Film Review: The Wrestler

January 23rd, 2009 // Leave a Comment

The Wrestler (Rated R)
Darren Aronofsky

The Wrestler makes audiences feel awful about Mickey Rourke…and themselves

Nine out of ten critics aggregated by the Tomato-Meter agree: Mickey Rourke turns in a performance in The Wrestler that is altogether captivating – not only for the physicality and vulnerability that he brings to the role – but also for the parallels that can be drawn between his life and that of his character.

Like Randy “The Ram” Robinson, Rourke was a huge star in the 1980s (admit it: you loved him in 9 ½ Weeks). Like his character, he became more or less a has-been over the following two decades (roles included “Husband” in 2001′s The Follow). And like his character, he is coming back twenty years after his peak – damaged, disfigured, determined, and more than a little sad.   

While all this is true, I’d venture to say that there’s more to the universal praise being bestowed upon Darren Aronofsky‘s new film than its ability to make audiences feel bad (and good, and bad) about Mickey Rourke. The film also succeeds in making audiences feel bad about themselves.

Click the continue reading link for the rest of the review.

Posted By: Kristen Meinzer
 


The Wrestler (Rated R)Darren AronofskyThe Wrestler makes audiences feel awful about Mickey Rourke…and themselvesNine out of ten critics aggregated by the Tomato-Meter agree: Mickey Rourke turns in a performance in The Wrestler
that is altogether captivating – not only for the physicality and
vulnerability that he brings to the role – but also for the parallels
that can be drawn between his life and that of his character.Like Randy “The Ram” Robinson, Rourke was a huge star in the 1980s (admit it: you loved him in 9 ½ Weeks). Like his character, he became more or less a has-been over the following two decades (roles included “Husband” in 2001′s The Follow).
And like his character, he is coming back twenty years after his peak -
damaged, disfigured, determined, and more than a little sad.   While all this is true, I’d venture to say that there’s more to the universal praise being bestowed upon Darren Aronofsky‘s
new film than its ability to make audiences feel bad (and good, and
bad) about Mickey Rourke. The film also succeeds in making audiences
feel bad about themselves.During the months leading up to The Wrestler‘s
release and in the months since, our nation has experienced its worst
economic depression since the Hoover administration. One in thirteen
people are currently unemployed. Unsinkable industries are sinking.
Companies that previously kept entire cities afloat are going belly up.In
light of these economic realities, it’s hard not to look at Randy
Robinson – a washed-up former small-time star working behind the deli
counter of a grocery store, living in a trailer park, and making one
gross misstep after another – and see what we could all turn into, or
already have.Would The Wrestler have the same impact on
audiences and critics if we were living in January of 2001 instead of
January of 2009? Would we feel the same anguish of lost dreams and
wasted youth if jobs were abundant and housing investments stable?
Would we care about an aging pro-wrestler who never learned how to be
an adult?My guess is yes, we would feel and feel very deeply.
But not for the fears we have or the failures we suspect we’re on the
verge of sustaining. Rather, we’d feel for the fallen hero in the
day-glo green tights. We’d feel for the man the critics claim we all
pity and applaud. We’d feel for the star we supposedly cannot separate
from the story. We would feel for all of this and all of him, and
hopefully, for nothing more.

Click the continue reading link for the rest of the review.

Posted By: Kristen Meinzer

By Socialite Life Staff

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