14 January, 2013
Without stepping on the toes of the incomparable Movie Minx, I saw The Wrestler for the first time on the weekend and felt the need to discuss. Considering it was only made in 2008, I'm actually surprised I haven't seen this before. Expecially because it stars Mickey Rourke. Although this is post-plastic surgery Mickey Rourke which is a little disappointing as I initially spent most of my time thinking 'look at his face', 'why would he do that' and 'look at his face' sigh.
The story is a little cliche, but still very endearing and a little sad. I also have a soft spot for Mickey Rourke which helps. It basically tells the story of ageing pro wrestler, Randy 'The Ram' Robinson (Rourke) and his struggle to relate to the real world outside of the ring. Despite his once legendary status, his age is catching up with him and so too the younger competition. Living the hard life, he seems a somewhat lonely man except for his deep love for the sport of wrestling. Having alienated most of the people in his life that he cares about, he attempts to forge a relationship with ageing stripper Cassidy played by Marisa Tomei who was a bit of a surprise but a great character (and what a body!).
The movie actually opened my eyes to just how brutal the world of wrestling is, despite looking like a scripted parody of boys pretending to bludgeon each other. I've never really been into the theatre of pro wrestling but I certainly came to appreciate what they put themselves through, all in the name of entertainment. Randy is a fuck up, but he's a loveable one and although he is often failing, he is still always trying. With his health failing, he attempts and fails at repairing some of his closest relationships which is sad, but his chipper attitude to working behind a deli counter for an asshole boss despite his once great status is completely endearing.
I really enjoyed the movie and thought it put across some great messages about self-love, selfishness, passion, drive, motivation, human understanding and about leaving things too late. I was however pretty frustrated by the ending. It built up to a really great, heartwarming/wrenching climax but then just left you hanging, with no real resolution and not even a clear understanding of what actually happened. I suppose it allows you to 'choose your own ending' whether it be happy or sad but to be honest I found it quite annoying. I had fallen in love with this character and his story and they just...left me hanging. Not cool Mr Siegel.
Other than that though, I really enjoyed it for an easy to watch and emotive movie with plenty of good humour. I give it a 7/10 because I really enjoyed it, it only lost points for being slightly cliche.
All in all, a good watch without having to think too hard but still feel something.