Do all women aspire to be like Marilyn Monroe? Consider Again

10 mins read

I watched Blonde, the controversial film about Marilyn Monroe’s life that has recently been discussed and criticized. After seeing it, I was terrified and took some time to come to my senses. But days later, as I reflect on the film, I believe it is important to consider the opposing viewpoint.

I believe the movie has the potential to spark fresh discussion. Whether biographical movies need to cover every area of life or if they can just cover one. The director wished to focus on just one aspect in order to exploit his preferences. We wander around in Marilyn Monroe’s mind, or rather in her subconscious. We can understand that the movie does not want to show all aspects of Marilyn Monroe by skipping some events such as the abuse she suffered in childhood and her marriage at a young age.

Andrew Dominik, the director and screenwriter, looks at the world through the mind of Norma Jeane, the real name of Marilyn Monroe. We are even in her subconscious. That’s why we feel like we are drowning throughout the movie. I think he wants to show why Marilyn Monroe was driven to suicide in all its nakedness. It may have its shortcomings in terms of editing, but it’s clearly original intellectually. We can understand that it is subconscious, that we are swimming in Marilyn Monroe’s subconscious by the ambiguity of the beginnings and endings of the events. We see everything from a sick brain rather than a classic life story.

The movie wants to say that Marilyn Monroe was so successful, so beautiful, so intelligent, but she was on drugs, she used drugs, she attempted suicide because the world was like that. Did we as an audience get this message… We got it as if we were slapped. Sometimes I also think that art needs to be slapped. Do I look at Marilyn Monroe in a different way now? I do. The impact and importance of mental illnesses, traumas, childhood, parents in human life; once again echoed in my brain

Marilyn Monroe was diagnosed as borderline paranoid schizophrenic. This was highly genetic. Her mother could not take care of her daughter due to severe psychological problems and Marilyn Monroe had very difficult days because of this. In fact, Marilyn Monroe’s fate was determined more by her mother than by herself. Her mother could not take care of her because she was sick, she did not know who her father was, and this made her vulnerable and vulnerable to abuse as a child. 

When a person is sick, he cannot think clearly. They need help. Since the movie always deals with the sick side of Marilyn Monroe, we always watch a weak, helpless, weak-willed Marilyn Monroe. This is what disturbs the audience.

Because the Marilyn Monroe we know was a woman that men chased after under the movie lights; a woman that every woman wanted to be, as ironically mentioned in the movie. In her personal life, she was a person who studied acting, read, questioned and had a high intelligence. She was very sensitive to people who had experienced traumas like her and needed help, especially children and elderly people. When she is always treated as a diseased woman in the movie, as a viewer, we are overwhelmed and our eyes are looking for a normal Marilyn Monroe, but we cannot find it.

In the movie, we also see Marilyn Monroe’s desire to have children and the frustration of all her attempts. Here she longs for a baby with whom she can reassert herself and hold on to life. She wants to give him the love she could not experience in her own childhood. Unfortunately, life does not allow her to hold on. Somehow their pregnancy ends. She attributes a lot of meaning to having a child. When it doesn’t materialize, she is mentally devastated again.

Marilyn Monroe’s sharp intelligence is touched upon a little in the movie. She also vaguely states – this is the style of the movie – that her acting in the movies was put together by others, and that her acting on stage was a real acting that she put together herself. During their first meeting with Arthur Miller, Miller admired Marilyn Monroe when she interpreted the character Miller had written exactly as he had written it and in a way no one else had interpreted it.

The most important trauma that drove Marilyn Monroe to suicide was not knowing who her father was. In the movie, she constantly receives letters from her father. In these letters, her father tells her that he will see her soon and gives her hope. She is always waiting for her father to come. When she finally finds out that one of her ex-lovers wrote these letters, she ends her life. There is nothing left for her to hold on to.

Apart from what is presented in the movie, I think that the male figures in Marilyn Monroe’s life negatively affected her psychological life. The absence of a father figure, let alone the absence of a father figure, causes her to start her life incomplete. This deficiency makes her vulnerable to harassment, twisted relationships and wrong choices in her later life. This is how I see her twisted relationship with John Kennedy and his brother. She compensated for the lack of a father figure by establishing a relationship with the US president, who seemed to be the most powerful man in the world. This was both to protect himself with the most protected power and to obtain the power at the top. Perhaps he was challenging the world, fate, all of humanity, sending the message, “I was fatherless, but I got the father of the world.” When the Kennedys no longer wanted to see him, this already unhealthy balance collapsed. He felt that he had experienced the peak of his losses since his childhood. Again, it was not because he was in love with the Kennedys and couldn’t find love in return, as his biographical documentary suggests. It was a complex and spiritual devastation. He felt used and unwanted. This was a chronic condition that he had been exposed to since childhood. But she also experienced it at its peak.

In her short life, Marilyn Monroe always lost on the way to the top. It’s hard to get to the top. Losing on the way to the top is harder and more devastating. And that helps us understand her. Because most of us, looking at her fame, her beauty, her intelligence, what she had, believe that she could overcome all this and that she should hold on to life no matter what. Maybe it was possible if she could think clearly. In her mental crisis, she couldn’t think that she had any choice but to die. One of the memorable scenes of the movie is when her assistant says, “Every woman wants to be Marilyn Monroe.” It makes you feel that she doesn’t want to be herself and wants to be born as someone else. Her desire to have a baby is associated with this. Maybe this is what the movie wants to tell. Everyone wants to be like her, but she doesn’t want to be herself. The movie is worth watching because it evokes a different perspective.



Esen Güney

Esen Güney Married She has a son and was born in Giresun. She lives in Istanbul. Since 2014, she has been working as a writer and publication editor at fikrikadim.com. She has published essays, stories and interviews. He still continues to write and conduct interviews.

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