Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic Cooper, Judi Dench, Emma Watson, Dougray Scott, Michael Kitchen, Julia Ormond, Toby Jones, Zoe Wanamaker, Philip Jackson and Derek Jacobi.
Well here is a movie that i was really looking forward to watch only for the title, My Week with Marilyn. I may not have seen enough Marilyn Monroe movies but i feel like i know her very well, her beauty, charisma is something that everyone knows a lot about. A person who is familiar with the word Hollywood certainly knows who Marilyn Monroe is. I was really excited when i heard the lovely Michelle Williams is going to play her in this movie and i started expecting something a lot more then what the picture later offered to me. So My Week with Marilyn as the name suggests is based on the books by Colin Clark who escorted Marilyn around Britain in 1957 when she was there to shoot for her movie The Prince and the Showgirl. Colin Clark played by Eddie Redmayne is a young aspiring filmmaker who just got graduated and is in London to look for a job at Sir Laurence Olivier's Production Company who is played by Kenneth Branagh. Colin eventually gets a job after Vivien Leigh, the wife of Olivier played by Julia Ormond tells him too and he soon impresses them when is giving the first task to see for a perfect residence for Marilyn and her husband. Marilyn arrives with her husband, business partner Milton H. Greene played by Dominic Cooper and the acting coach Paula Strasberg played by Zoe Wanamaker. Olivier starts to get a bit frustrated because on the set, Marilyn arrives late and often forgets her lines, she seems to be nervous all the time and her acting coach is always with her. Sybil Thorndike played by Judi Dench is a fellow actress on the set who seems very kind hearted enough to always praise and defend Marilyn in front of Olivier. Some troubles arises between her and Arthur and he returns to United States, she doesn't come on set and instead invites Colin to her house. Lucy, played by Emma Watson who also works on set and dated Colin senses a growing attraction for Marilyn in Colin and so does Milton who tries to warn him of her nature.
So this movie just shows a small part of Marilyn Monroe's life and is not her biography or something. As much as i liked certain elements of the movie, it felt to have lacked in few others and overall, i don't think it is a very good movie so expect a very brief review. Movie starts with a very flashy and superb looking song performance by Marilyn Monroe called 'Heat Wave' which looks and sounds quite stunning and a good way to start a movie. It kind of builds this whole feel of movies at that time and sets the tone for the more gilts and glamour that is coming on the way. It is the first time we see Michelle Williams as Marilyn and she looks marvelous, she sings and dances in a way that really reminds you of her. Not just that but movie ends with a song performance too so both of these are the good points of the movie. I would really say that Michelle Williams is as close as you can get to Marilyn Monroe, i kind of see Scarlett Johanson playing this part too i mean look wise though i don't know how she would have done it but Williams really outshines here. You can see the dedication and love here she put in to do this part which is so iconic that it becomes very tough to play it but i heard all about the preparation that Michelle Williams did to play perfectly this part. Soon the movie turns into a Eddie Redmayne flick and the movie goes down with it but suddenly Kenneth Branagh enters as Sir Laurence Olivier out of nowhere and the movie gets a sudden kick, that scene is just so brilliantly done by him i mean the way he talks and the whole attitude is so pitch perfect. Than comes Marilyn Monroe and brings such a beauty on screen, we see Michelle Williams talking her way and that is something she quite perfected. I know she doesn't look like her but her voice and the way she talks really makes you feel like you are hearing actual Marilyn Monroe talk which is fantastic.
Not just that but she walks like her too, the dancing scenes are quite simply choreographed and we see a lovely Michelle trying to dance like her. My Week with Marilyn has its flaws and it looks like a made for TV movie, trust me there isn't much of a theatricality to it. You wont see much drama because the writers and director fails to achieve that part, the funny scenes aren't literally funny but frustrating, embarrassing and just plain over the top. I think they did quite a injustice to Marilyn and the way they show her is quite a stereotypical way, we doesn't fully get her or understand her because we aren't even given a chance. Something is going on with her in one scene and the writers doesn't really reach the point but ultimately they cut to some other characters and then is back to Marilyn and boom, she becomes a new character and something you don't get because she doesn't feel like the Marilyn you knew a few minutes back. They don't really achieve the certain psychological depth that they should have showing such a iconic character which is something they should have i mean no matter how big or small and how open and shy or closeted a celebrity is, there always is something there. And overall with much visual panache and pleasure that it has to offer, movie ultimately feels quite superficial and ridiculously simple and quite short. Such a short running time and before you know, its over. I wont say this movie is terrible but there isn't enough movie in it, not much of meat and bone if you will. It has some good work in costumes, makeup and art direction department. It also has the whole feel of the time which it is showing and it is nice to see a part of that lovely bygone era in film making.
Kenneth Branagh performed really well as this loud and arrogant actor and director who was someone very strict and hard working and expected the same from others. Some really good scenes between Colin and Marilyn we see and those are the moments when you see the most honest this movie gets. I would say they failed to achieve the goal, Marilyn is shown quite like a demon here with her drinking and coming late on set with everyone waiting for hours and then she forgets her lines and become nervous and doesn't fully get her character and then suddenly they tries too hard to be cautious about not letting much of the negative feel so we doesn't truly get what goes on in there. Marilyn is a mystery for sure, or maybe that is the reason so different people perceive different ideas about her because she is a woman we don't know about but we think she might have been something like this. A charming, good to watch quite glamorous production that achieve one thing but doesn't truly strive to achieve the others.