Now playing in select cinemas
“The Wrestler” is a beautifully haunting story of a retired, once larger-than-life wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson played by Mickey Rourke and the life he leads after the fame has disappeared. This perfectly constructed film, in the sense of the team that put it together, leads us to a true insight about these people who are held in high regard and then pushed out after there bodies finally fail them. Randy “The Ram” Robinson is part of an underground wrestling world that is only devoted to the loyalest fans and the meager means by which they scrape by. “Ram” is a haunted character, formerly a world Wrestler whose body – now battered, has realized that this life will not last him much longer. After being told not to go back into the ring he starts reflecting on the loneliness. He then, in turn, finds comfort in Cassidy (Marisa Tomei) a local stripper and a single mother. She advises him to try and repair a relationship with his daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood) but the damage seems to be done and this alienated world he has created for himself could also be his demise. These three actors together on screen not only give life and humor to these characters but also make you reflect on decisions you have made in your own life. Darren Aronofsky’s style this time around is much more intimate and personable. He has put a team together that, to me, create a perfect film. Robert Siegel, who was once editor of The Onion did not leave out the humor which this world so drastically needed…or the touching moments are well thought and beautifully written. It’s cinematographer, who has wonderful films like “Taxi to the Darkside” and “Enron: the Smartest Guy in the Room” under his belt, adds a documentary feel which boosts the emotional connection with the audience. You sometimes forget this is fiction. Aronofsky strays away from his slick stylistic narratives to really put the emotion and simplicity into this film which make it that much more believable. Never once did you think that Rourke was an actor and not a true wrestler. When a community of wrestlers start thanking this story for being told, you know there is a gem out there that needs to be praised. Come Oscar season we will be seeing much more of Mickey, Darren, Marissa and Robert and hopefully relish what a good film is made of.