Archive for September, 2010

THE WRESTLER, Darren Aronofsky (2008)

Posted in Drama with tags , , , on September 19, 2010 by Toi Brownstone

Again, long time no hear, I’m starting to feel bad for so much apologizing, still having  hope somebody keeps on reading my posts. It hasn’t been a very good summer for me and really didn’t feel much like writing, no matter how many movies I’ve seen, which I can tell you, have been a lot. Anyway, sorry once more, hope I get more focused now that Fall is just here.

I’ve just finished reviewing The Wrestler and definitely, there are some movies worth giving a second chance, this is a clear example.

I had seen this movie back in the day and wasn’t very convinced it was so good as to receive so many awards, specially the Oscars, although to be honest, who takes them seriously when Penelope Cruz or Angelina Jolie have been rewarded with one? Well, I really thought the main target was just to deliver  a dramatic story, attractive enough to become a blockbuster and cause easy tears on people.

I’ve changed my mind few minutes ago. The Wrestler goes beyond that. It’s  a portrait of loneliness and decadence, the lowest point in Randy “The Ram” Robins’ life, an old wrestling legend, still fighting for making his living.

Behind the ring nothing is a cool and spectacular. Randy fights for few bucks at humble venues, he even cuts himself to draw more attention from the audience. Fights are arranged and planned and wrestlers are warm and familiar to each other. However, after a tough competition, our hero suffers a severe heart attack which almost causes him death and is strongly advised  to retire.

At this point Randy tries to put things together with his daughter  Stephanie (Evan Rachel Woods), get an average job at a supermarket, and find affection and warm in the stripper Pam (Marisa Tomei).

Away from the glamour boxing involves, wrestling offers more decadence. No matter that it moves lots of money as well, wrestling has always been under rated because of all the exaggeration, tricks and performance, is a theatrical show and everything is arranged and planned. Here we are standing in front of local competitions held at schools and modest places and money and resources are not big deal. The Ram was a hero 20 years before, but at this stage he lives in a trailer park, with not enough money to pay the rent, drinks, and his health is delicate. No a very promising future and seems that he didn’t any good in his past life, abandoning his daughter, totally resentful and traumatized for his absence.

Loneliness is bad companion, especially when you’re getting older, and Ram tries to change that, but changing is difficult. Sooner or later your past can mark your future no matter what you do.

The story told in a documentary tone with unsteady cameras,  make it more vivid and realistic. Light is more present in those optimistic moments, but in general it’s very dark.

Hard rock music is also interesting. 80’s hits of a style now criticized and also decadent. The Ram stopped the clock in his highest moment, not adapting to modern times, still dying his hair in blonde and getting artificial suntanned and listening to Cinderella or Ratt.

Aronofsky has a taste for decadent stories, for broken characters with sad stories, and here once again, is able to squeeze the misfortunes of the wrestler, who just can find recognition in the ring, even though what he does is a farse.

I’ve always considered Mickey Rourke a good actor, with huge charisma, and this time he plays his role brilliant. It’s curious he plays the wrestler when he tried so hard boxing, and the action scenes are pretty impressive. He’s the Madman in the film industry I reckon.

Really, you should watch it, it’s nothing to do with crappy Million Dollar Baby, The Wrestler is a definite good movie and the story is great. I’m glad I’ve seen it again.