Monday, 23 July 2018

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story: NZIFF Review

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story: NZIFF Review

Known to many only as a Hollywood icon, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is one of those docos that will change your perception of her.

Prevalent in the golden era of 1940s Hollywood, Lamarr lived another life, one which she was passionate about, but never really gained the recognition for.

And it's this doco by Alexandra Dean which sets out to correct her reputation and give her the kudos she deserves as an inventor.
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story: NZIFF Review

It's not exhaustive by any means - however, it is concise and well-executed; coupled with what Dean does to expand greatly on it is flesh out the belief that Lamarr died without telling her story.

Helped by the discovery of a lost interview which literally sat by the bin, the mix of archival footage, candid clips, and a desire to reclaim her reputation, what emerges of Lamarr is not just a fascinating insight, but an intriguing piece of empowerment for those fighting against the perception of belief.

With a reasonable pace that never feels rushed or hurried, yet gives enough detail to flesh out the deserved yet ignored reputation, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story has some directorial flourishes to revel in.

Whether it's animations on black and white pictures or illustrations of past events, Dean creates a wider more engaging tapestry than perhaps the one-note historical perception of Lamarr.

It's a fascinating exploration of a woman undermined and gazumped by others, but one which also demonstrates the conflict over her own doubts of her place in the world.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story may start out seeming like a hagiography, fulsome in its praise for the actress, but the smart diversion into what her true calling was and how she remained dignified when all around abused it, is nothing short of inspiring and deeply admirable.

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