Ladies and gentleman Mr. Mickey Rourke is back. Although, if you think about it, he was never gone. I think that the first movie I saw with Mickey was Johnny Handsome, one of his more underappreciated projects. Mama made some lemon jam, mama made some lemon jam… Fuck man, that thing is still bouncing around in my head. After that came Angel Heart, arguably his best movie. He then decided to boxing for a while and returned to the screen with a couple of small roles. His big comeback was Sin City and The Wrestler simply showed that he IS a great actor, despite all his problems. People love a good comeback story. Now that that’s out of the way, we can move on to the director of this masterpiece, Mr. Darren Aronofsky, a very creative guy, with a pretty diverse portfolio consisting of phenomenal dramas and fantasy movies (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain). His unusual vision and very subject of this movie, wrestling, worked so well together creating a very powerful atmosphere.
Meet Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a wrestler passed his prime, now working in a supermarket. During the eighties, The Ram was the shit, especially battling his arch nemesis The Ayatollah. Bruised and beaten, both by life and his occupation, Randy still wrestles, only in smaller venues. However, when he wins a local match and is proposed a fight with The Ayatollah, he starts thinking that he just might just make it.
Although I know this is a movie, I can’t help but feeling like it’s a documentary about wrestlers and that type of life. It’s like how you see criminals in movies, killing, robbing and doing all the shit they usually do, but you never see them after “work” or on one of those boring days. I mean, I know why they don’t want to show that lifestyle like that, because it would somehow “humanize” or possibly “approve” of such a lifestyle, but you know what I mean. I guess, better comparison would be any sport and any top athlete in that sport. You see them winning or losing, but you don’t see them practicing for hours or dealing with all this shit in their lives. If you want to know more check out the documentary Generation Iron. So, basically, wrestling can be replaced with pretty much anything that will grind you up in life, and usually that’s your occupation or passion. These are very complex issues and I don’t want to bore you with inane analysis, but I had to write something about this. Ultimately, this is what phenomenal character development gets you, a movie that is very intense and interesting to watch and study.
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Mark Margolis, Ernest Miller
Fun Stuff: Mickey Rourke actually bladed (cut his own forehead with a razor blade as many wrestlers do) in this film to add realism to the role. Bruce Springsteen and Mickey Rourke were paid no money for their contributions towards the film.