Katie (AU - M)

In a Word: Determined

Katie

Boxer Katie Taylor is a national hero in Ireland - a position sealed after she won gold for her country at the 2012 London Olympic Games - and this hour-and-a-half-long biopic provides a fascinating insight into the life of this pioneering sportswoman.

It charts her rise to the top from growing up as part of boxing family in Bray in County Wicklow in Ireland to her amateur debut in the ring as an 11-year-old (the film tells of how she had to pretend to be a boy in her first bouts).

"There are glimpses of Taylor's well-known Christian faith along the way (she and her family attend a Pentecostal church and Taylor has been quoted saying that it was God who gives her "the strength and the confidence every time I step into the ring") but they are just glimpses - her faith, sadly for us, is not a major theme of this film."

The film shows how, spurred on by the idea that boxing is what she was "born to do", Taylor overcame numerous obstacles to take part in the first official fight between women in Ireland in 2001 and how, conquering Ireland, she went on to international tournaments, snaring European and world titles along the way as she fought her way to the ultimate goal of boxing in the Olympics (a feat she achieved at the London Games in 2012 - winning  the gold medal in what is described in the film as "an Irish moment").

Throughout it all, her father Pete was at her side, serving in her corner as her coach. But things changed after Pete left Taylor's mother and the boxer made the decision to step away from her father as a result, continuing her fighting career without him (an experience she describes in the film as "missing my right arm"). 

In the aftermath of that - in what has perhaps been her biggest disappointment - she was knocked out of the 2016 Games in Rio in the quarter finals.

But, as the film shows, Taylor is not one to give up - ever - and she subsequently started a new career as a pro, becoming a world champion as she continued to pursue her dream of not only becoming a household name around the world, but of inspiring girls around the world.

There are glimpses of Taylor's well-known Christian faith along the way (she and her family attend a Pentecostal church and Taylor has been quoted saying that it was God who gives her "the strength and the confidence every time I step into the ring") but they are just glimpses - her faith, sadly for us, is not a major theme of this film.

Boxing is, of course, a sport that can bring out strong opinions and not everyone will want to engage with this film as a result. But Katie is, of course, about more than boxing and this film provides some interesting insights into one athlete's determination to succeed.

'Katie' is available to rent or buy.