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The movie Blonde, starring Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe, has sparked fierce controversy. The 18-rated film is based on Joyce Carol Oates’ book of the same name, and while many viewers say they love the movie, others have blasted it on social media for its alleged glorification of sexual assault and abuse in Hollywood.
Some of Blonde’s images are breathtaking, and others are truly terrifying. For example, the famous subway-grate scene from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes becomes a slow-motion public peep show, and when Marilyn falls ill on the beach while bringing food to a cast and crew, she suffers a miscarriage. Whether that was her fault or not is left ambiguous.
The film’s reluctance to look beyond the fringe of Monroe’s life also creates problems. The movie relies on de Armas to capture Monroe’s personality, and while she is beautiful and mesmerizing, her performance feels off at times. In addition, the film jumps between short vignettes that only tangentially relate to one another. This creates a confusing experience for audiences who are unfamiliar with the star’s biography. In this way, Blonde is more like a postmodern bio-novel than a traditional biopic. As such, it’s best viewed as an artistic interpretation of Marilyn Monroe, rather than a definitive historical account of her life. Blonde