Film: My Week With Marilyn
Cast: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh
Directed by: Simon Curtis
Duration: 96 mins
Rating: * * * *
Marilyn Monroe. That name had a one of its kind fan following about half a century ago and even today she remains an enigma. It wasn’t just about her beauty or sexuality, it was just the whole package deal. Even today, she evokes sufficient interest and has become a legend in her own right. Director Simon Curtis’ who has tons of experience working in television, his new film ‘My Week With Marilyn’ gives us a glimpse of what the lady was like, behind the scenes. Although it is well known that she had a troubled life, especially in the latter part of her career, till death came knocking on her door in 1962, at the age of 36.
The film is not a biopic on Marilyn. It focuses on the period when she came to England in 1956, to shoot ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ with Sir Lawrence Olivier (played by Kenneth BRanagh). It is based on a true story, an account written by Colin Clark called ‘My Week with Marilyn and The Prince’, ‘The Showgirl and Me’. Colin (Eddie Redmayne) is a 23-year-old who is in love with movies. He comes from a rich and influential family but wants to something in the movie business, even though he is not quite sure, what. By talking his way through, he lands a job in Lawrence Olivier productions as the third assistant.
Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams in an Oscar nominated performance) is supposed to star in the Olivier’s new film ‘The Sleeping Prince’. By that time, she was already a global star, the press and photographers are in full force to greet her when she arrives at the airport. But by then, her problems had also started. She had just got married (her third marriage) to the American writer Arthur Miller who also accompanied her on that trip. She was already tacking pills and battling personal demons, lack of confidence being one of them.
As the production gets underway, everyone discovers that she is not easy to work with and coming late on the sets is not her only problem. But she takes a liking to Colin who is just a ‘do this, do that’ boy on the location. When Miller leaves, a special relationship is developed between Marilyn and Colin. To her, he is a comforting friend, while he falls in love with her.
The other characters include Paula, Marilyn’s dominating friend who knows it all when it comes to acting, Sir Oliviers wife, the famous actress Vivien Leigh and Judi Dench plays Dame Sybil, who is a compassionate character. While the film sticks to the basics as to what happened during the fateful week that stayed with Colin throughout his life.
Apart from sympathetically focusing on the relationship, director Simon Curtis successfully recreates the magic of the 50’s. While Michelle Williams may not exactly ooze the same sensuality as Monroe, not doubt that she has done a terrific job as an actress. Kenneth Branagh as Sir Lawrence Olivier is brilliant and Judi Dench is good, as always. Eddie Redmayne is aptly cast as the young starry eyed man. On the whole, ‘My Week with Marilyn’ is a superlative piece of film making and has a touching story to tell too.