Shania Andrews has not had the easiest of upbringings and when her athletics ability creates a rivalry with Lisa Temple, they are about to learn that they actually have a lot more in common than they first thought.
The build up to the World Championships is what sees Shania invited to join the British 4×100 metres relay team and compete in that as well as the 200m in which she qualified for. When she turns up to train in the new surroundings Lisa is not welcoming and sees her as as huge threat to everything she had been working towards.
At first it seems that Lisa is only motivated by winning but her father is overbearing and he is pushing her to extreme limits. Attempting to extend his own career through his daughter whether she likes it or not. We don’t get to see that until further in so she just looks totally jealous! Shanaya is living with her Aunt and that is not the best when her sister seems determined to wreck her life. She feels she does not fit into the team and is better off alone, obviously that is never going to be the case in sport and for the storyline in the film.
I adore sport films that manage to show that you can only get better and improve by working hard in training and with coaches who really do care about the athletes/players they are working with. We get that from Tommy in this film as he really is pushing to get the relay team to a good standard, even when he is told it is not priority he still wants to make something of it knowing he has the fastest runners in the country as part of the team.
Along with that the relationships between coaches and medical team towards the athletes is also touched upon and mentioned how it would be a sackable offence for the staff. I thought that was good to include in all honesty and not something I was really expecting. Getting to the top of your sport is not an easy task and this film helps to highlight that and the choices you must make. Drinking being one of them and Shania having to deal with a hangover during her first big competition.
This was an early film role for Lily James who I thought was very impressive alongside Lenora Crichlow who do a great job with the characters which I think helps the film have more impact. Great to see female sport given a film like this, I guess we can even slightly compare it to Bend it like Beckham as an athletics equivalent.
I had not even heard of this film before finding it on Amazon Prime Video, which is a shame really as this is certainly the type of film I love watching. I don’t remember it being released in cinemas back in 2012 as I would have totally went to see it. I now see it as a film that I must encourage others to watch as it really does have so many good qualities in terms of story to go along with the performances.