The Wrestler (2008)

I watched the latest movie from visionary director, Darren Aronofsky, The Wrestler. This film is being vastly overlooked by the Golden Globes, and I hope that this film is nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

The story centers around Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), a broken-down wrestler trying to hold on to the glory of his younger days. He is living in a trailer park. He is broke. His body is battered and bruised. His body has almost giving out.

On a typical workday, Randy is working at a minimum-wage job trying to scape money together in order to buy the medicine that he needs to get through the day. Every weekend, he wrestles for the thrill of the crowds that pack the small civic centers and high school gyms throughout New Jersey.

Randy has a health scare that forces Randy to make a decision about what he values most in life. His first love, wrestling or the people that surround him, in particular, his estranged daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood). There is also his love interest, Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), an aging exotic dancer that is going through the same predicament as Randy. Her customers are not liking her, because she is over forty dancing in order to support his daughter.

I was a big fan of wrestling for a number of years. I knew some of the inter working of the sport, but I had no idea the lengths these athletes go through in order to entertain the crowds every week. Their bodies battered and bloody. Their joints give out. The performance enhancing drugs they have to inject in order to keep up in the ring.

There is also an underlying Christ undertone with Randy being worshipped as a god of sorts. After a hardcore match, you could see the scars on his body. (That scene floored me.) Cassidy actually brings up The Passion of the Christ when addressing Randy about his injuries.

This was a fabulous movie that I implore you to seek out. Wrestling fan or not, go see this movie. Go for Mickey Rourke. Just go.

My rating: ***** stars.


About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on January 10, 2009, in 2008, Academy Award Nominee, Drama, Sports, Top 250 of All Time in IMDB and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Totally Agree. Great review!

    I also liked the subtle allusions to Christ — “Doubt” should take a lesson from this movie about “subtle allusions”, as it seriously lacked any subtlety

  2. Thank you.

    It was subtle, but it came out in full force in the hardcore wrestling match with the table, crutches and barbed wire.

    I wish that “Doubt” would have been more ambiguous. That was its biggest disservice.

  1. Pingback: Director's Chair: Darren Aronofsky | The Large Association of Movie Blogs

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