Blonde: A Bombshell of a Movie


Cosmopolitan Marilyn Monroe

Hope R (Year 9)

Marilyn Monroe. A film star, an icon, a Hollywood legend, and the inspiration for many works of media to this day. From Andy Warhol’s pop art to Kim Kardashian’s MET Gala dress, her legacy serves as an influence for millions. Decades after her untimely passing, her face is still entirely recognisable as one of the greatest actresses of the 20th century. While some aspects of her legacy are positive, much of how she is remembered is a direct product of the mistreatment she throughout her life.  

Marilyn’s troubles started at an early age, tossed around from foster home to foster home, while her schizophrenic mother was housed in an assortment of psychiatric facilities. She eventually paved her way out of her unconventional home life to Hollywood, landing her first small role in the film ‘Dangerous Years’. This breakout role would be the first of many, earning Marilyn millions of dollars AND millions of fans.  

However, it would also pave the way for her mistreatment by various powerful men within the industry… 

Despite Marilyn’s death, Hollywood’s fascination with this “sex symbol” lives on, largely through biographical depictions of her life such as a movie released last September. Many fans hoped this would finally be an accurate depiction of Marilyn’s life which showcased her actual talent and hard-working attitude, and looked beyond the narrow, misogynistic lens.  Instead, the world received ‘Blonde’, directed by Andrew Dominik. It is largely accepted to be a box office failure, only receiving a measly 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. Alongside negative general public opinion, Blonde has faced a variety of different controversies since airing.  

Many feel the “biopic” is a complete misrepresentation of Marilyn Monroe’s life. It figments a multitude of events when there is no conclusive proof that they happened. Many of the relationships in the movie never occurred in real life. Rather than being based on the film star’s life, the movie depiction takes its inspiration from the book ‘Blonde’ by Joyce Carol Oates. This book is largely fictional and doesn’t stick to the facts, rather taking creative liberty to produce an entertaining story. The film was not as well received as the book, facing only more criticism for not sticking to the facts. Instead of presenting the film as an obviously fictional account, the movie seemed to take inspiration from the biopic trend of the 2020s. This led to much misinformation about the actress’s life being spread around, and casual viewers being not quite sure what is fact and what is fiction. 

After being out for 5 months now, most critics remain in agreement that ‘Blonde’ only exacerbated the trauma and mistreatment that Marilyn faced, reducing her to a “femme fatale” character and neglecting her overarching impact on the movie industry. The film ignores her hard work and dedication that led her to rise from an abandoned child to a Hollywood legend. Instead, a film was created that allegedly adds nothing to the plethora of Marilyn films already out there, other than confusion.  

 I say we should just let Marilyn rest in peace…