Movie – I, Tonya [REVIEW] – Fitting In Is Overrated

IMDb Rating: 7,5/10
Genres: Biography, Comedy, Drama, Sport
Director: Craig Gillespie
Writer: Steven Rogers
Stars: Margot RobbieSebastian StanAllison Janney


When a scandal was used as media circus in several tabloid or magazines and when skating was just a sport which was seen far away by the world, Tonya Harding stood to serve the United States as one of the famous figure skating athletes at the time along with the scandal which made her name got even worse. There are those who hate her but there are also those who love her so much. Together when she was still able to compete with her rival Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding was even specified as one of the most hated people in the United States because she had ruined the country image. In fact, media didn’t stop making as a circus material when she was retired and became a fighter who loves to boxing. “I, Tonya” isn’t one of those movies which tell a tragic story of a biopic person but deviates from those things which instead of hating her but we sympathize with Tonya Harding as a human being. With formulated outline between absurdity, ambiguity, irony, and reality, Craig Gillespie carries us to Tonya Harding’s story from her rise as one of the greatest figure skating to her fall.

Loved for a fleeting moment and then hated for life, Tonya Harding, the child prodigy who was forced into the realm of skating by her overbearing and abusive mother, LaVona Golden, recounts the events in her bumpy life. From her harmful relationship with her first beau, Jeff Gillooly, to her utter defeat in the 1992 Winter Olympics, and from that disgraceful incident with her friend and fellow skater, Nancy Kerrigan, to her last chance at the 1994 Winter Olympics, Tonya was always a victim of her abundant talent. However, talent alone isn’t enough, even if you are the first American figure skater who can perform to perfection the notoriously difficult triple axel in competition.

Source: IMDb

Sebastian Stan and Paul Walter Hauser in I, Tonya (2017)

Margot Robbie is no longer an actress who is able to appear sexy in the movies such as “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Suicide Squad.” Her character in this movie is so different and experienced as fully as possible so it seems to be a character and figure capable of being an inspiration but also feel sympathizing with her character. Tonya really deserved to be forgiven for her life which was always being tortured because of her aggressive mother, her relationship with her first husband who was sweet and kind at the first until using some violence and even pointed a gun, and her career was ruined because she was accused of scandal and made into media circus. Even though I don’t really understand the relationship between this married couple, I just don’t know why Tonya always believed Jeff as her loyal husband despite their frequent quarrels. This is what makes this story feel complex and it’s just me who feels ridiculous because the relationship seems to have many twists which often break up. Tonya is known for her aggressive personality both in reality and on stage. Her anger always rises and makes the other people break from it’s within until making it unconsciously hated by most of them. However, this is what makes you feel sympathetic because of her background with her mother always beat her and didn’t have too many friends. Therefore, she always makes an anger as her energy in order to prove to people who hate her which he can do it. Tonya isn’t a beautiful figure skating and seems generous. In fact, it’s all contradictions of how she often exploded and had a swear mouth. However, her figure as a skater has an extraordinary determination and capability both on the ice and in her family’s experience.

Margot Robbie in I, Tonya (2017)

Tonya Harding isn’t a fictional character apart from Robbie who is not so similar to the original Tonya. Margot Robbie brings a deep character inside herself to form a new character in herself. Not only impersonation, her appearance in this film was very real both when she was inside and outside. The cinematography isn’t just stayed at the place but it always follows. This also made this film so good when this movie was featured in two documentary-impressed formats where the characters were interviewed two decades later. The characters in this movie are not only Tonya who are highlighted but take many perspectives from Jeff, Diane Rawlinson, Shawn, and people who have been in contact with her. The film also used some dark joke and sometimes, the actor and the actresses are always breaking the 4th wall both when they are interviewed and the narratives. The overused song in this movie cannot be separated from a view, but the songs are always able to emphasize the moments which are not always serious. The film also leaves an imperceptibly ambiguous impression because we didn’t know who is right and who is wrong considering the film was taken from all perspectives from all the characters which interviewed. When putting together into one story, it became a whole story where people have their own stories in response to the event.

Allison Janney in I, Tonya (2017)

Although this film wanna be impressed as a sarcasm for mass media and other elements, “I, Tonya” is actually not too strong to be enjoyed. This film is rich in some of the stories and the pace which are not too slow even though the film is two hours long but doesn’t feel at all. You would also understand each feeling of the characters. One thing which I want to state is Tonya Harding is the main focus. Besides Tonya, there is Shawn played by Paul Walter Hauser. His character is really funny and ironic about how he became a major point in-between the conflict. His characteristic of living in his mother’s basement while telling his experience when working as an anti-terrorist is really pretty annoying but funny so it seems like a character that never existed. Allison Janney as LaVona is great, a character that truly illustrates the cruelty of a mother who always torments her daughter but still has feelings in her heart for her daughter. Sebastian Stan as Jeff is one of the heels in this movie, showing a violent character as Tonya’s husband. Julianne Nicholson as Diane Rawlinson wasn’t too great but became an important character in the development of Tonya Harding. Although this film also told about figure skater on the ice, this film doesn’t just focus on it like the one which it is shown by Sayo Yamato’s Yuri!!! On ICE” but “I, Tonya” is a biopic film that focuses on one person. The choreography executed in this film is also great, and the costume design is also quite charming.

3,5 Star


I, Tonya” is a satirical movie from a media or an event that occurs in the United States, in the public, or in other countries. Even so, this film has a light and fast pace. Not too rushed but not too slow so you never get bored to enjoy each story. Tonya Harding is a complex character but is able to display her empathy side so we also support it. Margot Robbie is a person who creates a different character from inside herself. A movie about changing someone’s mindset from a biopic about a most hated person in the United States.

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