MovieHook Rating... (A-)
Mickey Rourke does not just give you a glimpse at the life of a professional wrestler. He gives you an in depth depiction of what most wrestlers deal with once they have to give it up. He captures the desperation of this way of life, and the profound love of the sport. The Wrestler depends heavily on Rourke's performance, and it's hard to believe anyone else could have pulled it off like he did. Nicholas Cage was originally supposed to star, but he dropped out due to creative differences. Could anyone really see Cage playing a professional wrestler? I know I couldn't, and I also know Mickey Rourke was born to play this part.
The Wrestler centers around a former professional wrestling legend Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Rourke), who is working on his comeback in the independent wrestling circuit. Randy has wrestled for decades, and his body has payed the price. He takes any kind of drug that will keep him on his feet. When Randy is told he is scheduled for get a rematch with "The Ayatollah"(Ernest Miller), his most famous nemesis. He begins trying to whip his body back into shape, but it leads him to a heart attack. When he wakes up in the hospital, the doctor tells him that he can never wrestle again, for his heart may fail.
Randy goes home not sure if he should take the doctor's advice, so he goes for a jog. Maybe five minutes in, he almost collapses. This was a perfect scene to show how serious his heart problem was. Randy is forced to retire, and without wrestling his loneliness hits an all time high. First he goes to a strip club to a see Cassidy (Marisa Tomei). Cassidy is a stripper who is beggining to worry about her age, and Randy has fallen for her. But when Randy asks for more from Cassidy, she declines, and recommends he should patch things up with his daughter.
Randy takes Cassidy's advice and goes to see his daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood). Randy walked out on Stephanie when she was younger, and she refuses to hear him out. Stephanie doesn't want anything to do with him, but he is persistent, and she gives him a chance. Randy begins to see life after wrestling might not be so bad, but once he thinks things are moving forward with Cassidy. She completly turns on him, and so begins Randy's downward spiral.
I haven't seen such a complete movie in a long time. The director Darren Aronofsky really captures both sides of Rourke's character in every shot, even though the shoot was only 35 days. Robert Siegel wrote an amazing script, especially, Rourke's monologue asking for his daughter Stephanie's forgiveness, "I'm an old broken down peice of meat and I deserve to be all alone, I just don't want you to hate me."
The wrestler is two hours long, but it felt like it was much longer, and yet, I never wanted it to end. Evan Rachel Wood is an amazing actress, and Marisa Tomei was a perfect choice as Cassidy. This is by far the best movie I have seen this year, and Rourke easily deserved the Golden Globe. And I marvel whether any other actor could beat out Rourke for the Oscar.
The Wrestler has scenes of Sexuality and Nudity. It also contains curse words and drug and alcohal use. I would recommend that everyone see this movie, and cover the younger ones eyes when the naughty parts come up.