[critical] The Wrestler

At the end of the 80s, Randy Robinson, said The Ram (“Aries”), was a star in the wrestling. Twenty years later, it no longer occurs as in the gyms of high schools or neighbourhood houses… Scrambled with his daughter, he is unable to maintain a lasting relationship with anyone : he lives only for the pleasure of the show and the adoration of his fans.

But when he is struck down by a heart attack in the middle of a match, his doctor ordered him to abandon the catch : another fight could be fatal. Forced to put it away, he tries to reconnect with his daughter and, at the same time, starts an affair with a stripper aging. However, his taste of the show and his passion for wrestling are likely to get on track and propel it again on the ring…

Author’s Note


Release Date : February 18, 2009

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Film american

With Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood

Duration : 1h45min

Trailer :

Both say following, the return of Mickey Rourke is to mark a cross on the pen indelibly in a book with golden covers more perfect than the others. In other words, The Wrestler is “the” film not to be missed in the filmography – too unstable in its quality it must be admitted – of the actor.

If one adds to this a director – Darren Aronofsky – one of the most promising of his generation – Requiem For A Dream, Pi or The Fountain illustrates perfect examples of this – there is a film that, on the table, was a real challenge, both for the actor than for the filmmaker.

A big star in the wrestling of the 80s, which, year by year, is set to the rank of a vulgar mat level, serving just to do small live performances, small conventions to sign autographs to children badly in need of an idol or to serve customers rude and based character in a butcher’s shop in the supermarket in the suburbs.

If one were forced to choose only one word to define this film, it would very likely be “emotion”. Seldom have we been so close, so far of a man who goes through so many emotions and well-being in order to recover which makes him a human being, his own life. The catch is, all his life, how to live if we can no longer make it ? On what basis will maintain if the biggest pillar of his existence has just collapsed ?

The Ram had everything for him, a sport in which he excelled, a public that was venerated, until the day where nothing goes, where everything collapses in and around him. Health, family, his desire-even performing on stage is marked by a huge question mark.

Mickey Rourke is here, literally inhabited by its role, and it’s been fun to see it again like this. The supporting roles are almost erased, especially Cassidy / Pam, camped by Marisa Tomei. But oddly – and this has no doubt been done on purpose, it just plays nothing in the quality of the film, so it is obsessed with the stature and the charisma of the main actor.

To talk a little technical, the execution is just flawless, the plans are rolled of course, camera on shoulder, the photo is sharp – the highlights and shadows blend together perfectly, yet one is in front of natural light -the mount – that we owe it to Andrew Weisblum (Aboard The Darjeeling Limited) – is powerful and worked well, especially in the combat scenes. As for the soundtrack, we owe it to Clint Mansell, who had already worked for all the films of Darren Aronofsky. Not counting the Guns Not Roses or Bruce Springsteen and his “The Wrestler” which won a Golden Globe.

The action level precisely, the plastic Mickey Rourke is impressive. It is easy to imagine hours and hours of training, preparation and a flurry of blows to what had to be one of the film’s more demanding of the actor. Of another side, how can they be credible if it was in front of you a performer, lanky and not taking on its legs ?

The Wrestler was a challenge. It was completed in only 35 days, duration of ultra-short for a feature film. But this challenge has been raised by hand by a duo producer / actor of the most improbable. Nicolas Cage was to play the role of the Ram until a departure unexplained of the project.

It is undeniable that one of the factors of the strength and success of the film is the presence of Mickey Rourke, an actor in decline that it was practically forgotten and put in the hatch. With this film, here he is decked out in a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a dramatic film. And it’s gone a little hasty to have him buried prematurely because after seeing The Wrestler , one can only bow down and admit the obvious : The Wrestler is a great film.

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