Friday, October 3, 2008

The Wrestler

Mickey on tracks
Originally uploaded by ANTWRANGLER
Anyone who has seen The Fountain knows that you would never describe Aronofsky's work as simple or mainstream; that being said, The Wrester is by far Aronofsky’s most simple and mainstream story even though it is really nothing of the sort.

The Wrestler is the beautifully told tale of Randy “The Ram” a pro wrestler that hit it big in the 80’s, but the film is not about him then, it’s about him now – it’s been 20 years since his glory days and he is now living in poverty and obscurity. The only thing Randy has been able to hold onto is his love of wrestling and the charge he gets from the crowd so he continues to wrestle in any match he can find. The only problem is that the only part of his life that Randy understands and can control is his wrestling and when he tries to change that balance and have a life outside of wrestling and move past his days in the ring he is unable to do so.

In classic Aronofsky fashion this film is so layered that my brother and I were able to debate for quite awhile what the subtext in the film was, and even though we each had different thoughts neither of us could prove the other wrong.

While this is the most mainstream and easily digested of all Darren Aronofsky’s tales it is by no means a flat story and used many of the themes he loves to deal with. This film deals with aging, materialism, family and a character that seeks to regain prominence. Thematically I would say it is closest to Requiem for a Dream - just not nearly as disturbing or depressing.

One thing that truly makes Aronofsky’s films stand out from some other contemporary filmmakers is the performances he is able to get out of his actors and The Wrestler shows this yet again primarily through Mickey Rourke as Randy. I can honestly say that Rourke deserves an Oscar nomination for this film, and I had no idea he was capable of the sheer raw emotion he brings to this film.

I know that The Wrestler will not be a box office smash, it will actually probably piss off a lot of people that see it. However, for those that want to see a moving, relevant film I do recommend it.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Robert D. Siegel
Randy “The Ram”: Mickey Rourke
Cassidy: Marisa Tomei
Stephenie: Evan Rachel Wood

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