STARS: MICKEY ROURKE, MARISA TOMEI, AND EVAN RACHEL WOOD.
A FILM BY: DARREN ARONOFSKI.
2008 RATED R. 105MIN
< NO SPOILERS>
Darren Aronofsky, takes us into the brutally realistic world of pro-wrestling with breathtaking visuals, and heavy emotion.
Mickey Rourke is RANDY “THE RAM” ROBINSON, a famous Professional Wrestling star from the 80’s. The film’s opening is a brilliantly rendered collage of Pro-Event billboard posters covering the time span of his glorious wrestling career. Set to the rock music of Quiet Riot’s (Bang Your Head, Metal Heath Will Drive You Mad). Lyrically a very fitting song, as 80’s Hair Metal music makes up virtually the entire soundtrack of the film. The choice in music effectively grounds the story, while at the same time provides a lot of emotional impact.
The film starts out 20 years after the height of Randy’s career. He’s still wrestling but no longer in the glorious spotlight he once commanded in the past. The past it seems has caught up with him, as he’s beaten down, worn out, and effectively broke. Aside from the local kids that live in his trailer park, his co wrestling stars, and his dwindling fan base Randy is alone.
Wrestling part time for chump change is beginning to take a heavy toll on the aging star, as he also works as a stocker at a local supermarket. He prefers to work away from the public eye, as he doesn’t want anyone to see him working in such a lowly job. At night he goes to a local strip club to see his favorite girl Cassidy (Tomie). She’s dealing with facing life as an aging stripper while raising a father less son. The parallels between their lives are dramatically similar as they both sell themselves to the public. Randy wants to marry Cassidy but she won’t cross that line with a customer, as they apparently have been playing this game for some time. After a particularly brutal wrestling bout Randy is forced to make a change in his life, however the only thing he has ever known is wrestling.
After an unsuccessful attempt at making up with his estranged daughter Stephanie (Wood), Cassidy agrees to meet up with Randy away from the club to help him pick out a gift for her. The real world away from the smoke and club lights begins to effect Cassidy. She begins to fall for Randy, however she won’t allow herself to, and walks out on him. Heartbroken and even more alone now after later missing an important dinner date with his daughter. Randy vividly breaks down, and decides to enter into one final re-match with his arch nemesis The Ayatollah, in hopes of going out on top.
THE WRESTLER is tragic tale of fame and lost glory. The toll that wrestling has taken on Randy is heartbreaking to watch at times, as he struggles to continue to perform as the once great superstar.
Mickey is incredibly ripped in this role, and his performance is ground breaking! Hands down the best performance of his acting career.
Marrisa Tomie’s performance was brilliant as well, she completely submersed herself into her character. The wrestling scenes are powerful and hardcore! Tight camera shots are intense, as fake punches and self induced injuries are all captured and edited into amazing fight scenes.
THE WRESTLER is a powerful film that will pin you down with its reality and body slam your emotions with some of the most convincing performances in years.
There’s no doubt in this reviewers opinion, that Mickey Rourke “WILL” win the Oscar for his performance. No actor is more deserving this year…