Blonde ★★★½

By all accounts, with the one star or less reviews as the primary indicator, Dominik seemed to strike the right chord with his target audience. Most people, as they should, came to the show and hate what they saw. For transgressive art to exist, I think it’s important to parse through why they feel that way and look inside themselves before they question the merits of what’s on screen. Regardless of your relationship to the subject, it’s been made abundantly clear that Americas brightest blonde idol, and any idol for that matter, is someone you truly never knew, likely will never know, and any vision you have for them is just an internal projection, which creates a person that doesn’t even exist. 

Those fetishizing Norma’s star persona cry out “just let her die” and in the same breath promote her glorious past work and any other text that evokes the happiness and joy they hold dear. It’s no doubt Dominik goes to some silly and mentally probing lengths to portray the dark side of this star, but it’s important to remind the ill-ridden fandoms that they can’t just have it one way. As much as it’s led to believe Dominik is digging up Marilyn to poke at her dead body with a stick, he’s at least trying to do something a bit more provocative than Fire Walk With Me. Rather than spending a few seasons of television before seeing what you already know about Laura, fans who spent fractions of their lives around Marilyn will receive much more agitation. You’re made to think you can save her, but you can’t, and even if you could would they want that from you?

Blonde might not reach the heights of the discourse surrounding it, but it’s a bold try and nothing like it will exist if we keep turning away. I think this certainly could have been shorter, but being made to endure the dizziness and fragmentation while you sit in disgust and exhaustion also seems to very much be the point. Maybe years removed a revisit will do myself and many others well, but aside from it being less compelling than I hoped, do to those silly choices like stop signs and tanks aiming upwards, it’s stylistically incredible in many parts. The scene transitions are brilliant, the in an out of consciousness edited through different scenes are very well constructed, and the score is so well refined and well placed. 

Ultimately, the fate of Blonde is up to how you came and approached it. If somehow being in a state of constant confusion about your past trauma and future goals when deciding if a child’s life is your to bear is read as anti-abortion, then anything else can mold to the viewers projection as they sit and struggle with the illusions in life they’ve created through art.

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