“I, Tonya” and its imperfect narrator

The documentary style filmmaking of “I, Tonya” recreates interviews with Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan) while chronicling the skater’s life leading up to the infamous attack on Nancy Kerrigan.  Though many films utilize a “based on a true story” title card to capitalize on the sensationalism of what follows, “I, Tonya” does the opposite.  The opening of the movie warns that the source material interviews were completely contradictory.  In fact, further research into the film shows the pair disagreed on absolutely everything, including the basic details of their first date.  This note of caution extends further than the biased narrators, a point Tonya herself underscores by saying everyone has their own truth and this is merely hers.

Robbie met the film’s subject only once prior to shooting as she was reluctant to turn the character into a carbon copy of the skater.  That said, Robbie does so well in the role that it often feels like watching archival footage.

While many are undoubtedly curious about the Nancy Kerrigan beating, a fact Tonya acknowledges on screen, the actual event goes by quickly.  This movie is Tonya’s moment, not Nancy’s.  And, whereas that event may seem like the pinnacle of drama, the high-stakes of the movie actually come from the abuse she’s subject to by her mom and husband.  In fact, the repeated beatings are so disturbing that this feels like a cautionary tale about domestic violence much of the time.

To find out more about what makes Tonya an imperfect narrator, as well as behind-the-scenes details about incorporating her famous triple axel into the movie, take a look below:

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All photos courtesy of LuckyChap Entertainment.

SUICIDE SQUAD Review & Analysis

SUICIDE SQUAD is the latest offering from the DC Extended Universe as a group of anti-heroes become exactly what they hate: the heroes.  David Ayer directs an all-star cast of Will Smith as Deadshot, Jared Leto as The Joker, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Viola Davis as Amanda Walker, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as Diablo and Cara Delevigne as June Moon/The Enchantress.

Looking at the film from a purely cinematic standpoint, it’s extremely well done.  Jared Leto and Margot Robbie as the Joker and Harley Quinn respectively stole the show, not only with their acting which was fantastic, but in terms of the scenes they were written–these were among the most disturbing in the movie.

As with any ensemble movie, characters tend to get lost in the shuffle.  In this case, Killer Croc and Boomerang were more filler than anything else.

The music, cinematograph and special effects were well done.  The songs used are all familiar ones that work to lighten the otherwise heavy and dark subject matter.

As well done as SUICIDE SQUAD was, some parts were so disturbing that I can only call this a good movie if I separate the aspect of feminism from it.  The way Harley Quinn’s character was treated was downright upsetting, at one point mining a laugh from her being punched in the face.  It began to raise questions such as: Is it okay to like a movie that portrays terrible things against only one gender?  What about one race?

For more insight into the movies strengths and weaknesses as well as eagle eye details to watch for, take a look below:

 

Interested in some Harley Quinn trivia?  Click here.

—>Looking for the direct link to the video?  Click here.

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