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‘Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story’ Review

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Hedy Lamarr is an icon of many facets. For decades, she was just known as one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the big screen. Although, in recent years, the public and in particular the scientific community have discovered that Lamarr was much more than a pretty face that society had labeled her. She was a brilliant scientific mind who created ideas that set the foundation for innovations of today. Unfortunately, like many people ahead of their time, she would not be recognized for her talents until much later. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story tells the almost fantastical tale of the famed actress/inventor and why she became a feminist icon.

The documentary recounts her childhood from living in Vienna, her life as a famed actress in Hollywood, her scientific invention during World War II, the various scandals, and finally her mostly reclusive lifestyle towards the end. Throughout the documentary, we are shown how she utilized her natural talent and beauty to either manipulate events in her favor or advance society in some way. While the documentary discusses her artistic achievements, there is an even greater emphasis on her invention of a radio device weapon to be used during World War II. Unfortunately, as the documentary points out, not very many people truly appreciated her talents while she was in her prime. Like many individuals brought into the entertainment industry, she was labeled and taken advantage of. She had become a prisoner of her beauty and her intellectual accomplishments were shoved aside.

Much of the documentary is narrated from Lamarr herself in a rare audio interview. We also get to hear interviews with close friends, family, and industry types. The responses from everyone ranged from somber to humorous. The documentary also presented various clips from films, news pieces, and interviews from Lamarr herself. One very interesting aspect is that they recruited Diane Kruger to read some journal entries by Lamarr. She does an excellent job and her role will probably be used as an audition for the biopic that will be probably be made sometime in the future.

Hedy Lamarr’s story feels almost too farfetched to be real. Her story points to a larger picture about how our society labels and is obsessed with perception. There are costs to being beautiful and they can be exploitive. Many times brilliant minds are so far ahead of their time that they are not appreciated until much later. Especially, if the idea came from a woman. Hedy Lamarr’s story is mostly a tragic but inspirational one and it is well told in Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story was directed by Alexandra Dean and will be coming to theaters on November 24th, 2017.

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