David Aronofsky's much heralded movie, The Wrestler, is a true gem. Understand though, the point of the film is not about wrestling, not at all. Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) is a washed-up professional wrestler whose personal life is now truly in the tank. He is searching for some way to find love and to be loved. His girl friend is a stripper played by Marisa Tomei, who has her own issues and trials in dealing with her child as a single parent. Then there is Randy's homosexual daughter, a child he never loved and now wants to connect with in his dark moments. There is a stark sense in which what you see in The Wrestler is human life in the hard track, life in the give-and-take of America, life where faith is missing and hope is all but gone. The ending of the movie is appropriately chilling and powerful. (I will not give it away.)
The realism of this movie is what makes it so compelling.
One critic says the portrayal of addiction and the connection of charisma to a life lived long ago make this film work. I agree. This is one of the truly great human portrayals of the year. Rotten Tomatoes (the various critics) gives it a 98% positive review, an unheard of rating. The movie is rated R for good reason. I do not recommend underage viewing. Many of you, if you like happy and positive movies, would not like The Wrestler. If, on the other hand, you want to see one of the best films of 2008 and experience something of the pain of human loss see The Wrestler. It is a superb film as great film-making goes and should win a truck load of awards in a few months at the Academy.