Marilyn Monroe at 90: Her ‘secret’ life

[…] that’s the indisputable official line on the latest cultural post-mortem of a short, troubled life lived in headlines. The Lifetime miniseries is based on the well-regarded book of the same name by J. Randy Taraborrelli, which detailed the extent of her mental illness. Scudda Hay! and “Dangerous Years,” her various marriages and career-advancing sexual liaisons, the booze, the pills, the Kennedys, the death. The very minimal new information in the miniseries is that she ended up replicating her mother’s paranoid schizophrenia in her own life, at times convinced she was being secretly watched, at others given to more unsettling delusions, such as her inability to accept that she had lost the child she was carrying when married to playwright Arthur Miller. […] why will you tune in? Because the mythology of Marilyn Monroe is still enticingly potent, all these years after her death. […] we are drawn back into it, over and over again, trying to cut through the fog to get a sense of the real woman, based on the assumption that long before the look and voice were perfected, a real, albeit troubled, human being existed. David Wiegand is the TV critic and an assistant managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.

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