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This bloated film frustratingly reduces Marilyn Monroe to a naïve, continually abused girl with severe daddy issues.

In making Blonde, director Andrew Dominik has said, he wasn't interested in the story. He was interested in the images of Marilyn Monroe that have become part of our collective consciousness.

After having seen the film, I kinda get his point, as the camera loves Monroe - played convincingly by Cuban actress Ana de Armas - so much it's impossible to look away. The approach isn't nearly enough to carry a bloated film of nearly three hours though, especially since Dominik doesn't embrace the complexities of Monroe but merely reduces her to a naïve, continually abused girl with severe daddy issues.

Especially in the final hour the onslaught of bad things happening to the actress becomes so numbing that you stop caring, while Blonde's insistence on exploiting that misery - through some very uncomfortable to watch rape and abuse scenes - misses the thematic mark.

I was never bored by Blonde, and the film is at times gorgeous to look at, but don't expect any real insight into the inner turmoil that plagued Marilyn Monroe.

release: 2022

director: Andrew Dominik

starring: Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Xavier Samuel


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