Karl is tired of the heavy burden of fame that oppresses him and he decides to liberate himself from it. He returns to life among so called ordinary people, after which he crosses paths with fame-seeking Marilyn. Ordinary Karl is the force that turns Marilyn into an idol of the masses. But not for long…
«If you combined a classic twisted film noir narrative with a meditation on the troubling implications of the current cult of celebrity and glossed everything with a touch of the dry dark humour of an Aki Kaurismäki movie you might end up with something like Karl and Marilyn.
Karl and Marilyn is full of references to other films. A strange, shapeless detective character in massively oversized fedora and trench coat addresses the audience in a world-weary voice over, recalling classic “private eye” films from the 1940s and 50s, Karl, an action movie star, resembles Johnny Weissmuller and appears to have gained a degree of notoriety from starring in a series of Tarzan films, Marilyn duplicates Marilyn Monroe’s iconic skirt-raising scene from The Seven-Year Itch, and a nerdy photographer discovers Karl’s crime after he has accidentally photographed and enlarged it, as in Antonioni’s Blow-Up.»
(Celia Nicholls, Karl and Marilyn. Karl ja Marilyn., Metro Cinema Publications n. 2, March 2005)