Back in 1994 I was 15, and I didn’t have any real interest in figure skating. So vague stories of “the incident” that resulted in Nancy Kerrigan getting hit in the leg floated by me, but I never paid an attention to it.
This was pre-internet1 peoples, random news stories2 from the states didn’t make it huge over here. And I didn’t really watch the news so maybe it did and I just didn’t notice. But I guess the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigen story did make an impact because I did recall the story when I heard about this film.
And at first I was a bit “meh whatevs” but then I heard positive reviews, and then I saw the trailer, and I felt I should go see it. But of course it wasn’t showing in my local cinema… so I emailed them, and what do you know, the following week I got an email back telling me the times I could go see it. Excellent.
And I really enjoyed it.
It certainly has a very distinctive style and tone to it. Almost comedic and light-hearted, and yet it never treats the violence with anything but the seriousness it deserves. Somehow the tone is just perfect.
Of course it is the story from Harding’s point of view, and the film never sets out to offer the viewer a definitive truth, but it is very much on Tonya’s side. Not against Nancy, she isn’t an antagonist or anything, but she certainly doesn’t get to give her version of events, this isn’t that film. It is Tonya’s story.
Overall, although it is a laugh out loud film, it is a very sad and poignant film. I certainly came out of it just feeling sad for all that Tonya had been through in life.