Andrew Dominick’s film Blonde is a polarizing experience. You may have been expecting a sexy story with twists and turns. And if you went to the critics screening I went, many laughed at the various situations our dear Norma Jean found herself in. Frankly, I found it deplorable.
To understand the movie, “Blonde,” best we need to look at the film’s central trauma: being sexually harassed. In turn, this phenomenon is only a reflection of what happens in Hollywood.
This is not a biography of Marilyn Monroe’s life, so the experiences in this article with celebrities should not be used to analyze the author’s writing style.
How is Dominick able to stay true to the source material?
Norma was a child at the time and her troubled relationship with her mother, Gladys (played by Julianne Nicholson), was tragic. Her single mom had depression.
Norma’s mother would often mention Norma’s father by pointing to a picture in her bedroom and never tell her the man’s name, only that he was a powerful man in Hollywood and went up in flames while living on the hill.
Abandonment may have a psychological effect on a child, creating the trauma of abandonment. Monroe’s mother’s departure from the home only added to her sense of abandonment with her father.
The woman’s close relationship with her two male co-stars, who she called “Charlie Jr.” and Sydney Chaplin, was depicted in “The Story of Gracy St. John” – a film made before the term “throuple” had been invented. This sexual rebirth for Monroe highlights the agency in her being taken advantage of by the manager/agent and studio head
She became pregnant with his child and the film alludes to her having an abortion for the sake of her career.
Marylin’s relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr. (Bobby Canavale) is messy heightening the desperation of her abandonment issues with her father that factor prominently during this period, which could be from a fan who knows about her personal background.
An idea pops into her mind, and when she is told that there a man wants to see her in a hotel room, she assumes it must be her “daddy.” She arrives at the hotel and her boyfriend Joe Dimaggio is waiting for her and proposing. After, Chaplin Jr blackmails Dimaggio with horrifying private pictures of them together. Joe D then beats her.
Marilyn’s relationship with Arthur Miller, “Adrien Brody”, leads her to make changes and to take a step back from the relationship.
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If the movie’s drawing of Heather Anne Campbell (Priyanka Chopra) is accurate, she may be going through what we described above and becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. The film also paints a narrative where she was denied an abortion because she might be pregnant with the sworn enemy of the United States’ child.
In the final scene of the film, Norma Jean receives a package. If you remember back to when she first found it with Chaplin’s and saw it again at the end of her life, that was the last time we saw it.
Norma Jean opens it up and reads the words, which are already filled in: There never was a tearful father, Cass
The final scenes show the mother figure screaming for help, as she looks up at the white skylight. The final shot shows the father figure in tight close-up, struggling to cut through the thick fog.
In the conclusion, we see a departure from Monroe, who’s abandonment issues led her to getting addicted to drugs and turning to her lover Cass for support.
We can assume that looking into the white light signifies that Monroe is dying because of drug abuse.
With an audition also mentioned, Monroe gets her mother to stop saying her father worked there and keeps the secret of what happened.
The film makes a reference to her father when she asks a premiere’s executive if her father is there, and he tries to quiet her down. So, this poses the question: