Blonde Movie Review

Blonde did not tick any of the boxes we hoped it would. The movie is so dark that it feels like a Zack Snyder version of who Marilyn Monroe was.

Blonde Movie Review
Ana de Armas does a good yet terrible job of portraying a hugely dark side of Marilyn Monroe. Source: Netflix.

Blonde is a 2022 biopic that is a dark look into the life of the hugely popular actress, model, and singer Marilyn Monroe. The film takes us through the highly tumultuous life of one of the world's brightest stars, curving us through all her tragedies.


Perhaps the theme that stands out the most in Blonde is the frailty of fame or the weakness or inexistence of strength within the constructs of fame. The director does a good (well terrible)  job of showing us how unimportant fame is and why it really doesn't matter.


Blonde also feels like a movie that was just created to traumatize the world about Marilyn Monroe. It shows a very dark side of the life of Marilyn, exploring themes like mental illness, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, drug abuse, and the like. It ventures into so many abuses that we feel is itself an abuse of the already tumultuous story of Marilyn Monroe. Mind you, the film is fictional but we felt it was very unnecessary.

A Troubled Childhood

The film begins with a young Marilyn Monroe who's a little girl living with her mentally troubled mother. Marilyn's mother is obsessed with her absent father and sometimes goes into these psychotic episodes. In one scene, she attacks Marilyn and forces her into a bath that is too hot, and then strangles her. Marilyn ends up in an orphanage and her mother in a mental institution.

Rise to Fame

When she's of age and as she gets into the movie scene, Marilyn Monroe, played by Ana de Armas, is raped by a movie director who then propels her rise to fame. She features in several movies, and despite having good ideas herself, is mostly objectified within the movies and in the real world. This puts her in a spot where she keeps on tumbling further down the rabbit hole, with no apparent rescue.

Marilyn being squeezed into a corset in Blonde
Marilyn being squeezed into a corset in Blonde. Source: Netflix.

Daddy Issues

A very prominent theme in the movie is the portrayal of a Marilyn Monroe who's dealing with a lot of daddy issues. The director of the film makes her call every man she's sexually involved with "daddy", in what ends up being a demented view of the star and somewhat a mockery of her father's absenteeism in her life.

Broken Marriages

Marilyn goes on to get married for the first time to a huge baseball star. The marriage doesn't last long, however, as he gets jealous of her admiration and how she's sexualized by society. The unfortunate part, however, is that he takes his frustrations out on her through domestic violence. They get divorced and Marilyn remarries, this time to a writer who she later abandons after being all drugged up and losing her second child.

Marilyn and Norma Jean

The director of Blonde portrays Marilyn Monroe as the alter ego of Norma Jean, the real name of the star. He makes out Marilyn Monroe to be the 'other' and even shows how she torments Norma. For instance, Norma aborts her first baby for Marilyn so she can continue this facade of the star.

A tearful Norma Jean in Blonde while she's being applied makeup
Blonde portrays a tormented and drugged-up Marilyn Monroe who has to be put bag together and her character conjured every time she's going out. Source: Netflix.

When she loses her second pregnancy after a fall, she is seen in a mental blur, depressed, and begs for Marilyn to come back when she's on her way out to a movie premiere. She then flips into Marilyn Monroe like a person suffering from split-personality disorder would.

The President

As for Marilyn's relationship with President John Kennedy, the director shows her as just a sex toy for the president. JFK has no use for her other than her body, and her pleasing him. Marilyn is even mishandled by the secret service who carry her around like a piece of meat. This is outright depressing and a very dark theorization of what the JFK and Marilyn Monroe relationship looked like.

Our Rating

Blonde did not tick any of the boxes we hoped it would. We expected a film that would venerate Marilyn Monroe despite her setbacks but instead got a very dark theorization of who she was. The movie is so dark that it feels like a Zack Snyder version of who Marilyn Monroe was. We also hated its extensive nudity, which we felt was just unnecessary. As such, we rate it 4.5/10. I personally don't think it's worth watching. Yeah... it's that bad. Please note that the movie is rated NC-17.


Why is Blonde Rated NC-17?

Blonde is rated NC-17 for its extensive nudity, especially of the Marilyn Monroe character. As such it is not suitable for persons under the age of 17.

What does NC-17 Mean?

NC-17 is an abbreviation for: Not for Children under 17 years of age. It is the highest rating for a film indicating that it is intended for mature audiences only.

Is Blonde a True Story?

Blonde is based on the life of hugely popular model, actress, and singer Marilyn Monroe. Blonde is based on a true story but is a work of fiction.

Is Blonde Factual?

No. Blonde is not factual. It is entirely a work of fiction despite it being based on the life of a real person, Marilyn Monroe.

What was Marilyn Monroe Really Like?

Marilyn Monroe was a sweetheart who just wanted to be loved. She was unlucky to have a terrible love life but she was also very kind and loving. She, unfortunately, fell into depression and the abuse of prescription pills, instigating her decline and eventual death.

A picture of Marilyn Monroe in a beautiful pink dress
Marilyn Monroe was a sweetheart who was just unlucky and had gone through a lot in her life. Source: Vogue France.

You can get a more realistic and factual depiction of Marilyn via the Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes documentary which we reviewed below.

The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes (Documentary Review)
The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes is a 2022 Netflix documentary on the death of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe back in 1962.