Netflix has finally released its controversial Marilyn Monroe drama Blonde – but some viewers have complained that the film is “unwatchable”.
Many viewers specified on social media that they had been unable to make it more than 20 minutes into Blonde before abandoning it.
The 18-rated movie, based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, stars Ana de Armas as Monroe. It has divided critics, with particular scrutiny being levelled at the film’s harrowing depiction of trauma and sexual assault.
In a one-star review for The Independent, Jessie Thompson wrote: “Blonde is not a bad film because it is degrading, exploitative and misogynist, even though it is all of those things. It’s bad because it’s boring, pleased with itself and doesn’t have a clue what it’s trying to say.”
Other viewers have piled in on Twitter, condemning the film’s failings.
“While the film is beautifully shot (most of the times) and Ana de Armas gives a luminous performance, it falls apart fast... and that last hour... Jesus Christ, f***ing unwatchable. An absoute head-scratcher of a movie,” one person wrote.
“Tried to watch @netflix Blonde,” commented another. “Couldn’t stomach more than about 20 minutes of the nearly three hours length. That 20 minutes was nothing but cruel and heartbreaking. Absolutely unwatchable.”
“I just started to watch Blonde and I’ve turned it off after 20 minutes, enough said,” wrote a third, while someone else described it as “a hate letter to the icon that was Marilyn”.
“Started Blonde and turned it off in record time,” one person revealed. “Graphically showing rape on screen is not in any way a meaningful way to portray the horrors of sexual assault. Please, i’m begging you leave this woman alone and quit slapping SA survivors and women in the face.”
“Blonde has to be one of the worst f***ing movies i’ve ever seen, i’m literally disgusted after watching it, Marilyn deserves better,” another viewer wrote.
One scene in particular that people are agreed goes too far is a “horrifying” one involving JFK, which has been branded “disgusting exploitation”.
Find a full list of everything being removed from Netflix next month here.