Recommended Even if You're NOT into Wrestling!


Aside from When We Were Kings, I never thought I'd watch another fight film again (Raging Bull put me off), but I am glad I saw Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. I'll watch just about any film about redemption (towit: Magnolia....); if I'd known this had that theme, I'd have checked it out ages ago.
Randy the Ram reminded me of F. Murray Abraham's Salieri in Amadeus; the 'loser' in his world, living a life under the shadow of other greats. In this case, the Ram is living in a trailer park, playing nintendo with kids and doesn't even have a (cell) phone. 'Course, that could be due to the massive amount of drugs and steroids he has to buy to keep up his dubious title. The film highlights what we often forget about celebrity (even if it is minor celebrity): what looks like glory and fame often amounts to a hill of beans. Marisa Tomei's character laments her stereotype, saying that she is not a stripper (which she most certainly is) but rather a mom who has to work to support her son.
There is a tad too much foreshadowing in this story, and loads of parent-child relationship analysis, but overall the look at the real world behind a fake world is pretty fascinating. I might have driven my husband crazy with all my naive chick questions about what he thought was accurate in the film, but there was a good balance of humour and pathos to calm the nerves and keep the plot moving.
Without including a spoiler, my favourite part of the movie was what my theology-in-film prof used to call the point of transcendence: in this film, the decisive moment is in the very last shot. I think director Darren Aronofsky created a perfect ending for The Wrestler, something that is pretty rare in Hollystupid these days.
A fight movie. Huh.

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