“The Wrestler” is one the most discussed 2008 films directed and produced by the talented and pioneering director Darren Aronofosky. This movie tells us about the daily life of a middle-aged professional wrestler, his troubled relationship, his mid-life crisis and also about the dilemma he is facing for social acceptance. The central character is played by the legendary and versatile genius actor Mickey Rourke. His splendid and emotional performance in this movie not only impressed the million of audiences but also earned him a few prestigious awards.
American born director Darren Aronofosky is widely famous for his unique film-subjects. He has directed some excellent and well-received movies such as Pi, Batman Project, Requiem for a Dream and The wrestler. As a director, he did covered diverse subjects as the theme of his films proficiently. He is not typed in only one genre of movies. One of his movies tells us about the mentally disturbed math prodigy and his daily life crisis, another movie tells us about the aftermath of people having drugs and their delusional thoughts and his latest venture “The Wrestler” tells us about a lonely wrestler who is searching for peace and constantly trying to settle down in his life.
* Mickey Rourke plays the role of Randy “The Ram” Robinson (The protagonist of the movie, a socially awkward middle-aged professional wrestler)
* Marisa Tomei plays the role of Cassidy (Also known as Pam, the stripper from a night club, she is the love interest of Randy)
* Evan Rachel Wood plays the role of Stephanie (Daughter of Randy, had a troubled childhood and afraid of relationship)
* Todd Barry plays the role of Wayne (The rude and mean-minded Boss of Randy, always try to humiliate Randy for no reason.)
* Ernest Miller plays the role of Bob (Another professional wrestler and long time opponent of Randy in the ring and also a good friend of his)
This movie opens with few paper-cuttings pinned in a wall, giving the viewers the idea that, Randy used to be a renowned and champion wrestler during 1980’s. Now he has aged and has lost his prime time in wrestling arena, and takes part in some small independent wrestling matches. Randy is also in financial difficulties, and could not pay his house rent (a trailer to be precise) on time. As a result, the house-owner locked the trailer and asked him to pay the rent.
He also works in a super-market, where his boss, Wayne is very rude and often tries to abuse him verbally. Randy keeps quiet and tolerates his unreasonably rude behaviour. Randy later meets with a beautiful stripper named Cassidy in a night club and feels attracted to her. Though initially, the feeling is not mutual.
Randy has a daughter named Stephanie and she goes to school and does not live with him. Randy left his daughter few years ago and did not take care of her properly. He tries to pretend that he does not have any relatives and wants to have a care-free life. As a result, Stephanie does not like her father at all.
So the movie tells us, how Randy approaches to Cassidy and expresses his feelings. This movie also tells us about the critical father-daughter relationship between Randy and Stephanie and how Randy tries to convince her daughter that he has changed now and really needs her, and also tells us how Randy finds peace finally in his life. This movie has a very interesting and gripping plotline with some moving performances.
This is an absolutely brilliant movie. Don’t judge the movie from its title, though it’s mainly revolves around wrestling and stuff, still it also narrates about a lonely wrestler who is constantly seeking for close ones to share his feelings and find happiness in his life. Randy is very lonely person, and it reflects very clearly when he wants to hang out with a neighbourhood kid, he also offers to play games with the kid. Mickey Rourke played his character with lots of emotion and honest dedication. In the end, it touches our heart. His facial expression, flexible body movements, and immaculate delivery of dialogues just made his character livelier and really enjoyable. Randy is not used to talk with women in a nicer manner and he ends up using some uncomfortable words to appreciate the beauty and good-looks of Cassidy. But the way Randy said it is just priceless and appreciable.You definitely going to feel for his character and started to sympathise for Randy. In my opinion, it is an outstanding achievement for Mickey and I sincerely am pleased about his works in this movie.
Marisa Tomei played the character of Cassidy, the stripper from night club. She has an eight years old son. Though she started to like Randy, later she is confused whether to move forward or leave Randy. Marisa Tomei is a talented and promising actress. But somehow in this movie; I find her acting very sub-standard and not very professional. She always seems lost and not connected with the scene. Especially her facial expressions are not good at all. She always tries hard to act like a troubled and kind of uncomfortable woman for her profession, but in the end, she had the same facial expression in every single shot. Even when she feels compassion for Randy, because of his illness, still she looks very agitated and uptight. Somehow it feels like she is really not happy to share the same screen with Mickey Rourke. But hey, that is entirely my personal opinion.
Evan Rachel Wood plays the character of Randy’s daughter and she did a brilliant job. Stephanie misses her dad, but her dad was not there when she needed him most and in the end she had a troubled childhood. She still loves her dad very much, but worried if she allows him to come close again, he will leave her alone once more and she really don’t want to go through the same pain over and over. Her acting in a over-sensitive role of Stephanie goes along with insecure and uncomfortable body movements and edgy delivery of dialogs, simply makes her character more pleasant and touchy.
Though the main theme of this movie is wrestling, as the movie title also suggests, but to me it actually represents the ups and down of an ordinary human being in a broader sense. No matter which profession you are in, you need to work hard and sacrifice a lot to keep your relationship healthy. Because in the end, our family and close-ones going to stick around for us. So it is definitely not a good thing to neglect and abandon your relationships. As Randy gets old, he needs someone to share his feelings, to find peace and happiness. But his mistakes in early life could not allow him to have that. His daughter, Stephanie is really hurt and in constant pain, just because her father neglected her when she needed him. In the end, both Stephanie and Randy suffers from emotional breakdown and find it really difficult to work everything out between them.
Mickey Rourke is a multi-talented and radiant actor. He was a boxer before he started his acting career. During early 90s he decided to go back to his boxing and took a break from movie career. In 2005, he played the notorious and revengeful character of Marv in R. Rodriquez movie Sin City. It was the lead character of the movie and earned him world wide reorganization once again.
Later in 2008, he decided to play the role of Randy in this movie. To be honest with you, this was the best decision he has taken so far regarding his acting career. He has been praised by both movie critics and viewers and also earned some awards as well as extensive reorganization for his outstanding work in this movie. It is indeed a grand and successful return of a multi-talented actor and I do wish to see some more superb acting from him in his next projects.
Fox searchlight got the right to distribute this movie in USA. They have released this movie in a limited facility in USA on 17th December, 2008. This movie was released in UK on 16th January,2009. This movie received overwhelmingly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. Currently it has 8.4/10 rating in IMDB and voted by almost 45 thousand viewers. It is also ranked 72th in the all time top-250 movies on IMDB. It also has 97% fresh rating in Rotten Tomatoes (another movie critic website) and received a golden tomato for being the best drama film of 2008.
Mickey Rourke’s work has been appreciated widely and also got him the nomination for best actor in a leading role at Oscars. Though he lost to Sean Penn. Though, he won the both BAFTA and BSFC as the best actor in leading role. Since it has been over two months the movie has released, so there is much lesser chance to watch this movie on a cinema hall. But still you can check out the local cinema hall, if they are still running this movie. The DVD and Bluray version has been slated to be released on 1st June, 2009 in UK and on 21st April in USA.
This is a wonderful movie with some dazzling performances and a superb storyline. If you are not a wrestling fan like me, still it is highly recommended, as it does not only revolves around wrestling, it actually reflects the loneliness of a human being and how he struggles to find peace and happiness in his life. That is why this movie is highly recommended.