Words Glenn Blomfield
Some years have passed since we have heard about Tonya Harding, and the Ice Skating world that she sensationalised in the 1990’s leading up to the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Her famous legacy left with not what happened on the ice rink, but what happened outside of the rink, that of the ‘incident’, the attack on fellow competitor Nancy Kerrigan that broke her knee. All payed out and planned behind the scenes, unbeknownst to Tonya Harding’s knowledge, by her then husband Jeff Gillooly, with a small bunch of inept wonders that are an excuse for human beings.
The story is filled with tragedy, physical and psychological abuse and violence. The drama is sad, and I for one actually really felt for Tonya Harding by the end of this film. Her story was far more than news media portrayed. With all this drama and violence portrayed in the film, it is surprising how funny the film is, a great comedy at the same time, as Shakespeare put it, “There is no drama/tragedy without comedy”.
The film straight away rocks from the gates with punchy pace, like entering a boxing ring, this film has a few rounds to punch through, and what a gutsy fight it is. The narrative of I,Tonya is a playing field of contending styles. If I was to use a film comparison it would be Martin Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas’ for example. Straight to camera documentary interviews, characters narrating there own scenes contradicting each others point of view, characters break scenes and direct attention to the audience.
There is also a very strong drama story unfolding through out. In description it all sounds like a mixed bag of a film, and it is, but also its not, it works incredibly well, and as I mention straight away you know you are in for hell of a ride.
This all works because the theme of the film is dealing with fact and fiction, who said what, to actual what really happened in people points of view and opinions. There is no clear cut factual point of view, but it is clear, Tonya Harding did not get a fair chance, and this film will give that voice of recognition, there is more to her life than that ‘incident’ involving Nancy Kerrigan.
I, Tonya is a great contender for the best film of the year, great way to start 2018 with my first review with such a great powerful film. The acting cannot go without notice, and it clearly is obvious why Margot Robbie portrayal of Tonya Harding is getting the spotlight and accolade it deserves. As should the supporting character actors, special note Allison Janney as the mother, have to see to believe, she’s a scene stealer every time.
Director Craig Gillespie has created an energetic powerful verve, with a punch of strong connecting emotion. Writer Steven Rogers, has put together a compelling story that very well plays with the themes of fact and fiction but clearly shows the true victims in what is in all reality is a true story. There you have it, my first review for 2018, and what a firecracker it is. Discover for yourself this great film, and be surprised.