than Marilyn Monroe’s pain and struggles. Like many, Abdulbaki believes that Monroe’s trauma wasn’t why she is noted as a Hollywood legend.
“And while Blonde is uplifted by a passionate performance by Ana de Armas, it isn’t interested in the life of Norma Jeane Mortensen so much as it is in the pain and suffering she faced,” Abdulbaki expresses. “If anything, Blonde is a tedious, hollow, one-note take on a woman who was so much more than her trauma.”
In considering both sides, it’s easy to understand why some are withholding from streaming Blonde. But here’s the bottom line.
Should I stream or skip Blonde?
In our humble opinion, if you’re watching Blonde because you wish to be entertained with a new Netflix release, then we believe you should 100% stream the film. Ana de Armas’s performance is extremely captivating and moving. So much so that you may be entranced by the actress at several points in the movie.
The acting and aesthetics of Blonde are more than enough to appease your wish to be thoroughly enthralled by the 2022 title. However, we believe being entertained is the only feeling you may receive.
If you are opting to watch Blonde because you desire to know more about Marilyn Monroe, mainly about many her awe-inspiring impact on feminism and body positivity, then this is not the film for you.
As the aforementioned reviewers touched on, Blonde puts an immense amount of focus on the low points of Monroe’s life. And while Dominik’s choice does serve to remind us that the superstar was a human underneath all the diamonds, it takes away from the important revelation that Marilyn Monroe was a survivor that went on to do many, many great things in spite of her dark past.
Monroe loved giving to those in need. She loved speaking out against injustice; she loved fighting for other remarkable women, such as Ella Fitzgerald, to have a seat at the Hollywood table. She loved being a conqueror, and, unfortunately, Blonde didn’t capture too many of her greatest achievements.
Perhaps you’ll have a different opinion on the matter. The only way to find out is to stream Blonde today on Netflix.