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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Jake Hackney

Netflix’s Blonde is so ‘repulsive’ viewers feel ‘ashamed’ to watch it

Netflix’s controversial take on the tragic life of Marilyn Monroe dropped on the streaming service on Wednesday, with viewers slamming it as so “repulsive” they “feel ashamed” to watch it.

Andrew Dominik’s Blonde, based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, has been 12 years in the making and is arguably one of the year’s most anticipated films. Upon its premier at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month it received a 14-minute standing ovation.

Sadly, it has not been so well received by home viewers. Even before its release, fans and critics had been vocal about their negative opinions of the film, taking to social media to slate it with accusations of exploitation and misogynism, to name a few.

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One Twitter user said: “[This] garbage movie is dehumanizing a very real and complex person. Because she has no living relatives, there’s no one to speak up on her behalf.

"Blonde is disgusting and a bad work of fiction.”

Netflix’s official synopsis of the film is clear that Blonde is a “reimagining” of Marilyn’s “tumultuous life,” but for many viewers, the film goes too far with its use of creative license. Viewers have suggested the film needs a “trigger warning” for its scenes of sexual assault, violence towards women, and one particularly shocking scene in which Marilyn talks to the fetus of her aborted baby.

Considering its almost three-hour runtime, Blonde focuses on the darker aspects of Marilyn’s 36-year life, with career highlights including her 1962 Golden Globe win and the establishing of her own production company receiving so little screentime they may as well be omitted entirely. Although Ana de Armas – known for starring in Blade Runner 2049 and Knives Out – has received glowing reviews and has been tipped for an Oscar nod for her portrayal of the tragic Hollywood star, it appears her performance cannot save the film from perceived disgrace.

Reacting to the film on Twitter, one viewer wrote: “It is exploitative, demeaning and not an accurate representation of the power and wit that was Marilyn Monroe. I feel ashamed for watching this; what a misogynistic, black and white view of a multifaceted and complex woman.”

Another said: “I'd be lying to you if I said that the production design, cinematography and performance from Ana de Armas were terrible, because they aren't whatsoever, but it's hard to appreciate these things when what you are watching on screen is repulsive.”

Another user described the film as “cruel and heartbreaking,” and said they “couldn’t stomach” to watch it more than 20 minutes. The director himself has also been heavily criticised, with some calling for him to “never work again” for creating such an “atrocity.”

Blonde is available to stream on Netflix.


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