What movie was that...?

08 November 2009

The Wrestler

directed by Darren Aronofsky

Mickey Rourke spent the better part of the past two decades boxing, and apparently gargling with broken glass. Seriously, how did that happen? Listen to his voice in Diner, and then check out his absolutely stunning performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, a film that is nothing short of astounding. Rourke is past his prime wrestler Randy “The Ram,” stuck working at a grocery store and clinging to a dream of making it big in the pro circuit again. Estranged from his daughter and popping enough pills to make a Presley cringe, Randy’s only outlet and source of friendship comes from another battler, Cassidy (a shockingly good Marisa Tomei). At first glance, the story of an aging wrestler sounds trite and overdone, but Aronofsky breathes a new life, a vitality into a bare bones script that demands much from its actors, and Aronofsky found in Rourke the perfect embodiment of The Ram. I can only assume that Aronofsky saw what a few of us saw in the sub par Jonas Ackerlund film Spun, a wonderful Rourke making the most of a very small part, so much so, in fact, that his final scene in the car made that a film worth viewing (for me, that is).

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