31 December 2008 @ 13:19The Wrestler (2008) Review
Darren Aronofsky brings us a down-to-earth film about professional wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson as his career starts to wane. Following a heart attack, Randy decides to retire from wrestling and pick up the pieces of his life that he left unattended for the past twenty years — namely a relationship with his daughter. Unfortunately, Randy’s life is wrestling, and being away from the ring takes a toll on his emotional and mental well-being. In the end, his return to wrestling becomes the source of his vitality and mortality.
Mickey Rourke‘s performance in The Wrestler as “The Ram” is probably one of the best performances of his career. He delivers a wide range of emotions that leave the audience feeling compassionate and even disgusted and ashamed at times.
Marisa Tomei plays a stripper named Cassidy who has befriended Randy, and seems to be Randy’s only friend. Unfortunately, Cassidy’s own set of rules won’t let her get too close to Randy when it seems he needs her the most. She does however have a hand in urging Randy to reconnect with his daughter Stephanie who is played by Evan Rachel Wood. Randy tries to repair the relationship with Stephanie but finds himself in an uphill battle due to the many years of putting his career before his daughter.
The authenticity of the characters and their emotions, in addition to the attention to detail in recreating the wrestling community, make The Wrestler truly a masterpiece of storytelling. Congratulations to Darren Aronofsky for a fine display of his directing abilities, and to the entire cast for bringing the characters to life.
There will be viewers out there who won’t like The Wrestler, and more than likely those are viewers who require their movies to have a happy ending. This isn’t one of those movies. In fact, it may leave you a bit saddened by the end, but you most likely won’t regret having seen this one.
One more thing, The Wrestler soundtrack is quite awesome with loads of 80′s rock and a Bruce Springsteen song titled “The Wrestler” written specifically for the film.