In Which my Eyes are Dilated and I Watch “I, Tonya”

Yesterday I went to the eye doctor (no, mom, nothing is wrong, just a regular old eye exam and, yes, mom, everything was fine). Naturally, the eye doctor dilated my pupils and thereby made it exceptionally difficult for me to focus on things at close distances. Things that were big and far away were easy to see; small and up close were not. And don’t even get me started on light. Light was not my friend.

What then was I supposed to do with my dilated pupils, I ask, but to go to a movie theater? The screen could be far away, things on it would be huge, and the room would be dark.

The whole thing worked brilliantly. I could see everything in the film with ease and my eyes were in no way bothered. Actually, it worked so well that by the time the movie ended (roughly two and a half hours post-dilation), I thought maybe my eyes were better.

Opening the door to the theater and walking outside quickly disabused me of the notion – it was blindingly bright outside and the sunglasses I had didn’t help all that much. Oh, I could read the text on my phone now, but it made my eyes hurt and it wasn’t easy to do.

I don’t tell you any of this because it makes me special – we’ve all had eye appointments before, we’ve all had our pupils dilated. I tell you this because, well, if I’m being honest, I tell you this because I was rewatching “I, Tonya” yesterday afternoon and this started out as a piece about that and how much I love the performances and the camera work and the way the story unfolds, and I’ve gotten sidetracked by the whole eye thing.

It seems to me that I could, at this moment, try some sort of silly way to tie the events of the movie to the eye dilation, but it would be ridiculous. It would be one of those contrarian thought exercise things I wrote about the other week, revolving around Margot Robbie’s Tonya Harding remarking in the film about how she was hit repeatedly and here’s Nancy Kerrigan crying about one little thing. Other people have actual eye problems and difficulties and here I am whining about my eyes being dilated for a few hours.

So, I’m not going to do that (and not just because it wouldn’t put me in the best light). That’s the sort of thing that earned me solidly mediocre grades in high school and college and grad school; the sort of thing I found funny and which left my teachers decidedly unimpressed. I still kind of think they were wrong (who doesn’t want to hear about James Bond as documentary), but I understand where they were coming from.

In the end, hundreds of words later, I will return you to my initial review of “I, Tonya,” a review which I more than stand by after a second viewing. It is a very good film with some wonderful performances and deserving of all its awards and nominations.

photo credit: Neon and 30West

Categories: Random Thoughts

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