A & E

Published on February 12th, 2018 | by Kimiya Aframian


“I, Tonya” accomplishes the triple axel in movie reviews

On Dec. 8, sport and drama film “I, Tonya was released into theaters, telling the amazing, true story of Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and the many adversities life threw at her. The movie shows Harding’s childhood and how persistence is what lead her to be the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition. However, landing the triple axel was only the beginning for her, because Harding was not the most admirable figure skater.


Her rough childhood influenced her own attitude because despite seeming like a delicate ballerina, Harding had to fight for everything in her life. She was not financially stable, supported or given fair opportunities in competitions. This biased judging only fed her fire and pushed her to become stronger, both on and off the ice. She presented herself as someone who came from a loving family, although she suffered severe abuse all her life. Just as Harding’s life is beginning to run smoothly, her rival Nancy Kerrigan is assaulted and struck on her knee, making her unable to skate or compete. Harding becomes a prime suspect in the investigation, and the movie traces the events preceding the scandal, as well as the punishments Harding must suffer.


“I, Tonya” is very informative and can easily be followed by non-skaters thanks to the explanations and moderate simplification. However, some scenes are too simplified and even have inaccurate facts. These facts do not steer away from the main idea, but these inaccuracies detract from the authenticity of the film. The format of the movie is not typical of many other movies, in the sense that it does not just run through scenes sequentially. Interviews, first hand accounts and comments break the chronological scenes and, in my opinion, brings the movie to a higher level.


Another potential source of inaccuracy is that the movie tends to victimize Harding and causes viewers to pity her. The level of abuse shown in the movie is disturbing, but it is impossible to know if she was really abused to this extent because the film was made with the help of Harding and could be intensified.


However inaccurate the film may be, it truly is entertaining and is well worth the two hours and one minute run time. Viewers can get a view of the big figure-skating scandal of Nancy Kerrigan, but more importantly watch the life story of Tonya Harding. It is empowering to witness her persist through her struggles and essentially fend for herself in life.  

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