From Channel 4 documentary to a major Hollywood feature, Fighting With My Family depicts the colourful true story of a Norwich based wrestling family and their daughter’s rise to fame in the WWE.
The daughter in question is Saraya-Jade Bevis but she will be more likely recognised for her ring name as ‘Paige’.
On paper, this could well be a movie that some movie-goers, who don’t follow the “sport,” may well opt to miss out on this March.
Yet, it shouldn’t be too easily overlooked with such a strong cast at his disposal Stephen Merchant, the co-writer behind the likes of comedy British classics like The Office, directs a movie that provides much more than just a cheap laugh.
After a slow start, the film really picks up momentum and has many layers that will keep audiences gripped to the lives of Paige and, importantly, the family she leaves behind.
Throughout the one hour and 48-minute screening, there is a surprising bucket-load of emotion provided by a talented cast including Game of Thrones’ Lena Heady, British comic Nick Frost and Vince Vaughn.
However, there is a heavy reliance on the performance provided by the siblings of the Knight family. Playing Paige is 23-year-old Florence Pugh who pulls off an admiral reflection of the character in the ring as well as the human out of it.
Yet, although she has the most screen time, it’s not always her performance that stands out as her brother Zak, played by Scottish actor Jack Lowden, shines when under the spotlight.
His presence is not only important to the plot but essential to the overarching tone of the narrative as viewers will bear witness to his highs and lows and will likely connect with his engagement with the scenarios his character is thrust into leading to a collection of gripping scenes in his portrayal of Zak Zodiac.
His strong representation is so powerful it does border on overshadowing what Pugh brings to the screen. Yet, strong pacing keeps this to a minimum and maintains an appropriate balance heading into the final third.
Although as with many biopics, for the sake of a well-paced experience, some parts of Paige’s story are left out which will detract from the experience that some hardcore wrestling fans will expect, nevertheless it certainly provides some worthwhile moments that both sets of audiences can enjoy.
Overall, this self-proclaimed “soap opera in spandex” is a little more than just that. At its strongest, the film shows a great deal of heart that stays true to the tight bond of a family whose tale is rightfully made itself to the big screen and can be enjoyed by more than just followers of the industry.
But it isn’t as family-friendly in comparison and does stretch its rating of a 12A with some strong language and distressing scenes but for those who can put that aside, it is certainly worth the watch.