Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Fits, The Most Moving of Sports Films

Tomboy Toni (Royal Hightower) works out ever day, with precise discipline but doesn't seem to enjoy it. She, at 12, is without an once of fat. Her brother, while working at a rec center, trains to be a boxer, and she trains with him.

Adjacent to the boxing gym is a dance studio. One day, Toni takes note of the enthusiasm of the girls in the dance studio. Her brother notices this and does the opposite of what most movie brothers would do. He encourages her to join without demeaning it or saying "But you're a boxer like me." So she joins.

She is nervous, every moment of great nervousness is scored by what I would call horror film music. Trepidation is just as scary as fright.  And this will turn out to be a film more about the trepidation of joining than the triumph of succeeding.

She tries to put the same level of focus into her dancing as she used to in her boxing, but something is holding her back. Then there are the fits.

The leads of the class begin having seizure-like fits in the middle of the dance.
The first thought is that the water is contaminated. The class is scared until it keeps happening and then people began to wonder, "Why hasn't it happened to me."

I remember being in track in junior high. We used to practice and run until he threw up. And the people who had not reached that level felt like losers.

Toni makes a few friends, tries on temporary tattoos and even dresses and nail polish. The fits scare her though, and she begins to back away until she has to make a choice one way or another.

The fits is about fitting in. This is a diverse and interesting group, not something like The Stepford Wives. The small (in scope) problem of rather you want to give more of yourself or not is explored with great depth and skil.

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