The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)
“The Wrestler” is an honest and blunt look at the desperation and emotion involved in one man’s attempt to regain his glory days. Director Darren Aronofsky (“Pi,” “Requiem for a Dream,” “The Fountain”) adds “The Wrestler” to his archives of movies about the dissention of people in desperation.
Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) is a retired professional wrestler who is trying to make his return by climbing his way back up through the independent wrestling circuit. Certain events cause him to reconsider his relationship; one with his daughter, who wants nothing to do with him, and the other with a woman he desires (Marissa Tomei), a stripper to whom The Ram is a “regular.”
The audience watches as Randy battles with various obstacles on his journey, including age, time, money, jobs, himself, his past, his passions, and of course, other wrestlers. In the end it almost seems that the audience is watching a man who is desperately attempting to connect with someone or something; needing to feel needed. This film puts the audience in a strange disposition of admiring a man who is not admirable, and hoping for a man who has brought ruin upon himself.
Randy “The Ram” Robinson, being a washed-up wrestling star from the 80’s, presents this film with the unique opportunity for an almost all hair-band soundtrack. Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen even wrote a song specifically for this movie, “The Wrestler”, which you hear as credits roll.
This is a very straight-forward story with little creative intervention from Darren Aronofsky, which is a bit of a surprise. The film is beautifully shot, but the story is the main attraction—and it delivers.