Just the sound of “Anita Pallenberg“…just the sound of her name gets your blood going. And the way she looked in the ’60s and early ’70s…those eyes, that slender model bod, that blonde hair, that great toothy smile and that mischievous expression.

Pallenberg, who passed in 2017 at age 75, was an elite, live-wire cultural adventuress like few others. An Italian-German model, a Roman Dolce Vita girl, a Warholer in Manhattan, an edgy actress (Barbarella, Performance) and a tantalizing, muse-like Rolling Stones girlfriend — initially linked with Brian Jones and briefly sexual with Mick Jagger, but mainly in deep with Keith Richards, with whom she lived for 13 years and had three kids with.

If any woman was right in the London Morocco Cote d’Azur vortex of it all, Pallenberg was…all of that hormonal energy and lust for life…all of that dizzy proximity to that druggy neverland playground feeling…an elite circle that drew nourishment from a well that everyone wanted to sip from…fame, decadent glamour, notoriety, discovery, depravity, provocation and all manner of drug-fueled breast-stroking and splashing around…what a time, what a life and what a comedown when it all tapered off.

Alexis Bloom and Svetlana Zill‘s Catching Fire: The Story of Anita Pallenberg, which I finally saw last night, is hard to succinctly describe beyond the boilerplate. Everyone seems to find it fascinating but there’s something a bit resigned and downerish about it.

But I’ll tell you one thing…no, two things off the top. One, it’s based on an unpublished memoir that Pallenberg wrote, and so the narration has a tone of straight-shooting, take-it-or-leave-it authenticity. And two, Scarlet Johansson was the wrong actor to “play” Pallenberg by reading from it. Pallenberg’s voice had a dry, casually sophisticated, laid-back European flavor…a seen-and-tasted-it-all quality, and Johansson’s rural, shopping-mall voice is just all wrong…it makes Pallenberg sound coarse and common, which she certainly wasn’t.

The doc is certainly interesting but less than a half-hour in you’re saying to yourself, “Wow, she was a fascinating actress and a major presence, ahead of the curve and truly fearless…she knew everyone and was quite the social and sartorial influencer who whoo-whooed on ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ and inspired ‘Beast of Burden’…right there at the center of every significant Rolling Stones chapter and juncture, but what did she do wrong?”

I’ll tell you what she did wrong. She flirted too closely with danger and self-destruction. Pot and hallucinogens and the whole tingly, mid ’60s spiritual side of the equation were great, but she and Keith got too deeply into smack in the late ’60s and ’70s. That was it, the whole problem. Junkiedom, fatalism, no planning for the future.

But man, what an incandescent life before that factor moved in…a life that inspired my using the word “that” 15 or 16 times in this review, and that ain’t hay.