The upcoming Netflix Original film ‘Blonde‘ is one of the most-talked-about films of recent times. Starring Ana De Armas as Marilyn Monroe, the film is a semi-fictional account of the life and times of Hollywood’s blonde bombshell.
The most interesting thing about Blonde is that it the first original film from Netflix that has received the strict NC-17 rating from the MPA. Even ‘365 Days‘ was rated R on Netflix, on the basis of the nudity and sexual content in the film. However, in the case of Blonde, the film has been certified NC-17 by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) itself.
For those who don’t know, NC-17 is the strictest rating that the MPA gives. Most theatres in the USA refuse to screen NC-17 rated films. The makers of the films that receive the NC-17 rating from the MPA thus chop off a few scenes from their films to enable an R-rating for them, so as to be able to screen it for a wider audience.
The question that arises from all the hullabaloo surrounding Blonde’s NC-17 rating is that why has ‘Blonde’ received the NC-17 rating? What is it about the film to invite the strictest rating there is, when even 365 Days escaped the MPA radar.
Well, first of all, Blonde has a lot of graphic and explicit sexual content — a given, considering the famously sensual personality of its protagonist, Marilyn Monroe. But merely sexual content is not enough for a film to get an NC-17 rating from the MPA. The MPA, and the U.S. is quite liberal when it comes to sex and nudity in their films.
‘Blonde’, directed by Andrew Dominik, and adapted from Joyce Carol Oates’ best-selling novel, is an unflinching look at the iconic Hollywood beauty’s life. The film boldly highlights Marilyn Monroe’s most traumatic life experiences – from her volatile childhood to her troubled stardom, disturbing romantic relationships and the widening split between her public and private selves.
More than that, it is the nature of the sexual content in Blonde that has compelled the MPA to flag the film as NC-17. The film includes a disturbing sexual assault scene, which was part of Oates’ original novel. The MPA is not forthcoming on what about the film’s sexual content triggered the NC-17 rating, nor is director Andrew Dominik revealing anything. Netflix famously brought in a specialist editor to “curb the excesses of the movie”.
And ominously enough, the director has forewarned curious potential audiences of the film – “There’s something in it to offend everyone.” It’s only when Blonde premieres on Netflix that we’ll know what gave Blonde the tag of the first NC-17 rated Netflix Original film.
Blonde stars Ana De Armas, along with Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Garret Dillahunt, Julianne Nicholson, Sara Paxton and Scoot McNairy, among others. Blonde premieres on Netflix worldwide on September 23rd, 2022. Have a look at the Blonde trailer –
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