Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) is an aging professional wrestler. He struggles to make rent and has to pick up extra shifts at his day job. The years of beatings to his body, steroid abuse and hair bleaching is taking its toll. He seems to be pretty lonely. He has regularly visits a stripper, Cassidy (Marissa Tomei), whom he develops an interest in. His doctor recommends that he quits wrestling and Randy makes an effort to adjust to “normal” life. He tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood), but she’s not too keen. As things go awry, Randy finds himself being drawn back into wrestling.
The Wrestler was a big comeback for Mickey Rourke (actually his comeback was in 2005’s Sin City, but The Wrestler is a bigger role) who was quite popular in the 1980s (see 9½ Weeks and Angel Heart). Rourke won best actor Golden Globe, BAFTA , Screen Actors Guild Award, etc and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Randy. The lovely Marissa Tomei was nominated for and/or won several awards for her performance as Cassidy.
I’m not really into wrestling, but I thought the movie is quite brilliant. Like other films from director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan), The Wrestler is a portrait of human obsession and habit. It’s not a feel-good movie. Randy’s world is pretty bleak. It is gritty and feels very real.
I would recommend this movie if you’re into serious human drama.
Written by: Robert Siegel
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Running time: 1h 49min.
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