Thoughts: My 100 minutes with Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe…considered one of the (if not THE) most beautiful women ever to grace this planet with her presence. I was thus more than curious about this movie and mainly because apart from Benjamin Button’s life I have never personally liked biographies too much. 🙂

The movie’s story is based on a true life encounter of Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne, who does a pretty good job in a role that just required him to react more than act), an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier’s (the SUPER talented Kenneth Branagh who does a wonderful job in the movie) and documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams who also plays the role with such ease it’s like watching Marilyn herself) during production of The Prince and the Showgirl. ‘My Week with Marilyn’ cinematize’s Colin’s diary with the depth and beauty with which it was written.

The movie begins with a young Colin Clark who has but one aim and that is to be in the film industry. Colin then meets Sir Laurence Olivier who is making a movie in London and takes Colin onboard as the 3rd assistant director. When Marilyn Monroe arrives for the start of shooting, pandemonium reigns for everyone wants to see the blonde beauty. On set though Olivier struggles to meet her strange and weird acting demands and her overall acting ineptness. Colin (as would be normal for ANY 23 year old upon seeing her) is intrigued by her.

Colin’s intrigue is reciprocated (oh how lucky can he be) when Marilyn invites him into her inner world where she struggles with her fame, her beauty and her desire to be a great actress. Colin gets drawn more and more and his struggle to love her, protect her and lust for her can be clearly seen during the conversations and scenes where Marilyn talks about her life and how she is clearly unable to handle it all. The movie manages to capture the whole one week beautifully and there is no surprise with the multitude of nominations it received.

The entire acting is par excellence. Michelle Williams deserves the nomination at the very least for her portrayal. It takes us deep into the mind of Marilyn herself rather than the mind of the script. It would be nearly impossible to accept any modern day actor as Marilyn, one of the most beautiful and glamorous women of all time and Michelle pulled off the role seamlessly, and turned Ms. Monroe into a layered, complex character, rather than the sex-kitten caricature we are all so used to seeing. Michelle managed to show us the real Marilyn – the woman who so desperately wanted to be loved, to be accepted, to be good at her job Monroe may have been great but she needed many takes to be great is one of the truest lines I heard in the movie and its only when you see the movie is when you realize why is that so.

A special mention must go to Branagh; his Olivier is impeccable. He accurately displays the legendary actor’s sophistication and scurrility. The rest of the cast do a good job as well, Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh, Emma Watson in a non Harry Potter role as Lucy and the love interest for Colin also did a decent job of being present on the screen and not overdoing it. Judi Dench as Dame Sybil was a few of the names who leave an impressive mark on screen.

If there was something missing in the movie it could have probably been the script. I guess the movie is brilliant for the way the people performed in it, but then had the story been a bit more intense it could have been even more gripping. Although it is my personal two bits on this, I feel that had Simon Curtis spent a tad more time in shooting “the story” as such maybe the movie would have gotten another nomination probably in the best picture category.

In summary, this is a brilliantly chosen topic for a biopic, as well as a sweet touching story about a young man falling for a star and a star who is trying not to fall.

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