Body Slamming Your Mind

Journal - Reviews

The Wrestler

Movie Review

The Wrestler

 

There is a certain connection to Mickey Rourke that I sat down with when watching the Wrestler. It is probably because of the ad campaigns and the awards and the buzz that has surrounded the movie. I've never once seen a trailer or even a frame of the movie before seeing it, but I've seen dozens of photos of Mickey Rourke since it's release.

 

Because of this, from the beginning, I sat there waiting for the other shoe to drop. Our introduction to the character is entirely from behind. Following him through his his life as we literally peer voyeuristically over his shoulder. Life does not look comfortable for this character, and this character is Mickey Rourke, so when is he going to stop acting nice and tear someone's head off?

 

Eventually we get pulled into the front of Rambie's 'the Ram's life, and though not any more comfortable to live in, you do get to be led by the hand of a truly genuine and sincere person.

 

The entirely hand held style of camera work and apparent lack of controlled lighting make this feel like a continuation of Barry W. Blaustein's documentary 'Beyond the Mat'. It is an unsettling look at real life people in real life relationships while being run through the ringer of a larger than life image that, literally, is physically impossible to live up to.

 

It's got the classic dead end relationship conventions of trailer parks, estranged daughters, and unrequited love for a stripper, but it's all handled in such sincere terms, like Brad Bird's 'The Iron Giant', that you don't ever care that you've seen this all before.