Marilyn Monroe has always been iconic; I don’t even have to put her surname in the title! Famed for being a Blonde bombshell screen siren, I’ve always secretly admired her from afar. As a 50’s siren into a 60’s tragic case, it’s this age old tale of recreating this fairy-tale people love to believe, beautiful young women ending in tragedy. My favorite film of Marilyn’s is “How to marry a millionaire” there’s something so wonderful about this film, yes the story in today’s world would be deemed shallow and steers away from the aim of women wanting to be independent breadwinners in their own right. This is a film where women were seen as imamate objects, but let’s not forget that it is just a harmless comedy in which the spotlight is shining on Marilyn in what I deem one of her best roles.
The Secret life of Marilyn paints her from the start as someone who was always going to have an eventful life whether she liked it or not, from being fostered then reunited with her mentally ill mother, you wonder where this perhaps play a role in her later life and her tragic demise. It’s just this sort of reading that fascinates me, we paint these star’s up, we build up their iconic status and when they fall we forget that one thing that they are- just human. Everyone wanted their piece of her, their taste of what they felt they deserved from Marilyn, they wanted their own slice of fame and fortune. Some played up to her fragile status towards the end, yet the friends she did surround herself with tried their best to look after and shield her from the glare of Hollywood.
The chapters that struck me the most were the Kennedy years, Pat Lawford was a great friend to Marilyn and the intentions towards her were good. It’s when Marilyn’s growing fascination and admiration for JFK, one has to wonder was she just infatuated with him, or looking towards a father figure to try and fill the void from her childhood? All her relationships with men panned out this way, through being to demeaning or demoralizing she is always painted to wanting more. Joe DiMaggio seemed jealous of her career as his was unwinding, Arthur Miller belittling her intelligence making her once again feel inferior to finally Frank Sinatra brushing her away when her mental illness spiraled out of control.
It’s an interesting read to see the life of one of the most iconic actresses of our time, but I finished the book feeling sympathy for her, as if the case with most showbiz types everyone wants a piece of that person to there’s nothing left to give, then they flee. It slowly destroys that person if they can’t deal with it or have the right people to protect them. Leaving her with little control in her career and personal life having pills allowed her to regain that tiny bit of control all by herself.
Why it is the media and public need to know every detail of a film stars life, is it to break away from their own life? To perhaps feel that little bit more connected to the person they adore by knowing personal facts. In my own personal opinion it’s to make them realise that they aren’t superhuman, they to just like you and I they have dark moments, the sun isn’t always shining and having all the money doesn’t equal happiness, for a short while it does but overtime more people take and take and it’s this that lead to celebrities demise. At the end of the day all she really wanted was to be loved.. don’t we all?