Leer en Español
Blonde, Netflix’s movie about the life of Marilyn Monroe played by Ana de Armas, is the biggest disappointment of the year, and one of the worst movies the streaming company has ever made.
The new Hollywood seems bent on destroying its icons —sacrificing them on the altar of wokeism— and destroying itself, judging its past through the lens of the present.
If Blonde wanted to denounce that the “heteropatriarchy” exploited Marilyn Monroe, what they have done with this film is to use her again and humiliate her after her death.
Blonde is a difficult film to watch for several reasons. First of all, it is three hours long and is slow and very disjointed, being a mere succession of unconnected scenes that barely have any consistency between them.
The inconsistency is not only a plot-wise but also visually. Although many scenes have beautiful cinematography and photography, others look like they were filmed by a small child who just got a GoPro. It switches from black and white to color without any justification, and the image even changes its height and width ratio randomly and capriciously.
Its editing is confusing and gives the feeling that each scene is shot by different directors who have not spoken to each other, and that the only instruction they have received is to make it look as artistic and pompous as possible.
This makes it a piece that looks like an experimental art-house film with unbearable pretentiousness and arrogance. That Blonde received a 14-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival can only be explained by the fact that the critics present, totally stunned and bewildered by what they had just seen, were afraid that by not applauding they would be thought of as uneducated people who do not understand true art.
I imagine they were clapping as nervously as party members clap for Kim Jong Un, not knowing exactly when to stop even if their hands are bleeding.
Finally, its viewing is very unpleasant because it focuses only on the bad, ugly, sordid and miserable aspects of Marilyn Monroe’s life, without giving a single breath with which to explain the good side of her story and how she managed to become one of the best known, loved and admired actresses of all time.
Blonde is not a biography, although it pretends to look like one.
The film is based on a completely fictionalized novel about the life of Marilyn Monroe, so everything we see on screen is a product of the fevered imagination of the novel’s writer and the film’s director.
However, Netflix has insisted on promoting it as if it were a reliable biography, insisting on how the actress Ana de Armas has recreated to the millimeter both the appearance, as well as some of the most famous photographs and scenes of Marilyn Monroe.
Credit to Ana de Armas and the makeup team for their effort to mimic Marilyn Monroe, but the Cuban actress’ performance has insurmountable problems. It succeeds in mimicking her appearance, but it is unable to capture her essence, and it is inevitable to realize at all times that we are watching Ana de Armas doing an elaborate cosplay of Marilyn.
Nor does the fact that on many occasions she is unable to hide her Cuban accent, or that she repeats the word “daddy” every other sentence, help to give the character credibility.
I wish the dialogues, on the other hand, quite scarce, were the worst thing about Blonde’s script. At times it feels like a fan fiction script, with decisions unbecoming of a professional filmmaker.
If you think a scene with a talking fetus in the middle of the film is the most bizarre thing in a supposedly serious production, it’s because you haven’t gotten as far as the scene in the closing scenes where John Fitzgerald Kennedy is shown getting a close-up fellatio while watching Russian nuclear missiles on TV, culminating in flying saucers exploding.
Obviously, Blonde is not exactly noted for its subtlety and elegance. Rather, it is ridiculous and absurd, which would be funny if it were a parody. But it is pathetic and embarrassing by resorting to sordidness and impudence in order to turn it into a supposedly serious and dramatic film.
It would not be surprising if Blonde were to join the list of films that have been nominated for an Oscar and a Razzie simultaneously. There will be those who will be fooled by its pretentiousness, or find themselves singing the praises of Netflix for one of its biggest bets, and that they simply can’t allow it to fail.
I am also confident that there are many who agree that Blonde is not only a bad movie, but also a malicious insult to the ill-fated Norma Jeane, and to the Gilded Age Hollywood that Marilyn Monroe made shine.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm