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Marilyn Monroe biopic sparks outrage

"Watched by all seen by none" the story of Marilyn Monroe
Published 03 Aug, 2022 06:55pm


Marilyn Monroe, the showstopping, jaw-droppingly, glamorous actress has been and always will be a household name. The naturally photogenic Monroe was discovered by a photographer during World War II and started a successful modeling career in 1946. She then also went on to sign a film contract with 20th century Fox the very same year. The actress took on a string of forgettable roles until she starred in ‘Gentleman Prefer Blondes’ and ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’ and became the A-list celebrity she was destined to be.

Various people have tried to tell her stories over the years through their tastefully done films and biopics and yet have somehow more often than not, missed the mark. With the release of ‘Blonde’ another movie based on the actress and singer making its way to the screens soon, it can be assumed that it has also done the same.

The first of its type, this Netflix production carries an NC-17 rating. It is the highest rating in the MPA’s system for grading movies, and it is given to those having content that the MPA deems appropriate for viewers 18 and older. Extremely graphic and explicit content is typically given this rating. The movie is based on a novel that is not a genuine biography but rather a loose reimagining of Marilyn’s life. It will debut on September 28 at the Venice Film Festival and includes a heavy discussion of sexual assault among other serious topics.

The trailer starts with a man knocking on Marilyn’s trailer door telling her “it’s time” while the song ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ starts playing in the background. Marilyn can be seen sitting at her dresser looking distraught. The trailer then cuts to a scene of her walking out onto a crowd of fans and paparazzi that can be heard chanting her name.

In another scene from the trailer, Marilyn is asked about how she made her start in acting and she responds with “I guess I was discovered”.

We get a glimpse of Marilyn Monroe’s other side in the trailer, which was Norma Jeane, the person hiding behind the camera and celebrity. The trailer highlights Marilyn’s sexualisation in the industry, as well as her feeling severe imposter syndrome while portraying the glamorous character of Marilyn and constantly having to share the screen with her.

She seemed to believe that in upholding the public’s perception of her, she lost this other aspect of herself. As the trailer intensifies and reveals Norma’s inner struggles, the words “watched by all, seen by none”, emerge on the screen.

The primary target of criticism for her inaccurate portrayal of Marilyn is Cuban actress Ana De Armas. People criticised her the most, and according to Ana, it was extremely difficult to achieve Monroe’s breathy voice, so much so that she underwent dialect training for a year to get it as close to hers as possible.

Others have complained that this is being misrepresented as a biopic of the star when it is the complete opposite. Many aspects of this film, in their opinion, have been made up to create a dramatic flair and are not accurate, especially according to Marilyn’s fans, who further allege that these films frequently exploit Marilyn and rarely give the truth about her real story.

Here are some tweets regarding the upcoming film,

However, despite the backlash and negative comments, A-list celebrities like Brad Pitt stood up for the film as well as the lead actress and called the production “phenomenal”.

The trailer looks promising and if we were to focus on this film as a work of fiction and not a biography then we might be able to appreciate this movie. Nevertheless, no comments can be made regarding the movie till it is released at the end of next month.

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