Well, I haven’t been doing much writing lately. Instead I am being driven mad by my search for a place to live in Sydney. Well needless to say the whole boring saga has been keeping me up at night. But today thanks to the fact that real estate agents are closed on Sunday I took a little time out to see a film, ‘My Week With Marilyn’.
Since writing the above I have found a place to live and sent all my possessions on a truck to Sydney. I am now freaking out about actually moving. I seem to be spending all my time freaking out these days.
The only general criticism that can be found about ‘My Week With Marilyn” is that a week is too short a time to explore such a complex character. The consequence being that Michelle Williams doesn’t have enough material to work with and so gives a shallow performance.
This critique drives me crazy because it doesn’t take into account what the film is actually about and what it is trying to achieve. This film is not about the character of Marilyn Monroe . This film is about Colin Clark, a young inexperienced man of 23, his first time on a film set, growing up and falling in love with icon and the reality of Marilyn Monroe. In short this film is about first love and the loss of innocence it brings.
Colin believes in many fantasies before he becomes 3rd Assistant Director on Lawrence Olivier’s production of ‘The Prince and The Showgirl”. First off he believes that film making process is a pure art form. Secondly he believes that movie stars are not like the rest of us and thirdly he believes in love conquering all.
At the end of the film, Emma Watson’s ‘Lucy’ the wardrobe girl asks Colin if he had his heart broken and he replies, yes, he did. She says ‘Good, your heart needed a little bit of breaking”. That line is what this film is all about. The innocence of first love and the need for a little bit of heart break to educate and bring us into the real world. So I would say that it is in fact ridiculous to say that this film could have said more about Marilyn when that is not the point. I feel it is the reviewers responsibility to review films on the basis of what the film is trying to achieve and if it did it well. It is not up to us as reviewer to project on to films what we want them to be and be disappointed when they are not.
Well getting that out of the way, I thought Michelle’s performance as Marilyn was simply enthralling and the magnetism of Monroe as a megastar was perfectly captured. I couldn’t take my eyes away from her beauty and sexual power, she was a revelation. Her instability wasn’t overplayed and her seductive powers were both endearing and manipulative.
I also loved all the scenes on the set of the film, they offered a brilliant insight into the art of film making, it’s players and family that is created on set. The chemistry and conflict between Marilyn and Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) is complex and brilliant.
‘My Week With Marilyn” is brilliantly paced making you feeling both relaxed and engaged all at the same time. The film gives to a window into the world of the screen gods of the age through the eyes of one of us. Making it completely relatable and yet glamorous and thought provoking. This film has really stuck with me, so much so that I am still l thinking about the story and the characters weeks later.