The Wrestler (2008)
Reviewed on 2009 December 26
This movie surprised me, both with how good it was and how much I liked it. I never thought I’d want to see a movie about an aging wrestler and an aging (by the yardstick of the twenty-something snots in her club anyway) exotic dancer, but then, I never thought I’d use the words “thoughtful” and “wrestling” in the same paragraph, either.
Randy “The Ram” (Mickey Rourke) is an ’80s wrestling star whose career is is rapidly coming to an end. Two decades after his glory days, he’s left with nothing but an estranged daughter, his trademark mane of hair and tan, and thanks to steroids, his physique. The drugs and the joys of just getting older are taking their toll, however, and Randy is wondering if he should get out of the only life he knows. As it is, he lives in a trailer, and before anyone jumps on me, I don’t mean a custom double-wide with a porch on a nice plot of land. We’re talking Airstream territory, and Randy has a hard time making the payments for that. The only person who might understand him is Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), a dancer at a club called Cheeques (yeah, I know). Cassidy is still very very pretty, but she’s competing against girls probably half her age, and her career has about the same shelf-life as Randy’s.
The acting was mostly great; in fact I think I may need a new term here: Frosting acting; where sometimes it goes on a little heavy but that’s okay because it’s still good. Wrestling never was and never will be my thing, but I have a new appreciation for the theater that goes into it, kind of like ballet for dudes. There was a lot of dialogue in this, and director Darren Aronofsky (Pi) plus the strong script made it work. I thought the ending was perfect, myself.
Three chocolate morsels.