Day Twenty-One: I, Tonya (MotM 2018)

I, tonya

(“Recommended” by Kalavente, who seems to enjoy “recommending” me things.)

I’ll keep this brief. My timeframe is limited tonight.

Not a “KNOCKOUT!” as “The Playlist” would say, but it’s a fairly entertaining and disturbing look into the life of a woman plagued by a life that expected her to conform. This film is bigger than Tonya Harding herself; it’s a dedication to those who are brought down by an unfortunate part of American culture. Whether pressured into being “pretty for the camera,” as I would put it, or situated in a culture that encourages male dominance through violence and control, I, Tonya is only a tragic case of something I’m sure many have to deal with throughout their daily lives, at least more so in that time period.

Though the film has a tendency for unevenness with its themes that becomes noticeable once “The incident” rears itself. The manner of displaying Harding’s tough upbringing, female objectification, the progression of “The incident,” and the struggles of fame are all sort of juggled and focused upon only in short bits whenever it feels it can pursue in particular scenes. And for those simply looking for the life of Tonya Harding, disappointment will be inevitable. As I said before, the film is bigger than Harding—she is only the catalyst to a much bigger conflict at play, though that’s not to say she isn’t an interesting character.

I’d say watch it if one’s into picking up the intricacies of American societal pressures and dark underbelly. Otherwise, it’ll likely be a murky watch that’s only interesting for the strange occurrences that defined Harding’s quick rise (and just as quickly, fall) to glory.

Final Score: 7/10

The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.

For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!

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