Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Wrestler

Movie name: The Wrestler
Year of release: 2008
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis, Wass Stevens, Todd Barry
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson is a wrestler that has had his glory days in the 80s. Now in his 50's he does small amateur venues and goes to small fan conventions, trying to recapture some of the old glory. His only friend, potential romantic interest is Cassidy (professional name, Pam real name), a stripper/dancer (with some age) that he knows from a local bar. Randy also works in a grocery store during the week to make ends meet. Following a particularly difficult match, Randy has a heart attack and finds himself having to quit the Wrestling world. He tries to connect with his estranged daughter Stephanie, but eventually decides to give his final effort in a match with an old oponent. Darren Aronofsky follows the beautiful "The Fountain" with a film that at first sight is totally it's opposite - whereas "The Foutain" was about the beauty of life and love, "The Wrestler" goes for the gritty reality and to showcase the sadness and solitude of a beaten down man. The film showcases a terrific performance by Mickey Rourke, one where the mix between his own life and his character's seems to blend to give a richer and more profound sense of where the end of this character's life is. Marisa Tomei also excels as Cassidy, portraying a woman that knows her youth is slowly going and that her future needs to be changed and moved in a different direction. This is a moving and touching film, one where you can feel the pain and angst of the characters. Unlike many dramas coming from Hollywood, this one doesn't feel artificial, this one goes for the heart.