Insight into an icy life one to watch

Ashwini SaseedaranSouth Western Times

MOVIE REVIEW: I, Tonya (MA15+) - 7/10

In a battle of the blades comes a battle of relationships, fame and fair play.

I, Tonya tells the true tale of competitive ice skater and redneck Tonya Harding who despite her unrivalled talent on the ice was knocked back time and time again for reasons beyond her doing.

With a hardened, commanding and detached woman for a mother and a violent, controlling and jealous man for a husband, the story of Tonya’s struggles to further her athletic career is a sombre one.

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Along with getting mentally and physically beaten down by these abusive characters, Tonya’s chances of becoming an international hero are also blemished by the judges refusing to look past her unconventional hillbilly look.

Australia’s sweetheart Margot Robbie is truly a figure of power and defiance in this film as she does an incredible job of donning the identity of a rustic lower class girl surrounded by naysayers.

Tonya’s mother LaVona Harding and husband Jeff Gillooly are played by brilliant actors Alison Janney and Sebastian Stan who step into their adverse roles with ease, bringing an unapologetic realistic flair to the screen.

Director Craig Gillespie’s choice of cut-away shots moving from past to present through a collection of cinematic scenes and recreation of real-life interviews also works well in offering a biographical story.

But in this tale of violence versus elegance and rise against fall, a number of memorable scenes and daring acts from impressive characters is somehow not enough to earn it huge accolades.

The dark comic film rendering the life and times of Tonya Harding is one to watch but not necessarily one to remember.

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