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Darren Aronofsky directs this independent drama starring Mickey Rourke as retired professional wrestler Randy 'The Ram' Robinson, who had his heyday in the late 1980s as a headlining professional wrestler but is now reduced to eking out a living by performing in high school gyms and community centres in New Jersey. Estranged from his teenage daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood) and unable to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his ever-dwindling fan base. When a heart attack forces him into retirement, his sense of identity starts to slip away, and he is forced to evaluate the state of his life. But his fumbling attempts to reconnect with his daughter and forge an ongoing relationship with exotic dancer Cassidy (Marisa Tomei) are overshadowed by his strong desire to get back into the ring, whatever the cost.
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Top Customer Reviews
I complained recently about the black and white morality of Slumdog Millionaire (not to be confused with the primary coloured palette of the film itself - but I know you can keep up with my confused metaphors), well, The Wrestler is rendered in shades of grey, and it makes it a far more interesting film.Read more ›
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson fought the Ayatollah in Madison Square Garden back in the 80s, and still battles today. Ill met by fate, bruised and battered, his sinewy muscles scarred, his bones creaking in protest he still has the fight, and like a One Trick Pony he sticks to what he knows. It's a desperate life.
As you may recall in Raging Bull, Robert De Niro put on about 40 pounds to play fighter Jake La Motta as he got older, and he won an Oscar for his dedication to the role.
Mickey Rourke does something no less astounding here, putting on huge bulk to assume the persona and convincing physique of a professional wrestler. It's the most amazing acting performance of the year. The lines between actor and character blur and disappear. The kind of pain you see on Randy's face cannot be pretended. It can only be relived from the actor's parallel experience, which is what makes Rourke's performance so compelling.
For female companionship, he goes to a local bar, where a fetching stripper played by Marisa Tomei, Academy Award winner for My Cousin Vinny, gives him a lap dance for a fee. He can barely make rent, yet he has priorities.
Marisa gives an incredibly authentic performance, and it's a welcome surprise see her take it off in the name of art. I applaud her courage in doing so. Her physique is simply amazing, and her body art is very intriguing.
Evan Rachel Wood plays his estranged daughter. Previously, she played the female lead part in Across The Universe, and already has a quite impressive filmography under her belt. Here she sports a different look, and gives a perfect performance.Read more ›
He plays a `burned out' wrestler whose glory days have long since passed him by. He lives in a trailer, works part-time at a local supermarket and barely sees his daughter. We watch as he tries desperately to form relationships and regain his career. Like people said that The Man Who Fell to Earth was basically about David Bowie playing a - slightly warped - version of himself, The Wrestler is effectively Mickey Rourke. He's seen his best - acting - days and is trying to climb back up the ladder - the hard way.
If you're not a fan of `professional' wrestling, don't worry. The actual `ring time' makes up about 12 minutes of a 1 hour 40 minutes film. And, what grappling there is, only proves the point that it's all fake and one big show for the people.
There's little to laugh at here. It's a sad tale of someone who has had a taste of the big life and lost it. Now he'll do anything to get it back. It's definitely not a feel-good movie. If you want something tragically poignant, where you root and feel sorry for the `hero' all at the same time, try this. Mickey Rourke is more than just muscles.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great film. Truly a spectacular piece of work. I myself have been compared to that of Pat Patterson due to my sexuality but that's a different story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by michael
People who 'don't get the fuss' about this film are to be laughed at, then ignored.Published 5 months ago by J Higgins
I always find Marisa Tomei to be convincing and sympathetic in all her roles, no exception here. Mickey Rourke I cannot say the same of in some of his roles. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ozymandias