14 July 2017 | Reno-Rangan
To rediscover one's passion.
This is an under-noticed inspiring tale. A biographical sport film based on an American gymnast Ariana Berlin. Like in any sports, after suffering from an accident or injury, how they fight for their comeback is the purpose of this film. It opened with a brief intro of her childhood, like what gymnastic means for her. She was not alone, but grew up with it alongside her close friend, Isla. The timeline of the story was on the crossroad of her life, just a few steps away to become what she had dreamt of. But with an unexpected event, her dream comes crumbling down.
First of all, this is not like any other sports film you have seen. But yes, a few parts resembles on what all the sports films have that in common with. So it is a very similar kind to the recent film 'Bleed for This', except a different sport. I have seen some good gymnastic films, including the recent 'The Bronze', but this one was a unique experience. Because all those films are focused on heroism. Like too unrealistic or intentional, how one overcomes from all the obstacles. Everything's about achieving something big. Unlike those, this was more about passion for the game.
Besides, the road to come back, everybody needs a confident boost. One never knows where and how it strikes him. You might think it would be the coach, parents, friends or maybe a counselor/mentor, but that part was the unusual of this film. It was none of them, but hip hop. Seems these two are not so far away from one another, especially they align in the case of physics, but totally falls in a different category. The fusions in any events are not rare, even in professional level in this modern world, but how does it work is the interesting part. A part of innovation. I would say it was nothing special, yet quite enjoyable.
❝Sometimes when the front door gets slammed in your face, you have to go through the back door.❞
It had a good opening, and after the initial setback which is to set up a platform for the rest of the story, the middle section picked up well from it. Not that the film scenes were unpredictable, even though reasonable. Yeah, I was not sure which way the narration is heading. It was quite jumping all around till the third act to commence, then it sets its target firmly. Probably where you would get disappointed is the Ariana's dream. Her passion wins, but not her ambition. The end is where all the viewers would have their eyes. How it all going to end and what kind of message it reveals was much simpler, yet, like I said earlier, inspiring.
One of the best sport-films of the year. It was fun as well. I felt the dance parts should have given more attention to. Anyway, it was not primarily a dance flick, but had enough influence to say close to one. So don't watch it expecting it to be one, but gymnastic. If you like that game, particularly an aspirant, or any sports aspirant with a roadblock, it'll motivate you to keep on trying. Totally an unexpected film and I'm glad I saw it. Surely I would suggest it if anybody asks me for some good sports and biopics.
Good casting, pretty faces in the front row, if you are a guy. I don't know much about gymnastics, but I know the lead cast worked hard for the perfection. At least to be close to it. I hope Ana Golja and Sarah Fisher would do more films in the lead. They were very impressive in their respective roles. The real Ariana appeared in a guest role roles. A decent writing and direction, but it was the fine storyline that held them up, alongside performances. I liked all the gymnastic stunts/displays. The runtime and the pace of the narration was perfect. Overall an appreciable film. Usually biopics are must see, so I hope you consider it.