It’s funny to think that Andrew Dominik, director of the newest Marilyn Monroe biopic ” Blonde,” is wondering if anyone is watching Marilyn Monroe movies. I’d argue that the myriad of Monroe biopics out there which are either directly retelling the events in her life or inspirated by them, like his own, suggests otherwise. It’s more aggravating to see the array of Marilyn depictions on screen and find that only two films have been written and directed by women, and only one of them was produced and performed by women. It’s the same movie that is also based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel and appears to be more cognizant about Marilyn and her films.
CBS broadcast the mini-series “Blonde,” directed by Joyce Chopra and written by Joyce Eliason, in 2001. The television film is a re-telling of the narrative about Norma Jean Baker, aka Marilyn Monroe (played by Poppy Montgomery) and her journey through an unforgiving childhood with a mother who is mentally ill and eventually finds fame and love, as well as heartbreak and even tragedy. Due to the original materials, CBS’ “Blonde” has the same themes as Dominik’s film but offers more empathy and respect for Monroe as well as her career in addition to her story than what you’ll see in the nearly three-hour epic available on Netflix.
Two minutes short of Dominik’s movie Chopra’s “Blonde” follows a traditional life-to-death tale and offers viewers the fullest details of Marilyn’s life as it is possible to offer including her teenage years and the rise to fame. If you don’t know anything about Marilyn Monroe, Chopra’s “Blonde” provides all the information you need. If you know everythingabout her, the book tells the story with a view of answering the question, “How did everyone fail her?” Chopra emphasizes that Monroe’s struggle with death began when she was young, and began with her mentally sick mother telling young Norma about her father’s identity as a major industry player (untrue historical fact). Norma Jean eventually enters a series of foster homes which increases her feeling of being abandoned.
Dominik does not include all of the above in his film. going from Norma Jean’s mom’s mental break to a short stay with a neighbour that changes her into foster care and a leap that spans several decades. In the absence of all this, it’s not clear what exactly Norma Jean became Marilyn Monroe in any way. There’s no more modeling, tiny role, or a total physical transformation that was dictated by the studio that brought us Marilyn. Dominik claims that she just happened to be lucky (a sexual assault scene in the beginning of the film is also believed to be her entrance to Hollywood).
The opportunity to showcase Marilyn’s early modeling years is crucial, specifically the iconic calendars in red velvet that she made along with photographer Tom Kelley. The article by Chopra explains that these photos became controversial after Monroe gained fame and studio executives claimed she was indecent. However, Marilyn exposes Hollywood’s insanity by reminding those who are scathing about her actions that war is more sinful than a woman taking a picture of herself naked to make some money. Even if it didn’t take place exactly as that the situation is an opportunity for Marilyn to demonstrate her elegance and strength as well as her awareness of the double standards that Hollywood has set. Dominik might not have been keen to concentrate on the moments when Marilyn was trying to transform Hollywood (like the time she started the company she had created) In Chopra’s view Marilyn is always aware of the cliff she has to walk and it’s that danger that could have led her into addiction and even suicide.
Chopra asserts that Marilyn’s struggles don’t just revolve around males who abuse and exploit her, though this is certainly the case and shown throughout the mini-serieshowever, the absence of female support caused irreparable damage as well. Another reason is that Don’t’s “Sight and Sound interview, which referred to “Gentlemen prefer Blondes” a story of “romanticized whoredom” (and quite a bit exemplary of Marilyn’s experience as a man’s girl) isn’t the case in real life as well as onscreen. In the past, Marilyn had several women who loved her. And, according to Chopra’s “Blonde” describes the reasons why the women who abandoned her often did so due to social pressures either men or women or both.
One scene shows Norma living with a foster mom named Elsie (Kirstie Alley) who arranges the first marriage of Norma; Norma isn’t able to remain with Elsie because of the husband of the older woman’s unfriendly interest in Norma. According to this version, Marilyn’s status as a sexual image made her an danger to women, and as a result, women couldn’t behave normal with Marilyn. Marilyn is a symbol of loneliness , who is often put in a position of competition she doesn’t actively seek.
It also shows up in her marriages, and Dominik just shows two. Chopra’s “Blonde” is a look at the three of them, including Marilyn’s first wedding to Bucky Glazer (a pseudonym for her husband of the real deal, Jim Dougherty). In one scene, Bucky compels Marilyn to put on a full face of make-up and lingerie to take photos of her for him to show his colleagues. Marilyn states that she is uncomfortable and she’s not sure who she is. It’s not clear if this scene is real is irrelevant, as it entices the viewers back to several of her roles in which the studio was only interested in only Marilyn dressed in sexy clothes and makeup, with the rest was just. In the film “The Prince and the Showgirl,”” The showgirl’s character Sir Laurence Olivier was said to advise Marilyn not to play, and instead “just be sexually attractive.”
Chopra confirms she believes that Marilyn never intended to be sexually attractive. In the scene where Dominik’s Marilyn is offered her first role through being abused in the film, Eliason’s script states Marilyn was always conscious of her sexuality as being something men in the workplace first noticed. Marilyn states “I know what it is” when she learns that she was given a job due to the way she moved. The script of Eliason states that, regardless of any romantic feelings Marilyn was in with men throughout her life it was always conditional and dependent in her pleasing the men rather than to the opposite.
The main takeaway in “Blonde” available on Netflix appears to be the way it utilizes its NC-17 rating. It plays the rating with two violent (and infringing) abortion scenes including a rape as well as long oral sex sequence. The television of 2001 was more sane, but even Chopra’s “Blonde” is a strong representation of the sexual abuse Marilyn endured without extending the story. Every film features Marilyn’s first encounter in a relationship with the Mr. Z (a pseudonym for Fox studio director Darryl F. Zanuck) which ends with an sexual assault.
Chopra’s “Blonde” doesn’t tell anything, except for the fact that the scene be held behind closed doors. However, the film then follows by showing a picture that shows Marilyn at the toilet after the attack. She speaks about the incident with. Z’s secretary who appears as if it’s a regular thing since, as the film states, it could have happened. The onus isn’t only on the males who are exploited, but on the co-conspiracy of women of the time who were either Marilyn as well as a secretary had to endure it.
In reality, Chopra uses the assault to make her feel more Marilyn an increased sense of control and hostility. When she meets with Mr. Z to demand better roles , she recalls their first encounter. She laughs and mocks him at the same time reminding him that he didn’t hurt her like he had hoped. In actuality, Montgomery’s portrayal of Marilyn appears more dominant due to the writing that is always able to help and enhance Marilyn as an individual. The film aims to portray Marilyn as both the victim as well asa fighter. Marilyn herself speaks to an interviewer who is not seen in this film although it’s commonplace in biopics it places the narrative in her hands. While other characters are on the microphone every time, giving different perspectives at times, Marilyn is the predominant voice that the audience is hearing and makes use of the platform to slam an Hollywood industry that is exploiting her.
Marilyn always appears to be an integral character in 2001’s “Blonde,” filled with the depth, complexity and humanity. She is viewed in her own persona, and not as a victim or tragic character. The television movie shows us how we did not succeed as a society. Marilyn as a species but it’s more than that Marilyn had been a victim who battled the demons (though she definitely was). To be honest, in comparison to the current model of “Blonde,” there’s a more respect and affection for Marilyn.