Home » Pamela, A Love Story Review : The Real Pamela Anderson, in her own words

Pamela, A Love Story Review : The Real Pamela Anderson, in her own words

Netflix documentary ‘Pamela, A Love Story’, the aim to shift the focus on her narrative and struggles have been strong

by Teamexpresspo
Pamela, A Love Story Review : The Real Pamela Anderson, in her own words

Rating: 4/5

By: Sarojini Chatterjee

Cast: Pamela Anderson

Director: Ryan White

The story of Pamela Anderson has been told a few times too many in the recent past. From the Emmy nominated miniseries ‘Pam & Tommy’ which the celebrity doesn’t endorse, to her memoir ‘Love, Pamela’ and now the Netflix documentary ‘Pamela, A Love Story’, the aim to shift the focus on her narrative and struggles have been strong.

After renowned actress-model Pamela Anderson became a global sensation with ‘Baywatch’, she had been the talk of the town with frequent features in talk shows as a guest. Her candour and gleaming positivity made her a sensation. But beyond the glamour was a strength which let her hold her ground even in the face of grossly personal and crude questions about her body and choice of work.

Her journey has been one of incredible passion. A seemingly lucky exposure landed her a job as a model for Labatt’s beer which eventually landed her at the Playboy mansion. From thereon she was catapulted to lifeguard drama, ‘Baywatch’. Over her eclectic career, she ensured that she never held back on opportunities because she was shy or hesitant. Over the years, she truly became a star. And she did it with grit. From being talked about for her breast implants to enduring the leak of her sex tape with her husband, Tommy Lee, she has braved a plethora of crudely personal questions from media and audiences alike.

Ryan White’s documentary ‘Pamela, a Love Story’ presents an opportunity for Anderson to share her story in her own words, with her own focus. She discusses abuse that dates back to childhood, and the burden of believing that the body she was celebrated for, was not really her own. With readings from her journal to diving into footage of her own home movies that she has documented over the years; Ryan White uses this film to narrate the story of the love that drives Pamela Anderson and the heartbreak that ensues. The actor-model also details her messy family life – her father an alcoholic and abusive person, her toxic marriage, and the constant intrusion of media.

It also leaves no space for other’s voices – which is empowering to Anderson who never had much say in what was spoken about her. The documentary is a story of resolution. And a story of finding the perfect ending in a rather imperfect world.

When it comes to love, she fondly remembers Tommy Lee. In her own words, being with him was her “wildest, most beautiful love affair ever.” In her life, she has had many affairs. She’s been married six times. She admits that she loves being in love. But amidst many affairs, it was Tommy Lee with whom she parented two children, and with whom she created a videotape that was in all intent to be for their eyes only, until it was stolen and leaked, without recompense or apology. A video that led to years of legal battles and became one of internet’s first viral video.

At times in the documentary Pamela wonders why she is reliving her life’s worst moments, but she ultimately admits: “It’s good to get it out once or twice in your own words – in my own words.”

The documentary is aimed at demotivating the notion that celebrities are meant for the public eye – that is a deal you sign with the demon and hope for the best. It talks about the price of voyeurism and how invasion of privacy can ultimately shape a persona.

In all her candour, Pamela Anderson is truly one for the camera. The documentary displays varied shades of her – a vibrant sense of humour, romanticism and cunning self-awareness, how her childishness and urge to trust people and melancholy may be at odds with each other.

The film in all its essence isn’t a legal or procedural battle that will connect the dots to tell audiences the exact story of what happened in her life. Rather it is a portrayal of her desire to tell her own story, in her own way. That doesn’t mean the documentary is particularly revelatory. It is a narrative of how the actor-model sees herself and how she wants the world to see herself – whether she’s at home lounging at 55 or on a Playboy cover at 25. She is finally in control of her own story, without an apology and it is wonderful. And the tumultuous parts of her life that she was never in control of might be the real tragedy of her life.

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