Venice #79: “Blonde” Review
The 2-hour-and-45-minute itch
It seems to be a contemporary trend: who gets closer is the best. Almost an interactive game, place a frame next to the real picture and spot the differences, if any, or just awe at the impressive similarities. A pointless fetishism for accuracy, the ultimate aim to recreate the tiniest details while broadly overlooking a narrative flow. But I’d rather see Marilyn Monroe played by Divine, in a film that has eventually something to say. Norma Jane, transformed into Marilyn, is constantly abused and nobody remotely considers the chance of her being smart. Imprisoned by her beauty, she’s just a piece of meat, and bye bye baby bye bye. Good, point made. Why reiterating it for the whole film? “Cut, cut , cut. It’s a jigsaw puzzle, but you’re not the one who ho puts the pieces together” says a shattered Norma Jane in the film. Who is supposed to piece it together then, if not audience? The director? Andrew Dominik? Daddy, daddy, daddy, lens flares, quirky angles and an abundance of CGI fires and talking CGI foetuses. An unjustified over-stylisation, playing with black & white and aspect ratios in what seems to be a playful enforced experimentalism serving, eventually, no purpose, if not to allure its viewers through charming superficial visual gimmicks. Dominik unleashes all his cinematic power and shows off what he can do, and while all these perfectly composed shots might as well look mesmerising and stunning, there is an emptiness lying underneath the glamour. A bit like Marilyn, after all. Sure, Ana de Armas might be the carbon copy of Marilyn Monroe, with every crease in her dresses and curl in her hair to mirror the silver screen icon, but this movie doesn’t resemble a great film.