Free Skate (2022) Film Review


Free Skate continues

Even the best athletes in the world have had to endure injuries that make their journey that much more poetic and inspiring. A good part of their story seems to be their self-defeat, but also what surrounds them and crushes them to pieces in a game where victories are common but never unusual. But again, they always inspire when we put them on top as beings who can do things that are out of this world. They are supermen.

Roope Olenius‘ function Free Skate it adds something very intense to the formula. Through a dramatic adaptation of thousands of stories, we learn about the journey of a female ice skater as she escapes a country where oppression is the norm and enters the free world. Yes, trauma is his motivation, but it’s not just words. His past is revealed in a narrative structure filled with flashbacks that reveal the dire circumstances that led him to take a leap of faith into the unknown.

As the skater moves through the early stages of the healing process, several things come into play. From horrific body shaming that still embarrasses her to this day, to an abusive relationship that simply limited her. The past is hard enough to drown you in skepticism and self-doubt. Until he faces the floating memories, he will not succeed in a society that can accept him for who he is and what he can achieve.

Written by Veera W. Vilowho is a real gymnast and plays the main role, Free Skate enlightening enough for his statement to be recognized and absorbed by an audience naturally hungry for inspirational stories, even if it feels culturally distant. It’s a fascinating film without even having to give the main character a name, which may have more to do with the universality of the conflict.

Yes, Free Skate it’s captivating, but it’s not your average sports movie with the typical training sequences and a washed-out third act. The drama focuses on the protagonist’s growth beyond the trauma revealed at the beginning of the film. This is what Free Skate is about and works alongside the dynamics of a story built around a very complicated sport, which is also impressive when done well. It actually is. Olenius confidently performs his figure skating sequences, which are demonstrably beautiful and masterfully crafted by Vilo, who gives his all in the execution of the routines and the dramatic performances.

Sometimes, Free Skate its narrative is cold as ice (ha!), but the film develops at its own pace and within the framework of the culture in which it takes place. The Scandinavian style is too invasive to ignore as part of the plot, so Olenius does well to use the space to feature as an emotional element, making the driver’s journey much more limited and difficult to shape. Regardless, the film is very well done, even if it feels static in the cinematography and camera interactions in a powerful story about human resilience and what it can achieve.

Free Skate is a female-led film with a storyline as relentless as the location in which it takes place. It’s hard to find hope in the dark, but Vilo manages to bring light to the audience’s perspective with an honest role that can’t be easy to perform. , or write.

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Federico Furzan

Founder of Screentology. Member of OFCS. RT rated critic
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