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I have mixed feelings about Blonde because while I appreciate what it tries to do, it is a slow burn. This movie didn’t need to be as long as it is, and I nearly gave up on it. What hurts this movie is its artsy retelling of history, but it is an innovation in storytelling that I can welcome. If you are coming to this movie to learn about the tragedy of Marilyn Monroe, it is done better in documentaries and books. The draw to this film is strictly for its artistry and storytelling. It is not for everyone.

Ana del Armas is amazing, and her performance was the only reason I was able to stomach this movie. Ana del Armas is able to embody the tragedy and desperation behind this story as she carries this film. I can’t think of a better actress for the job.

That said, this movie is too artsy for its good. Some scenes drag on way too long and others become repetitive. I do like the almost horror narrative style the movie takes up to highlight the tragedy of Maralyn’s life. The way it exaggerates the predatory affection men had towards her was terrifying. This movie does a good job of showing how fame was a curse to Maralyn, and how it led to her untimely death. It was interesting to see the constant struggle between Norma the person and Marilyn the symbol evolve through the film. It was a conflict that resulted in some truly powerful scenes. The problem I have with this movie is that it takes too long to make its points. I don’t have the attention span required to sit through this much symbolism. 

Blonde isn’t a good biopic. I don’t feel like I came out of this experience knowing anything new about the actress like I did with Elvis. While I did enjoy the overall performance, the art distracts from the narrative. 

The best way to enjoy this movie is to come into it knowing the history. This isn’t a movie that you will use as a historical reference. Read books and watch documentaries first, then maybe consider this movie. This is a movie designed to make the audience uncomfortable. Marilyn’s life is an uncomfortable tragedy. There is a lot of nudity and abuse in this movie, clearly earning its N17 rating. But, if you don’t mind weird artsy movies, this one is a slow burn that you should watch for the experience. Just be warned, it is very slow. I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it, especially since this story has been done better elsewhere. But for those interested, you can stream it on Netflix. 

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