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The Wrestler (2008)

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I'm a new member of this forum and this is my first review, and I thought I'd write it on the most recent movie I've seen, The Wrestler.

The Wrestler is a new type of film for Darren Aronofsky, who I think is a brilliant director. I'm a huge fan of Requiem For a Dream, as well as Pi and The Fountain. Those films are totally different than this one, and I really like Aronofsky's new approach here.

This movie is about Randy 'The Ram' Robinson (played marvelously by Mickey Rourke), who is a wrestler in the independent circuit. Randy has a lot of fans, and it seems he's the one everyone is rooting for in all of his matches.

The Ram loves what he does. One day after a brutal match, which included a staple gun, barbed wire, and glass, Randy vomited in the locker room, and passed out. When he wakes up in the hospital bed, we find out that he has suffered a heart attack. It's mainly at this moment where we truly sympathize with Randy.

When told he can never wrestle again, Randy has to seek other options. He occasionally works in a warehouse and at a deli so he can afford to keep living in his trailer. He stops by a strip club to see a friend of his, a stripper named Cassidy (Marisa Tomei). She encourages Randy to try to form a relationship with his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood), who he has not even spoken with in years.

As the movie goes on, you can see the pain Randy is going through. He misses wrestling, and has to battle the decision whether or not to do it again.

The first thing I have to mention here is Mickey Rourke's fantastic performance, which is the highlight of the movie. He gives is a character to care about, a character we want to succeed. This is truly his comeback role, and it's guaranteed to get him an Oscar nod. If it we're up to me, I'd give him the Oscar.

Now, the movie itself is great. The wrestling scenes are very well made and are very entertaining. Rourke may now have done all of his stunts, but he definitely did some. Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood are both strong in their supporting roles.

This is one of the best pictures I've seen all year. I don't normally cry during movies, but this movie was a tear-jerker. I highly recommend it.

4.5/5 Grade: A-

Nice effort, thanks for posting it. I agree with a lot of what you said. After seeing Milk I really think it may be a coin toss between Sean Penn and Micky for Best Actor this year. I'm torn, I love them both. Part of me really wants Mickey to win it simply because of how he's lived his life. Basically throwing a career away and now trying to retrieve some of that glory and continuing to do what he in fact does love to do.

Which is why The Wrestler is really not a movie. Its all about Mickey, personally I love that he made the film. I bet we see a lot more of him for several more years unless he goes off again and forgets who he is.

I can't wait to see what he does next.
We are both the source of the problem and the solution, yet we do not see ourselves in this light...

Just from reading these reviews and seeing the trailers im really looking forward to watching this movie
Comment is free but facts are sacred

F*** it!!!! I'm not here often enough to change it
Nice review, and welcome to Mofo! We have a welcome section here, if you would like to tell us more about yourself.

Holy **** amazing movie!

Marisa Tomei nice body booyeah, but man what did Mickey do to his face!?

Did he really cut ihimself with that razor?

Mickey Rourke was heartfelt, honest, and incredible without a doubt, as the hype promised. What I was impressed with most was Darren Aronofsky. The man never tries to make the same movie twice. In no way does he try to duplicate his success with a previous effort. He reinvents his cinematic universe with each project he undertakes, and that takes courage. Once the public has accepted and praised an artist, that often comes hand and hand with pigeon-holing and expectations for similar pictures in the future. It's pretty tough to resist that, and he risks backlash each time he strives to do something different from what he's known for. Think about Pi, then Requiem for a dream, then The Fountain, and now The Wrestler. I can't think of four more different movies, and the fact that they are FIRST four consecutive films by the same director I think is pretty special. I saw The Wrestler for the third time tonight. It really is an achievement on the part of everyone involved. And what a great soundtrack! (Side thought: Aronofsky's movies usually rely heavily on a powerful and infectious score by Clint Mansel whereas The Wrestler has a much subtler, more restrained Mansel touch, which is very appropriate. Yet another step ahead our pal Darren takes.) Can't wait to see what he does next!

I thought Mickey Rourke was great in The Wrestler too, it was a part that surely could only have been written for him. Also thought that Aronofsky owed a debt to Barry Blaustein's documentary Beyond the Mat don't you?

Great review, Boston. Seems like we've got a few decent newbies around here, huh?

Saw this exceptional film on Friday, and being a former fan of pro wrestling (Chris Jericho was my favourite back in the day) I really appreciated Afronosky's restraint to ridicule the industry. Yes it's theatre and it's fake in the sense that everything is predetermined, but these guys put their bodies on the line out there and the results can often be brutal. So showing the realistic aspects of the business definitely gave it 2 extra stars from me.
And there is no point of me saying anything about Mickey Rourke because we all know he was fantastic. But then, he always was going to be fantastic, especially considering the parallels with his own life. I say give the man an oscar.

I've not seen Milk, but I have never really rated Sean Penn as highly as others have..

Honestly though, this is a fine film. Those who haven't watched it should believe the hype on Rourke's performance. And Afronosky has certainly made a fan out of me. I used to think he was a bit overrated, tbh. I mean, Requiem For A Dream just seemed like a preachy drama with tentative editing techniques. Definintely overrated. The Fountain was alrightish but far too overreaching. Loved the ambition but it wasn't fully realised. The Wrestler is his best film so far. Haven't seen Pi yet but have heard great things about it.

Yes, the movie is brutally dramatic and has absolutely stunning actors. The story stretches a bit, but the few jokes in the Wrestler are really well placed.
What I disliked about the movie is that it is such an exhausting film: You hear Rourke breathe heavily for the whole film.