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‘Blonde’ Movie Review: Ana de Armas Exceeds All Expectations in Celebrity Exploitation Film


'Blonde' Xavier Samuel as Cass Chaplin, Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe and Evan Williams as Eddy G. Robinson Jr.. Marilyn with her arm slung around Cass' shoulder with Eddy holding out his hand in front of the camera.
L-R: Xavier Samuel as Cass Chaplin, Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe and Evan Williams as Eddy G. Robinson Jr. | Matt Kennedy/Netflix

There’s no question that

Blonde is the type of biographical drama that takes nerve to make. Writer/director Andrew Dominik does the opposite of sugar-coating the story of Norma Jeane/Marilyn Monroe and his message on the world’s celebrity-obsessed culture. Blonde commits the very act that it’s meant to criticize, further subjecting the Hollywood star’s legacy to trauma porn that doesn’t challenge audiences the way it should.

‘Blonde’ tells a fictionalized version of Marilyn Monroe’s life

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe | Netflix

Beginning in 1933 Los Angeles, Jeane (Lily Fisher/Ana de Armas) is a young girl living with her mother (Julianne Nicholson). However, the absence of Jeane’s father haunts her, as her mother abuses her for reasons that she can’t understand. The young girl ultimately finds herself set on a difficult path to stardom as she faces the horrors of corrupt Hollywood executives.

Blonde is a fictionalized version of the woman who became Monroe, as the film tries to tap into the mind of the person behind the iconic name. The story chronicles her personal journey through fame, family, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

Writer/director Andrew Dominik crafts a feature about duality

Blonde begins with a 7-year-old Jeane, who yearns for nothing more than a loving family. She looks up to her mother, despite the abuse that she subjects the young girl to. Meanwhile, Jeane never met her father. Her mother finally shows her a photograph that she holds so preciously that she refuses to allow her daughter to touch it. Jeane can only look at him from afar, which is very much the same dynamic that she comes to know with her mother over the years. Nevertheless, Jeane never gives up hope that one day her mother will be well enough to leave the psychiatric facility and her father will enter her life.

There’s a running motif of duality that threads through the film. Dominik keeps Jeane front-and-center, but he introduces Monroe as a character all her own. Jeane’s growing resentment toward the famous side of her life only causes her to desperately grasp onto the real side of herself even tighter. Fans, critics, and many of her companions experience a love-hate relationship with Monroe as she screams out for her true self to be both heard and understood.

Most of the men in Jeane’s life don’t take an interest in the person underneath the makeup – they only see Monroe. She’s a commodity to them, as they abuse their power to take advantage of her in more ways than one. Powerful Hollywood figures compare her to a “mental patient” in an audition and demean her body for kicks. As a result, Jeane further loses herself in the character of Monroe.

‘Blonde’ is a grand spectacle that over-indulges in Marilyn Monroe’s trauma

L-R: Xavier Samuel as Cass Chaplin, Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe and Evan Williams as Eddy G. Robinson Jr. | Matt Kennedy/Netflix

There’s no question that de Armas is the shining star of Blonde. She fully commits to the part, disappearing …read more

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

      

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