‘Blonde’ soundtrack is a heartbreaker

Blonde’  theme by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

The song is a soulfully haunting instrumental from the movie Blonde, which I watched tonight for the second time — the most emotionally draining film I’ve seen in years.

The movie, directed by Andrew Dominik, closely follows the bestselling novel by Joyce Carol Oates and portrays what critics have called the “dark side” of Marilyn’s life.

Ana de Armas gives an astonishing performance as Marilyn Monroe.

Nick Cave melody Nembutal
Ana de Armas

The drama contains disturbingly graphic scenes — hence the NC-17 rating (no one 17 and under admitted to the theater).

We see Marilyn as a young starlet being sodomized by a producer, forced to abort a child that she wanted and emotionally needed, giving oral sex to John F. Kennedy, and gasping her last breath in the death scene, which leaves little doubt that she was murdered

Nick Cave melody Nembutal

Blonde theme by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

One of the songs on the film’s soundtrack is a hymn-like instrumental by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis of the Australian rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The melody is morbidly but appropriately called Nembutal.

Nick Cave melody Nembutal
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

Nembutal is a strong and dangerous barbiturate that is taken for insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy and other seizures. It is often the drug of choice to euthanize people and animals, and is used in America to execute convicted criminals. It is also a painless way to commit suicide.

Marilyn Monroe died on August 4, 1962, at the age of 36, ending one of the most glamorous and tragic lives in modern American history. This is what the movie is about, and this is what the melody so movingly evokes.

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