I feel that it is pretty safe to say that one time superstar wrestler, Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke), currently has a somewhat jaded lifestyle. He works in a supermarket on a casual basis. He lives in a caravan when he has the cash to splash. Plus in addition to this, he continues to partake in his chosen field of sport, wresting, only in a less showbiz manner during the weekends.
However, this latter pursuit does have both positive and negative connotations for poor old Randy. On the one hand, these battles are meticulously choreographed between the combatants involved, and it does give Randy a buzz in the execution. Whilst, on the other hand, these battles can be very harsh and entail some quite nefarious stratagems at times - resulting in Randy having a heart attack after one of these fights - and then being send to hospital for some tender loving care.
Now the Doctor in the hospital tells Randy that he can not fight anymore, because has had to install a pacemaker in Randy's heart to keep him alive. Still, do you think that Randy takes heed of the doctor's advice? Errr - he has no choice in the matter really - and he just bides him time by playing with the neighborhood kids, or visiting his gal-pal, Pam (Marisa Tomei), at the strip club where she works.
Moreover, Randy also tries to take part in a couple of other pursuits as well, just so he can take his mind off of his chosen profession. For example, he goes to visit his estranged daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood). He attempts to earn some money by cashing in on his one time notoriety. He works in the supermarket in a different capacity. And he even tries to cement a more erstwhile relationship with Pam as well.
Regrettably, though, all of these pursuits give Randy a rather rough time of it all in all. Therefore, that is way what next transpires if a pain in the heart. As family ties fold - love is not easily sold - and the final fight for a jaded wrestler is not an easy one to hold.
When 'The Wrestler' first came out in 2008, my mind did a bit of a kick-back to times past, and I started to recollect when I was a kid, and saw all those colorful characters prancing about all over the place, as if they were all perverted versions of Superman or something. Granted, a small part of me really did enjoy watching this spectacle at the time, as I looked upon it as if it were a form of street-theater for the criminally insane.
Well! Lets face it! If you saw you two muscle bound Mary's beating the living ka-ka out of each other in the middle of the street, would you think that it is normal thing for them to do?
Oh! Wait a minute! That's a good word for me to use about this film, huh?
. But I do
not mean that in a disrespectful way of course, oh no. Rather, how the style of
this movie has been captured in very documentary-like manner, and not as a film
of staged scenes and choreographed routines. Normal
Personally speaking, this is what I find to be the most fascinating thing about this film on a conceptual level - because the story is more about character than it is about plot. Also, I another two aspects that I really did enjoy about 'The Wrestler', were the actors involved and the conceit behind this film.
You see, where the actors are concerned, both Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei do come across very well indeed, and act as kindred spirits within the conceit of this movie. Plus, where the conceit of this film is concerned, it is about how age can act in determent to you, if your use your body as a 'performer' instead of a more 'casual' basis.
In fact, when this premise really starts to kick in gear a quarter of the way through the flick, you actually forgive the start of it for being so mundane and slow!
Overall, I find that 'The Wrestler' is like a thinking man's version of 'Rocky 5', and has a rather captivating way of drawing you into its tale with its 'cinema verite' way. So if you like some punch with your pathos, or maybe a bit of a kick with your character - Mickey, it is over to you pal...
Nice film - emotional, and no hold barred.
THE RATING: A