‘Blonde’ Fails to Seduce Audiences Like Marilyn Monroe Did

I’ll start by assuming: no, I haven’t read the novel “Blonde” (2000) by Joyce Carol Oates, on which the film was based. But, when an adaptation is made for the cinema, the expectation is that it is not necessary to read the original work to be enchanted in front of the screen. In other words, the first sin of “Blonde” lives here (and not next door), perhaps only those who know the pages that gave rise to the feature will be easily carried away.

But that’s not even the biggest slip. A constant presence equals the affair that should roll with the audience, is David Lynch. And you don’t even need to know much about his work to feel the discomfort that ruins the charm of a plot about one of the most seductive blondes in the history of cinema, if not the most among them all: Marilyn Monroe (1926–1962).

Marilyn Monroe

We come across Lynch in color sequences mixed with black and white ones. Okay, this is not unique to him. But he also has that fine line between the real and the dream (one could even say delusional) and some framings. There’s still the soundtrack, if you close your eyes near the end, you wonder if you’d be watching “Twin Peaks“. Yeah, writer-director Andrew Dominik didn’t even try to be saintly on this one. Much less Nick Cave, who signs most of the trail. They were even partners in previous productions.


As you can see, the tricky part was the set of choices. The scenes show a lot of nudity, abortion and sex with little (conventional) romance, which displeased many people. But in the end, it was to be expected. It would be something out of the ordinary to introduce “Blonde” sexbomb without slipping into any curve of history, whether in the suffering childhood marked by a schizophrenic mother and passages in orphanages, in frustrated loves, in the abuse suffered or in the sex appeal that took Norma Jeane to Marilyn Monroe.

Ana de Armas

The plot tries to be original, but the shadow of Lynch’s filmography along with the overdose of victimhood in the protagonist (Ana de Armas) get in the way. The expectation in general was also betrayed by not being a biography, or biopic as they tried to define the genre of “Blonde”. So, of course, one does not ask for fidelity to the facts of the trajectory of the actress from the golden age of Hollywood, who lives in the public imagination even 60 years after her death. Just knowing that is not enough.

where to watch

“Blonde” is now playing on Netflix.

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