Saturday, January 18, 2014

Marilyn Monroe – The scratches beneath Stardom

Marilyn Monroe – The scratches beneath Stardom

It always amazed me, how on this earth, Marilyn Monroe remains to be the subject of books, stage-plays, documentaries and heaven knows what else, even decades after her death. Unfortunately, I was unaware of her undeniable charm, breathtaking screen presence and unthinkable beauty. When I watched some of her films, one thing I knew for sure; she might not be the greatest actress of all time, but her ability to make people laugh and that’s too when her life was going through unbearable trauma was undoubtedly commendable. 

No wonder, today her name confers immortality as it has a lot to do with her measurable off-screen life. After all, her disastrous romantic connections to most famous men of her day - Arthur Miller, John F. Kennedy are still gossiped and puzzled over. 

A fatherless kid, little Marilyn kept her head high in the dream land. Yet, the institutionalization of her mother and grandmother was always there to keep her haunting. Sustaining in the Hollywood city or becoming a photographer's model, neither of them was easy. Finally, she made it through with signing a contract with MGM. Before becoming the most celebrated ‘Marilyn Monroe’, in 1952, she faced an outrage when nude photos from her 1949 session were featured in a calendar. Deep down inside only she knew that she won’t have ever done so if she had enough money to pay her rentals. 

Her "dumb blonde" persona was great comic effect in films so as a big on-screen success. Because her dramatic performances were always criticized by critics, Marilyn doubting her artistic abilities became observant. Nevertheless, her worldwide popularity did not seem to stop with subsequent box-office hits, notably The Seven Year Itch (1955), and its celebrated raised-skirt scene. One could easily understand what a sparkling star she was when in O. Henry's Full House, Monroe received top billing alongside film's leading stars for a one-minute scene. 

Marilyn Monroe Painting

Even if her acting career was rising, her personal life didn't seem to be kind to her. Monroe married three times, all marriages ended up in disastrous divorces. They certainly did not improve her, but deepened insecurity and mental imbalance. During filming, make-up artists started noticing her stage fright. Over time, she developed a safe method of staying in her dressing room, pretending to be sick. In such conditions, her directors were forced to spying on her. After all, they all lost their patience on her tardiness and inability to remember lines

Although all big names in Hollywood wanted Monroe in their film, yet media reporting about her ‘Star attitude’ pushed her away from the list of some notable directors. Meanwhile, her psychiatrist reported her to be an insomniac. No doubt, two miscarriages ruined her dreams to be a caring mother, unlike her own. Insomnia pushed her further into the grey world of drug intakes. With drugs, her behaviors become more hostile now. There were some occasional outbursts of profanity in moments. In 1962, while filming her last film - Something's Got to Give, when she refused to perform, film crew members could see nothing, but anxiety, unhappiness and heartbreaks. Because she showed up for four days, out of 35, she was dismissed from the project. 

Although her career was taking a sleeping pill, her personal affairs were still peaking up. Monroe reportedly had an affair with President Kennedy. Her mistress in her autobiography wrote about an affair, president and Monroe had, in fact, the last person Monroe called before her death was none other, but Kennedy. 

Finally, the time came when she had to payback for her fame. In the late afternoon of August 5, 1962, only 36 years old and at the height of her beauty, Monroe was found dead in her apartment due to the drug overdose. Being heavenly beautiful in our memory, her last words in an Interview still linger in my head -“What the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs, we are all brothers. Please don’t make me a joke, and end this interview with what I believe."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

who is this artwork by?

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