An aging professional wrestler, with an unsuitable for him part-time job, is forced to quit wrestling, forget his past glory, and find a way to cope in a world outside the ring.
You know why reviews can be harsh sometimes? Because of films like this one. Shot with a micro-budget of $6,000,000, “The Wrestler” is almost a perfect film. So when you watch unbearable films having cost ten times more, it can be infuriating. With Darren Aronofsky believing in and fighting for Mickey Rourke, and both of them believing in and dedicating themselves to the project like their life depends on it, The Wrestler could only be a masterpiece.
In a form of a docudrama, Aronofsky “cuts loose” Mickey Rourke letting him write and improvise his character and Rourke, in his mid-fifties, shines like never before (Oscar nomination / Golden Globe win). Both of them debunk the myths of WWF, and old wrestlers either “break down and cry” or characterise it as a “dark misinterpretation”. Be it as it may, it certainly gives a perspective and sheds some light on the professional wrestling world’s backstage.
Then, Evan Rachel Wood proves once more she possesses the Midas Touch of acting, turning all her performances into gold. And last but definitely not least, the always magnificent actress Marisa Tomei, in her mid-forties, puts women half her age to shame. Their short appearance in the film creates the perfect subtext that leads the story to the direction it was inevitably meant to be led.
The Wrestler is about a man facing the consequences of doing what he always thought he was destined to do and kept on doing despite everyone else’s disapproval or discouragement. External influences that come out of envy, kindness, hate, or pure love. But sheer will to succeed and remain at the top and blind dedication blur the lines and don’t leave time to distinguish which is which. And I guess if you only possess them both you ignore the influences and aim at your destiny regardless of the consequences.