Friday, January 23, 2009

The Wrestler

DAN - Darren Aronofsky is one of the most visionary directors of this era. His previous films, Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and The Fountain, have become modern cult classics. The Wrestler is the least psychedelic of Aronofsky’s films, but it is perhaps the most emotionally profound.

The film follows Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a professional wrestler who is past his prime but unwilling to end his career. When our protagonist experiences health trouble, he turns his efforts to finding romance and mending a broken relationship with his daughter.

The Wrestler is a raw movie. Aronofsky isn’t afraid to let the handheld camera linger on his characters in quiet moments, allowing the audience to realistically experience the world of the film. This movie’s rough edges reflect The Ram’s lifestyle, both in and outside of the ring.

Randy is self-abusive both physically and mentally. He puts his body through hell for the sole purpose of entertaining his audience. His personal relationships are on the ropes and his heart takes a beating (ah, the puns). The Ram is like a less fortunate version of Rocky Balboa, but he has equally high hopes.

The Wrestler is one of the best movies I’ve seen in the past year. It’s a shame that the film only garnered two Oscar nominations, but they are well deserved. This film is worth seeing if only for Mickey Rourke’s career-reviving performance.

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