Come on guys, it's the 21st century. How long is it going to take?
CREDIT: National Review
The anticipation for Marilyn Monroe’s latest biopic “Blonde” was nothing less than a frenzy of excitement from both movie critics and film junkies alike.
Starring Ava de Armas and directed by Andrew Dominik, followers of the film proclaimed its excellence before the movie was even released, which was evident in the hundreds of TikToks that stated that “Blonde” was going to be their “Joker.”
Quite frankly, “Blonde” was not the next “Joker,” and it was anything but that.
Chocked full of pornographic physical/emotional violence, fetishized sexual assault and trauma for the sake of shock value, the biopic failed to accurately represent and respect an iconic Hollywood actress.
The media has historically failed to represent the experiences of womanhood more or less respectfully depict abuse against females without dramatizing the act itself.
In the controversial scene involving Monroe and John F. Kennedy, the former president forces the actress to perform oral sex on him. While Monroe’s dialogue during the assault enhances the plot, the scene is gruesomely long and brings into question whether it was intended for cheap shock value. Criticism also arose due to the scene not being backed by evidence that the assault actually occurred.
Determining whether violence in media is solely an attention grabber or actually contributing to plot lines can be a hard line to decipher.
Visually depicting a scene is the easiest way to bring awareness to a traumatizing experience. It shows the raw emotion and dark side of humanity without utilizing film techniques that beat around the bush. However, slamming a film (aka “Blonde”) with back-to-back scenes of sexual and domestic violence does not garner sympathy for the character.
Dominik shields his mediocre writing by preying on Monroe’s ALLEGED (let's please remember that, guys) worst moments.
The movie is painstakingly hypocritically, making the protagonist the exact thing she fought to not be perceived as in the film: a sex symbol.
On top of the blatant violence dumping, a vast majority of the scenes within the film (even apart from the assault scenes) are not rooted in proven events that occurred in her life. The polyamorous relationship and forced abortions depicted have not been proven to be factual.
A vast majority of the icon’s life was shrouded in secrecy and coated in rumors. While it is understandable for an inspirationally-adapted film to meld fiction and reality, the screenwriters’ decision to dramatically emphasize her most damaging rumors totes the actress as an object to be sexualized and pitied.
Similarly, Hollywood must also fully understand the importance of depicting sexual assault or domestic violence scenes in any form of media. The media’s role in how society views touchy topics cannot go unnoticed. And for a portion of people, the media provides the only perception they have of assault.
“Blonde” failed to meet our expectations, but the film can serve as a reminder of how to respect our icons, and how to correctly represent victims of violence.
At Rowdy, we appreciate Marilyn Monroe for the impact she has made on the movie industry. We do not fester on the downsides of her character (which every individual possesses), and we do not obsess over rumors and allegations.
If you wish to truly respect Norma Jeane Mortenson, watch the films she worked tirelessly on to provide to her fans.
And do not watch “Blonde.”
Trust me. And trust Rowdy.
Allie Sinkovich is an Online Writer for Rowdy Magazine. When she’s not studying in the Education Library, she’s either consuming her third Opus coffee of the day or going on thoughtful runs through Depot Park. You can reach her on Instagram @alliesinkovich.