Blonde is the adaptation through the eyes of Andrew Dominik of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel of the same name. It’s a surreal and risky take on Marilyn Monroe’s celebrity and femininity that premieres this Wednesday, September 28 on Netflix.
Blonde it’s a biopic about the very famous Marilyn Monroe, but not in the way you imagine. We have hundreds or perhaps thousands of books, movies and documentaries about the star, but perhaps none have been as acclaimed as Joyce Carol Oates’ 2000 novel, ‘Blonde’. The book begins with a forewarning, warning us that its contents are about a distilled version, shrouded in fiction that symbolically explores a small selection of Monroe’s life. Blonde is a direct film adaptation of the novel through the eyes of Andrew Dominik, the director and screenwriter of the film. This tape, therefore, it is not a biographical film in uselike ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Rocketman’ or ‘Elvis’, but a surrealist tragedy that mixes real events with fictitious ones and shows us the tormented person behind the Marilyn Monroe icon. If you go into this film believing that you will witness a truthful portrayal of the actress, you will definitely end up very disappointed.
Blonde is a messy, ambitious and wildly risky 165-minute film. Andrew Dominik essentially breaks it down into several passages of the tragic life of Norma Jeane, the person after Marilyn Monroe’s persona. Beginning with her abusive childhood, the film focuses on Marilyn as an up-and-coming star, making a decent living as a model but dreaming of becoming a great actress. It is very important to emphasize that Blonde she’s self-consciously weird from the get-gowith a storm of tones, aspect ratios and changes from color to black and white. This results in a movie so loaded with cinematic flourishes and so committed to the subjectivity and vision of the director that he is dazzling to behold from beginning to end.
Watch BLON on Netflix
Ana de Armas is spectacular
Ana de Armas is fascinating in the role, bordering on the heights of excellence in her performance, which feels vivid, authentic and gut-wrenching. From the beginning her resemblance to Marilyn is disturbinga fact that Dominik reinforces by recreating several of his most iconic photographs and scenes. Ana’s performance clearly deserves a statuette, and it is the one that transmits directly, as if it were witchcraft, very much at the same time from Joaquin Phoenix to ‘Joker’. It seems like a lie that we were facing a tremendous actress when many of us met her for the first time in ‘El internado’, but she already started to stand out in ‘Puñales per l’esquena’ and this, without a doubt, is the best performance of his career.
Dominik pushes the character of Marilyn to the limitforcing Ana to make abrupt changes between Norma Jeane and Monroe, as if it were a double personality. Ana also shows her full sexual nature, just like Marylin did to satisfy the masculinist society that prevailed at the time and thus be accepted, even if this led to her being reduced to a simple piece of meat and being subject to abuse. A BlondeMonroe’s pain that Ana manages to convey to us with extreme dedication is never definitive. Insults, abandonments, beatings, rapes and addictions are the film’s organizing principles and what everything else revolves around.
Review of THE POWER OF THE DOG, Cumberbatch rubs excellence
He who does not risk does not win
Certainly, Blonde it is not a film in use. It is a stimulating author’s work and, as I said, extremely risky. As always happens with dares in the cinema, the movie is not perfectand will suffer a lot of bad criticism for the fact that their understanding is highly subjective. The use of different cinematographic techniques in such an artisanal way to narrate the many degradations that were inflicted on Monroe’s body and spirit are not always correct, but they achieve a highly achieved anarchy for Dominik.
While it is almost impossible to consistently defend this choice of techniques in some situations, the anarchy of Blonde it is its greatest strength. Even if the tape’s structure loses shape as it progresses in its nearly 3-hour running time, virtually every scene is compelling for one reason or another. The own fascination produced by the performance of Anna de Armas and the strange direction of Andrew Dominique, makes one want to continue watching more and more. It’s not a movie for everyoneas I said in the review of ‘The Power of the Dog’, but yes it is a film worth watching and highly recommended.