‘20 minutes’ is all viewers can stomach of new ‘cruel and heartbreaking’ Marilyn Monroe movie

They say in Hollywood that, for a film to really make it, it needs to grab the audience in the first few minutes and hold on to them. But if viewers’ reactions to Netflix’s much-anticipated biopic on one of Tinsel Town’s greatest icons, Marilyn Monroe, is any indication, the nearly three-hour film doesn’t “grab” audiences so much as it repulses them, causing many to turn it off after only 20 minutes.

(Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Netflix’s new biopic, Blonde)

Written and directed by Andrew Dominik, “Blonde” was released to Netflix on Wednesday after spending a rocky ten years in production, according to the Daily Mail, and the outrage from disgusted users on Twitter followed shortly thereafter.

“So Blonde and Passion of the Christ are basically the same film,” tweeted Stephen Miller. “She uh just doesn’t resurrect at the end.”

In his adaptation of the semi-fictional book of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, Dominik hones in on the tragedies of Monroe’s too-short life, from her fears that she would turn into her mentally ill, institutionalized mother to the studio boss who raped her and beyond.

One scene with one of her most notable lovers, former President John F. Kennedy, is reportedly “particularly sordid.”

The graphic depictions of Monroe’s heartbreaks are “a little much” even for Miller, who is a fan of Dominik’s work.

And Miller was hardly alone in his criticism of the film.

One user called Dominik “misogynistic.”

“Just watched #Blonde … it puts norma/marilyn in a box that only allows to her be abused, sexualized, or call people daddy,” the user wrote. “extremely strange. maybe we stop letting misogynistic men try to make groundbreaking films about women- of which they know nothing about.”

While the story tries to expose the exploitation Monroe suffered throughout her life — both on and off screen — Dominik has, according to many, simply committed the same offense, exploiting Monroe for the sake of a hit flick.

“In [sic] a technical level, #Blonde is perfect. Impeccable cinematography and score. Ana de Armas gives a chilling performance,” tweeted another user. “But when it comes to the script, the director tried to tell the story of an exploited movie star using – ironically – exploitation instead of compassion.”

But according to the same user, the story of Marilyn Monroe’s life couldn’t truly be told any other way.

“Blonde plays out like a horror story, which is what Norma’s life truly was,” the user argues. “The film does its job, acting as a hammer to shatter the fantasy people hold onto to this day. Blonde is a dark story told darkly. If told any other way, it would only perpetuate the Monroe fantasy.”

But the majority of users passionately disagree.

“#Blonde is an exploitative, misogynistic, borderline torture film that berates an already tragic figure,” one user wrote. “De Armas is good but the cruelty behind the made up narrative and the unfocused direction takes away from her presence. This was an awful experience. Painful to watch. One ⭐️!”

“So I tried to watch blonde on Netflix, 20 minutes in I turned it off,” another user tweeted. “It has got to be the most nonsensical, pretentious art house flop I have ever seen.”

“Also the exploitation of a dead woman who was exploited most of her life,” the user added, “nice.”

Movies editor Richard Brody wrote, “As bad as Blonde is, it’s worse than that: it sweetens its slog of afflictions with cheap sentiment; its style is as blundering as its substance.”

In his scathing review for the New Yorker, Brody called the film “ridiculously vulgar.”

“The character endures an overwhelming series of relentless torments that, far from arousing fear and pity, reflect a special kind of directorial sadism,” he stated.

Back on Twitter, fans of Monroe are trying to erase any lingering images from Domink’s film with threads dedicated to Marilyn “just being herself.”

Many are also remembering a quote from Monroe’s last interview that seems to reach across time and space and speak directly to Netflix and Dominik.

“Please don’t make me a joke,” she said. “End the interview with what I believe. I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one… I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity.”



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