'My Week With Marilyn' - layered, poignant
| Satyen K. Bordoloi
Little lost souls we all are - stars and commoners, kings and paupers; hurtling through life trying to hold on to the little straws of securities life throws at us.
'My Week...' plays on the insecurities in us all by pitting the most famous woman on the planet with just the opposite man, to weave a story that is as much about all of us as it is about things Marilyn.
After Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) in the heyday of her fame comes to Pinewood Studio in England, she finds the young 'go for' boy Colin, who is the third assistant director in the film she's acting in, adorable. Between her insecurities as an actor and wife and the bullying of one of the greatest actors ever - Sir Laurence Olivier, she finds solace in the naÃ¯ve and innocent Colin. Even as everyone uses her, she seems to be bent upon using him.
The best thing about the film, among many others, is that it effortlessly and successfully weaves multiple narrative strands and viewpoints. It tackles the tragedy of fame, the insecurities of one's profession, the lust for a little love, the hypocrisies and insecurities of men and women who seemingly have everything, the loss of innocence, the politics of filmmaking, etc, to make a delectable little film.
The way it does so is by pitting the opposites against each other. The script puts Marilyn Monroe on one side, and one by one brings other characters who have what she doesn't and at the same time who don't have the things she has.
Thus the once beautiful and equally famous Vivien Leigh sees herself in Marilyn, who she knows her husband Sir Laurence Olivier adores. Olivier, one of the greatest actors of all times, feels inferior before the spontaneity of Marilyn's acting talents despite his training and most important amongst all these characters is the one of Colin, in whom the writers plant the innocence that Marilyn never had but longs for.
What gives the film added poignancy is that it is based on a true story, the one of Colin whose first ever job in life was on the set of this film "The Prince And The Showgirl" where Laurence and Marilyn acted.
Film enthusiasts will get in this film a visual glimpse of what it must have been like in those days while those not tuned into the methods of filmmaking will see the process and insecurities and triumphs of filmmakers and filmmaking first hand.
Michelle Williams gets Marilyn Monroe just perfect. The Golden Globe is just in and it won't be surprising to see her win the Oscar either. Even Kenneth Branagh, given the tough task of playing Laurence Olivier, does a great job in a role that was initially offered to Ralph Fiennes.
Shakespeare said that a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Yet even someone so beautiful as Marilyn Monroe, can only last so long, leaving behind only fragments, and fragrances. At the end of the day, we are driftwood floating on the river of life, doomed at birth, to death.
Critic: Satyen K. Bordoloi
4 out of 5 (Very Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Okay
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good