By Irina Pino
HAVANA TIMES – Before and after its premiere, Blonde, a movie by Andrew Dominik, based on Joyce Carol Oates’ book, has stirred controversy on social media and in the true world. Marilyn Monroe’s fans are split some hate it; others are praising it.
Here in Havana, there are long lines outside movie theaters, which is unusual to see during this time of shortages, pandemic, and other demons. I suppose it’s because they need to see Cuban actress Ana de Armas, who’s the goal of criticism recently.
People have gone to date as saying she deserves an Oscar, and that once they award it to her, she should give a speech advocating for political prisoners in Cuba.
I’m sure she won’t if she wins it, because she isn’t known to be a militant person, although she acted within the movie Wasp Network, directed by Olivier Assayas.
Getting back to the topic, it’s true that Norma Jean was raped and abused, like many ladies have been. You possibly can’t erase that have, sometimes we are able to put a lock in our memories, to give you the chance to hold on normally, but you usually have the memory with you.
I do know exactly what that’s like since it also happened to me after I was younger. After I was working in TV, I suffered sexual harassment from a producer.
I’ve been a loyal fan of M.M. for a long time, I keep her photos, movies, documentaries, articles, in addition to her poems, that are very sad and reflect the disgust and anxiety she had for her alter-ego, the hate she had for her beauty.
The truth is that she had her insecurities, and her love relationships didn’t help her. Nevertheless, she was an intelligent person and she or he never trusted anyone, founding her own production company. She was an actress with instinct, who shone brightly, even when she didn’t value her own price enough.
Blonde is the depiction of a weak woman, a victim of the Star System, who suffered manipulation, physical and moral abuse.
You possibly can’t catch your breath for a second, it’s constant pain, grotesque scenes just like the one when she goes to go to President John F. Kennedy and he forces her to present him a blow job while he’s watching TV and speaking on the phone. The door was kept open all the time and his security guard was outside.
Miscarriages and abortions, misogyny, drugs, sadism, masochism, identity crisis… these are all the elements that make up the story, which doesn’t turn right into a pleased memory, there’s nothing to carry onto.
The director and novelist contradict themselves, sometimes they are saying it’s fiction, other times they are saying it’s Marilyn Monroe’s life. But they each take passages from her life to show it right into a film that borders on the road between reality and nightmare, causing a visible chaos.
Ana de Armas has admitted she took on the role because she was bored and didn’t have every other project in sight. I personally consider she isn’t Norma Jean, because no one could get into her mind. That’s why I feel like I’m watching a (superb) imitation of the character, but not of her as a human being.
It’s goes on far too long, there are repetitive and long scenes (a talking fetus); hysterical crying in the midst of filming, for no reason; nude scenes in bulk, but without the eroticism.
Despite the little cinematographic value it has by way of photography, edition and assembly, music and performances, I feel it’s a useless and awful movie. They may have made a movie about any actress and never necessarily use the legend of Marilyn Monroe.
Read more from Irina Pino’s diary here.