Blonde is a semi-fictionalised retelling of the life and journey of Marilyn Monroe, from her childhood to her days of stardom. The movie is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Blonde is a fictionalised retelling of Marilyn Monroe’s life, from her explosive and abusive childhood to her time as one of Hollywood’s top stars.
Marilyn, or Norma Jeane, lived along with her mother and her childhood was a very tumultuous one. From no father figure to surviving an attempt by her mother trying to drown her, her childhood packed a whole load of traumatic experiences into her life.
Norma Jeane survives and rushes to a neighbour for help, and her mother gets sent to a psychiatric hospital while she ends up at an orphanage.
Soon after all this begins her journey of trying to break into the film industry, lined with a great deal of sexualisation of her body and the presence of the infamous and sexually violative casting couch while trying out for roles.
She meets her mother after 10 years after being signed on to a label, but it is not a happy reunion like she expected it to be.
The rest of the movie charts the course of her career and relationships, starting with the relationship she shared with Charlie Chaplin Jr. and Edward G Robinson Jr. The three share good times together, with an air of freedom and uncertainty about what the future holds.
Norma ends up getting pregnant, and the reaction of the two men starts off as one that shifts quickly from shock to excitement. Marilyn wants to keep the baby as she believes she is in a similar position to her mother when she was carrying her.
She goes through a forced abortion, for the sake of her unborn child and her career, and the three break off their relationship as well.
Later, Marilyn is seen having a conversation with an ex-athlete at a restaurant, and the two hit it off and begin a relationship, and even get married later on.
Between all this, Marilyn gets a letter from someone who claimed to be her father, and she anticipates a reunion with him after all these years. She thinks she will meet her father after a film premiere, but it ends up being Joe proposing to her.
The two get married and start a life together, until one day, Joe comes across older explicit photoshoots Marilyn had shot for. He reaches back home angry and asks her to either quit her profession or take up better roles.
The two make up at this point, but soon Marilyn shoots the infamous skirt scene, and Joe gets riled up again and so begins a time of mental and physical abuse that she faces, up until their divorce.
Her issues that stemmed from her father abandoning her are apparent at this point, as she only refers to her husband as ‘Daddy,’ is constantly trying to find fulfilment in perceived father figures, and keeps trying to look for her birth father as well.
Marilyn’s next relationship is with Arthur Miller the playwright. The two meet when Miller is on a hunt to find an actress to play a character for his next play, Magda. The two hit it off, and get married as well.
The two shift to the countryside, and she gets pregnant. Things seem to be going well for them, until Marilyn chances upon a script Arthur is working on, based on her and writing about things they have spoken about.
Things take a turn for the worst when Marilyn ends up suffering a miscarriage as she trips and falls onto a beach during a visit.
This is then a time of great distress for her, and the timeline loses its linearity as she begins to go on a downward spiral, boosted by her consumption of drugs and alcohol.
The trauma of losing her baby and the stress and pressure she felt working in the film industry seem to catch up to her in this final segment, as the timeline gets murky and loses direction.
Blonde (2022) ending explained in detail:
What happens between the president and Marilyn?
After a while, the scene shifts to Marilyn on her way to meet the president, John F. Kennedy. She is taken over to a room, and a greater sense of despair comes over her, as she ends up feeling like a commodity to be accessed.
She is brought to his room while he is on a phone call, and he asks her to sexually please him, leading to a further sense of objectification for her.
That is all the attention she gets from him, and she goes back home soon enough.
What happens to Cass?
One day, Edward G Robinson Jr calls to tell Marilyn that Cass, or Charlie Chaplin Jr, was dead. He had died choking on his own vomit, and had also left some mementoes for Marilyn. She refuses to accept it, but it ends up arriving soon enough.
The gift arrives, and it is a stuffed toy similar to one she had as a child, possibly one he had bought for their unborn baby.
Does Norma ever find her father?
Marilyn’s issues with her lack of a father figure, and also that with parenthood are constantly brought to light throughout the film.
The movie ends with an ominous grey cloud that covers a figure of her father from the image of him she had seen in her childhood.
While she does not get to find or meet him, the last scene indicates the hold this entire idea of finding her father had on her, until her final breath.
The grey clouds and smoke could also just merely be an indication of how much this need to find fatherly love and male validation affected her vision and life path in the long run.