The Wrestler (2008)


the wrestler“The only place I get hurt is out there. [Randy points away from the ring] ” – Randy “The Ram” Robinson

Number of Times Seen – 2 (29 Dec 2008 and 23 Feb 2014)

Brief Synopsis – An aging professional wrestler tries to deal with getting old and trying to find his place in the real world.

My Take on it – Mickey Rourke is most definitely an underrated actor and this movie proves it.

I was so blown away by his performance here and it isn’t only because of the similarities between his character and his real self.  This is clearly his best role and he was completely robbed of a Best Actor Oscar (Sean Penn won for Milk (2008) instead)

Darren Aronofsky created a movie which really makes the viewer think about what happens to people who one day were famous and then 20 years later have trouble getting by in life.

Certain people get addicted to fame and showmanship that they forget that one day it will end and that they need to figure out how to survive in the “real” world.

As a kid, I always believed that Professional Wrestling was all real and then one day I heard it was faked and I can’t say I was too surprised.  This movie blends the two and it’s possible that that’s the real answer because in order to accomplish many of the feats Pro Wrestlers perform in the ring, you can’t just be an actor, you must be more of a stunt man.

This movie has numerous similarities to Crazy Heart (2009) which came out the following year.

Both main characters have a strong addiction (here it’s to the call of the crowd);  They both have a setback which causes them to reassess their life; they both decide to try and rekindle a relationship with an estranged child and they both are inspired by a new woman in their life.

I think it was a very wise choice to cast Marisa Tomei in this movie.  She once again proves that winning an Oscar for My Cousin Vinny (1992) wasn’t a fluke; she truly is a powerful actress.

Excellent theme song by Bruce Springsteen.  Hear it here.

Bottom Line – Excellent character study. Powerful and moving story. Rourke was robbed of an Oscar for this role. Highly Recommended

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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22 thoughts on “The Wrestler (2008)

  1. I absolutely agree with everything you say here, Rob. This is one of my favourite films. So powerful. I’ve noticed with Aronofsky’s films that the protagonists all have some kind of issue with their bodies, a battle of some kind. (I haven’t seen Pi though, so I don’t know about that one).

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    • completely. There are sometimes performances that actors will never be able to top and this is it for him. I will be quite pleased if he manages to one day equal this performance, but I’m somewhat doubtful it will be able to happen 😦

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