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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Review: The Wrestler

I thought I had this movie figured out before I even watched it. I expected the classic tale of the rise and fall of an athlete. Kind of like Raging Bull, just take out boxing and insert wrestling. Because I'm not really a fan of wrestling, I also expected to be somewhat bored since the film revolves around a wrestler. My expectations were poor and I was wrong on both accounts.

Everything you've heard about The Wrestler is true. It is one of the best movies of the year and Mickey Rourke is brilliant in it. 
This movie is not about the rise and fall of a wrestler. The film takes place long after the fall. We meet Randy "The Ram" Robinson many years after his better days. Once a superstar, he now gets locked out of his trailer home because he is late on rent and has to work odd jobs to survive. Despite the hardships, Randy will not give up his dream and still wrestles on the amateur circuit. But after twenty years in the business, the sport is taking it's toll on him.

One night after a match, Randy has a heart attack in the locker room. He survives but the doctors say he cannot wrestle again or he faces a big chance of having another heart attack that he might not survive. After the heartbreaking news, Randy tries to put his life in perspective without wrestling being a part of it.

He starts by trying to turn a friendship with a stripper (Marisa Tomei) into something more. Then he picks up a job at a deli in  grocery store, which he seems to like at first. Most challenging of all, he attempts to mend the broken relationship between him and his daughter. 

!!!!!!!!!!SPOILER  ALERT!!!!!!!!!!

If you haven't seen this movie then you might not want to read on.

If you have... then go right ahead....

After everything falls apart, he decides that life outside the ring hurts him more than life inside the ring. Even though it could kill him, he decides to wrestle again.

Director Darren Aronofsky tells this story with a down to earth style and a voyeuristic attitude. Mickey Rourke shines throughout the whole movie. He shows us what he's made of and why he made one of the greatest comebacks as an actor. It's good to finally see him get the credit and respect he's deserved for a long time now.Marisa Tomei is very good as well. I'd say it's her best role since My Cousin Vinnie. 

Earlier I said that I thought I knew what to expect from The Wrestler, that it would be something like Raging Bull just replacing boxing with wrestling. I was very wrong of that note. But this movie is like Raging Bull in the fact that The Wrestler is also a great movie! 

You don't have to like wrestling to like this movie, you just have to like good movies!


  1. Rob: I have added you to the "Beloved Links" portion of my blog. - Your site looks snazzier every time I stop by. -- Mykal - Radiation Cinema!