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My Week with Marilyn - Film Review

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by Carrie Tong (subscribe)
Carrie Tong studied the Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at the University of Sydney, and is currently seeking employment.
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My Week with Marilyn


The thing about My Week with Marilyn is that it makes you feel so relaxed. True, the film does delve into the supposed conflict that occurred between Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during the making of The Prince and the Showgirl, and sure, the film does depict drug use and implies the dangers that are associated with it, however, in the end, the whole film revolves around one thing, and one thing only - Marilyn Monroe. And the Marilyn Monroe in the film is so dreamy that you come out of the cinemas feeling the same way. The brilliant portrayal of Marilyn Monroe by Michelle Williams seems to drench the film into a certain kind of mood, if you like. In My Week with Marilyn, not only does Michelle Williams look the part, but she plays the character with such realistic complexity.

In the film, Marilyn Monroe, as played by Michelle Williams, is a woman who has been transformed from rags to riches. Having grown up in foster homes, she has become the biggest female star in the world. Not the greatest actress perhaps, but undeniably one of the greatest stars of her time. Michelle Williams plays her character variously as innocent and naive, lost and confused, as well as possibly sharp and manipulative. Marilyn Monroe, as depicted in the film, is most complex when it comes to matters of the heart. She seems to be able to "go through" men - that is, make them fall in love with her and make them want to experience the enjoyment of spending time with her. However, she also seems to be vulnerable when it comes to men - for example, in the film, she is strongly affected by words that her third husband Arthur Miller has written about her.

Although My Week with Marilyn is based on two books by Colin Clark, a very real man who encountered the real-life Marilyn Monroe in a very real way, the film is not really about Colin Clark at all. Even though Eddie Redmayne, as Colin Clark, provides voice-overs for the film and plays the character who is most frequently on-screen, My Week with Marilyn is more like a biography of Marilyn Monroe than it is like a biography of Colin Clark. What I found most interesting about My Week with Marilyn was the way Marilyn Monroe was not necessarily idealised. It is true that at various points in the film, her natural talents for acting for the camera (as well as the public) were highlighted. However, the film did not pull back from portraying Marilyn Monroe in a negative light either. Especially towards the beginning of the film, she is depicted as an almost amateur actress who can barely remember her lines, let alone arrive to the set on time.

In conclusion, My Week with Marilyn is an extremely enlightening film. It is a film that might make you want to learn more about the real life of Marilyn Monroe and find out whether she really was as complicated as the film makes her out to be.

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Why? Michelle Williams plays a mesmerising Marilyn Monroe
When: Now Showing
Where: In Cinemas
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