Blonde ★★★

I'm guessing that certain people took against this film because they were perhaps expecting an unrealistically happy and empowering story which celebrates how much of a strong inspiration and role model Marilyn Monroe was but speaking for myself, I appreciated the darkness and harsh nature of this film as it appears to be an appropriate reflection of what she actually had to go through; indeed, cinematographer Jack Cardiff described Marilyn's childlike personality and how she acted on a film set in his book Happy Hour and, particularly in the Some Like it Hot segments, this is reflected very well in the film. I didn't realise how some of the lines of dialogue in that film must've been so painful for her to recite.

However, Blonde didn't always work for me as, although there were individual moments that were engrossing and jarring, I found the meandering nature of the film to be quite offputting and it was just too easy to lose interest and to keep on checking my phone.

Saying that though, the film did successfully paint a picture of a constantly abused and overlooked young woman who just wanted to be loved and to settle down into a normal life, one who was sweet, fragile and innocent, with far more brains than one would assume, but who was constantly just seen for their looks and sexuality - the "Marilyn persona" eventually being one that Norma Jeane would come to despise - and in the leading role, Ana de Armas is PERFECT. It's been a while since I've seen an actor truly disappear into a role and I believe that the Cuban actress gets all of Marilyn's voice patterns and mannerisms completely right and she really convinced in the many emotional and dramatic scenes; indeed, there were times when I truly believed that she WAS Marilyn and that's not something to ignore.

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