Comments on watching and making films.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Wrestler

Darren Aronofsky is one of THOSE kind of filmmakers. You know the type - The filmmaker that only releases something every once in a while (whether out of necessity or preference), and when they do, you end up salivating over the very thought of it for months before it comes out, and when you do, finally, get to see it, it usually fulfills all the expectations you had for it. With The Wrestler, Aronofsky doesn't disappoint.

The Wrestler is the story of Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a one time WWF style super star, who fell out of fame, and out of money, and now subsists on working odd jobs, wrestling on the B-circuit, and the occasional convention, where he sells memorabilia and autographs. He is a man with an undying passion, a passion that he is so dedicated too, he lets all other things in his life go by the way side.  But, when the Ram starts facing undeniable health problems, he begins to realize that he may not have as much time ahead of him as he thought, and now, in his middle age, it may be time to right some of the wrongs of his life and leave wrestling behind.

Mickey Rourke does an amazing job as The Ram. You sense every ounce of pain and nostalgia for his previous life seeping out of Robinson because of the parallels between The Ram's story and Rourke's own. Marisa Tomei is electric as the aging stripper who decides to take a chance on letting this lonely, broken man into her life, and Evan Rachel Wood is undeniable as Ram's daughter, who was abandoned in her youth, and who Ram is trying to rebuild his relationship with.

Aronofsky is a character guy. He's one of the best there is. He brings these people to life so fully and so realistically, that you never once feel like one is there simply to push the plot along. I mean, let's face it, the plot of The Wrestler is not exactly anything new, but Aronofsky builds his film in such a meaningful and heartfelt way that it doesn't matter. You feel like your meeting these characters for the first time, and you are sucked into their world. The Wrestler is beautiful - In the way it's acted, in the way it's directed, in the way it's shot. In every way, it is a must see.

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