What I, Tonya does spectacularly well is portray a victim of abuse. The scenes of Tonya in her middle to late teens, buffeted by abuse from her mother and abuse from her boyfriend/husband, are particularly well done. Watching them, I wondered how could she not have been badly damaged from this. That said, the scenes leading up to and following the whack do not paint a sympathetic picture of her, except insofar as they concern her relations with her mother.
As indicated at the start of the film, it focused on the difficulty of establishing 'truth'. That theme was explored by the different perspectives explored in the film.
As such, the film did not particularly take a sympathetic view - more a neutral view. It certainly did not take a 'poor Tonya' view and really was quite restrained in terms of showing sympathy for its major character.
And at the very end of the film, I think a full program of a Tonya program is shown in the corner of the film as the credits roll. Most of the audience is gathering their coats and leaving at this time. I did not watch the whole sequence, and neither did anyone else in the audience.
This was obviously intentional on the part of the producers and/or director. The message given IMO was while this was obviously an important moment to Tonya, it is a moment largely forgotten (as it has been in reality).
So as the film ends the audience doesn't admire Tonya's skating, but rather thinks about the legacy of abuse inflicted upon an individual.
This is the rare American movie that demands critical analysis from the viewer. If that isn't someone's cup of tea, so be it.[/QUOTE]
Again, I agree. The film does not inspire either love or hatred of Tonya.
You can hate Tonya all you want. You can hate that a film was made to 'glorify this person who did a bad thing' - but the story of abuse remains true.
What happens to a person when her mother, a person charged with loving and caring for her, does things like throw a knife at her? How does that mess with your self-esteem and your head?