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REVIEW: Tiger doccie focuses deeply on his career and swiftly swings past his scandals. (4/5 Stars)

2021-01-21 09:00:00 PM

REVIEW: Tiger doccie focuses deeply on his career and swiftly swings past his scandals. (4/5 Stars)

You don't have to be a golf fan to be captivated by HBO's Tiger - the intriguing story of the sporting legend's rise, fall and comeback from the perspective of those that loved him.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:An intimate portrait of Tiger Woods, telling the real story of his road to riches and fame, which led him on to ruin and, finally, redemption.WHAT WE THOUGHT:The first name that almost anyone thinks of when you say golf, is Tiger Woods. Whether or not you're a fan of the sport, the whole world knows his name - including his public indiscretions - but few know his real story.

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HBO Sports' two-episode documentaryTiger- now streaming on Showmax - aims to bring a different side of Woods to light as experienced by his closest friends and ex-lovers. In a series of interviews, they recount his childhood, his meteoric rise in the golfing world, his ungraceful fall, and surprising comeback. While it doesn't include input from his mother, ex-wife and the man himself, the filmmakers manage to stitch together their voices through archival interviews, home videos, and personal photos never seen before.

Through the series, you discover the level of pressure placed on Woods' shoulders from as young an age as two, his father Earl Woods parading him to the world on a pedestal as the next Messiah. And to the detriment of Woods' personal life, the media bought what they were being sold and peddled his godhood to the rest of the world, and this pressure just built until it finally cracked, revealing that Woods is, in fact, just a man. As much as the media was responsible for his rise, they were just as hungry to tear him down and build him up again. This was perfectly captured in the ex-editor of the National Enquirer - one of America's scummiest tabloid newspapers. The way he just casually mentions that they basically blackmailed Woods into appearing on one of the magazine covers is just sickening to anyone who has worked in journalism. headtopics.com

Most interestingly, outside of journalists that covered his career, most of the interviewees were friends and ex-girlfriends that he has cut all ties with. Yet, everyone still holds a certain level of adoration for him. Woods' ex-caddie - who he worked with for 13 years and was even the best man at his wedding - doesn't say a bad word about him after being fired suddenly with no explanation and breaking off all contact. Even his ex-mistress Rachel Uchitel, whose life was ruined by the scandal, shows no hatred towards him and talks about their relationship with affection. She even says after her first night with him:"How can I be with mere mortals again?"

They all seem to remain in awe of his being, and you can still see the hurt these people have from being cut off. It appears that Woods was very good at cultivating deep relationships with people, but at the first sign of difficulty would cut them out of his life, leaving broken hearts in his trail with little consequence. Even the filmmakers fall in some way for this idolatry, creating a documentary that leaves the audience with sympathy for his failings, awe for his talents and a sort of forgiveness for his philandering ways.

This is just some of the many issues touched byTiger- including the systemic racism Woods endured in an all-white sport and the physical toll he exacted on his own body - but at its heart, the series asks a fundamental question. Should the personal lives of stars - whether it's for sports or entertainment - serve judgment on their careers? Despite the 'journey of redemption' that marks his comeback win of the Masters in 2019, I don't think Woods has changed significantly on an emotional level - focused on winning at all costs - but should that matter when you judge his sportsmanship?

Tigeris a fascinating exposé on the psyche of a man raised to be a god and the damage that godhood can have on relationships with mere 'mortals'. While a cautionary tale of fame's pitfalls, Woods couldn't have asked for better PR for his public image with this documentary. However, his story isn't finished just yet, and who knows where it might end up. Or how it eventually would be told. headtopics.com

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