Blonde had its world premiere in competition at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 8, 2022, then officially released on Netflix a few weeks later. ‘Blonde’ was met with mixed reviews by critics and audiences. But the movie has received chiefly extreme backlash as many saw it as a grotesque misrepresentation of Marylin Monroe and her life story, and harsher critics have called it exploitative.


However, this movie was met with controversy before its release. In 2019 it was announced that Cuban and Spanish actress Ana de Armas would play the lead as Marilyn Monroe. Still, when the trailer premiered, some viewers were offended that Monroe was being portrayed by someone who was not a white American and further complained about her Cuban accent. But Marylin Monroe’s estate showed their support for actress Ana de Armas with a statement, “Marilyn Monroe is a singular Hollywood and pop culture icon that transcends generations and history. Any actor that steps into that role knows they have big shoes to fill. Based on the trailer alone, it looks like Ana was a great casting choice as she captures Marilyn’s glamour, humanity, and vulnerability. We can’t wait to see the film in its entirety!” Under all the criticisms and backlash, is there a movie worth watching?

         Blonde might be worth the watch if you have three hours to spare. Ana de Armas’s portrayal of Monroe quickly draws you into the story. The performance is even more impressive, knowing how hard de Armas worked to perfect an American accent and Monroe’s unique mannerisms. The movie is not meant to be historically accurate and is a fictionalized depiction of Monroe’s life and film career. The story is based on the 2000 novel ‘Blonde’ by Joyce Carol Oates. Viewers get to see Marlin Monroe, the movie star struggle with her real identity as Norma Jean, the lonely girl who only wanted love and acceptance for herself.

         After watching the movie myself, I ended up enjoying it. But I must agree with those who criticized the film for exploiting Monroe’s sexual, physical, and personal traumas. And the endless misery in this movie seemed overdone at times. Also, some scenes seemed downright disrespectful to a dead person’s character, even if it was a fictionalized version of the actress. There were also times when the movie felt like it was dragging on, and I caught myself checking how much time was left until it was over. Then I was relieved when it was. So, on second thought, I don’t believe I enjoyed this movie, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. This one might be worth skipping, after all.

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