The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is a Lifetime mini-series about the story of legendary actress Marilyn Monroe, whose beauty and fame was unparalleled and would make her recognizable to the world, though her life would end in tragedy. Those classic movie fans who are loyal Monroe followers may be wondering more about the woman behind the actress, because of the mystery that surrounds her life and watching another movie about the actress may not get rid of their curiosity, though Lifetime has given viewers a two-part series. Will the series do the story justice, in showing the many secrets of her life and how they managed to affect the actress during her rise to fame? Some critics say the film goes a little long, but in trying to recreate a point in time about a person as unique as Monroe perhaps the length is necessary.
Monroe’s life story is one that has many wanting to know more about the reasons a woman like herself could embody the grace and beauty of a true star, and still be burdened with pain and emotional issues. Although she faced many hardships in her short life, as well as two marriages (one to baseball player Joe Dimaggio, and a second to playwright Arthur Miller) she still persevered, using her star power and charisma to become one of the most influential people in the world. The mini series also reveals more about Monroe’s love life and her relationship with John F. Kennedy, one that would drive the leading actress to insanity as she was also dealing with a sick mother, thus adding to Marilyn’s instability. In the mini-series The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe, the late actress is also cared for by a childhood friend known as Grace Mckee (played by actress Emily Watson) who became an important figure in the actress’s life.
The actress, plagued by mental illness, endures a rocky road to stardom before finally making it big in Hollywood. The mini-series The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe focuses on her many trials and tribulations. Her signature look as a sultry and beautiful screen goddess with blond hair are attributes that add to her allure. Monroe’s talent as an actress may have been overshadowed by her enormous screen presence, but those who knew her saw that her acting had many dimensions and was not solely based on her beauty. In order to show who Monroe truly was, Kelli Garner must step into character and deliver a performance that will make viewers understand the actress’s internal struggles and how they would follow her throughout her life. Garner, like many actresses who have played Monroe before, in trying to portray her must try to show her essence. Garner does this through her Marilyn-like gestures and facial expressions while exuding a sexual nature which had been Monroe’s trademark, because she could be sexy and innocent all at once.
In The Secret life of Marilyn Monroe, the actress’s mother (played by Susan Sarandon) was a woman who also suffered from mental illness which may have been a contributing factor in Monroe’s own struggles, and why she dealt with so much pain and sadness. By uncovering pieces of her past, it starts to become more obvious what she was hiding underneath her persona, and how it caused her to suffer for so long. In the mini-series, it also shows her role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, how it put her on the map and made her status as a sensational leading actress be known to the world.
Many movies that tell the story of Monroe’s life give the viewer small doses of who she was, making the viewers even more curious. Although they may leave still wondering more about her story, some of which remains unknown; this especially includes how such an actress who endured success and stardom could suffer from depression, without being cured or helped. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is one of many biographical films telling the star’s life story. Michelle Williams, in My Week With Marilyn, also plays the leading actress. This biopic detailed the fact that stories continue to be made about her, and show how she remains relevant in pop culture today. Many who are interested in learning about the many facets of Monroe may find that the mini-series is entertaining enough, in that the actors and actresses do a good job of painting a picture conveying Marilyn’s life story, by showing the viewer the ups, downs, and pitfalls of her life.
In the mini-series The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Kellie Garner bares a striking resemblance to the actress, adding to the believability of the story, though it takes more than the right look to portray a woman like Marilyn Monroe. They must also show the depth she had, being a person who was suffered greatly but still maintained her elegance and grace. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe takes viewers on a four-hour film journey detailing these elements, and gives the story truth by focusing on the way her sex kitten status made her feel confined; this, along with her strained relationship with her mother, may have led to her death. All of Monroe’s die-hard fans who watch the mini series will end up knowing more about the actress, but still may continue to wonder about who she truly was, and how her reign and memory still live on even in these modern times. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe provides a new look at her life story, giving viewers a glimpse into the drama and controversy that followed the actress.
By Tabitha Jenkins
New York Post: New Mini Series Reveals The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
MyLifetime.com: About The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe
La Times Secret: Life of Marilyn Monroe Takes Fresh Approach To Familiar Tale