Fedora ( 1978 )
William Holden plays Barry Detweiler , who wants to make a film starring
an old reclusive actress called Fedora ( Marthe Keller ) because he has
a crush on her since his boyhood days when he was spotboy for her film
shoot and had the good fortune to see the full glory of her nude breasts
from up close while tasked with placing flowers over them as she was
shooting in a pool . And she had taken a liking for him and called him
to her room and asked him if he found her nude body hot , and had said
that he must be a pansy if he did not like her body----meaning she would
feel insulted if he did not admire her flesh ; a true narcissist our
Fedora , just like a true film star...
Having briefly dated this famous movie star a long time ago and been on
long drives in her car with her , Barry just can't get her out of his
mind . And here he now , trying to meet her decades later on an island
where she has mysteriously disappeared after leaving films and joining
them again . And he closes onto the villa where Fedora lives , only to
find out that it is heavily guarded by tough looking humans and even
tougher dogs .
But Barry is nothing if not persistent , and he soon makes contact with
her . But she tells him that she is being held captive by a countess and
her men . When Barry tries to renew the contact he is beaten and left
unconscious by one of Fedora's overseers . When he wakes up , he finds
out that she is dead having committed suicide .
As he comes to pay his last respects to her body , Barry accuses the
countess and her husband of having conspired to kill Fedora . And the
countess is then forced to blurt out the jaw dropping truth . That
Fedora was actually she herself and she was even more narcissistic than
Barry thought . That in order to satisfy her narcissism she used to take
regular treatments from her doctor that one day had the opposite
effect of disfiguring her . And she had gone into hiding . But when she
got news that the academy award had been awarded to her , she had
prepared her daughter to receive the award impersonating her . And the
impersonation was so good that the daughter soon was working in films as
Fedora , impersonating her of course .
But when the daughter fell in love like all young women do , she wanted
to reveal the secret to the young man she loved . That she was not older
than him as he thought and that they could be together without any age
gap between them . But the idea of the revelation of this secret
exploded the vanity of the older real Fedora like a poisonous snake
being disturbed , and she did the most cruel and vile thing that a woman
could do---held her own child drugged and captive .
Seeing the film I was disgusted with these filmy people and their
horrible ego and their self absorption . More so because such people
actually exist in the film industry and are not fiction . The film
evokes Hollywood of the forties---extravagant sets and movies and even
more extravagant egos .
And yet people are willing to pamper and pander to these extravagant
egos . For Barry agrees to keep the secret of the countess , as Fedora
is called in her new avtar . And why ? For old times sake of
course...to remember with happiness the time he had briefly dated this
great star .
The film is suspenseful in the beginning and the explanation of the
suspense is even more shocking than we thought . In that sense the film
exceeds our expectations . Acting and photography is okay but colours
are not great . Background music is okay too .
Three and a half stars out of five .