Jan 252009

The Wrestler Movie PosterRandy “The Ram” Robinson, a 1980s-era pro wrestler, has become a burnt-out shell of his former self. After he has a heart attack during a small-time match, a doctor tells him he could die if he fights again. In an effort to build a new life, Robinson takes a job at a deli, But the prospect of a rematch with his old nemesis, the Ayatollah, proves too tempting to resist, even if it means risking his life.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama and Sports; Running Time: 1 hr. 45 min.; Release Date: December 17th, 2008 (limited); MPAA Rating: R for violence, sexuality/nudity, language, some drug use.

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Judah Friedlander, Ajay Naidu

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

Anyone who’s lived at least a little bit will likely find this movie at once a heartwarming and heartwrenching glimpse at life, loneliness, redemption, and the merciless march of time. I’m normally not emotional during films – but this one grabbed deeply and never let go. I never felt manipulated, just totally wrapped up in the story unfolding on the screen.

Rourke and supporting actresses Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood did an outstanding job, and of course great directing by Darren Aronofsky, who said it took 7 years to make.

Rourke trained for seven months at bodybuilding with frequent hi protein lo carb meals, and then trained as a wrestler for four more months before filming. He said it was hard for him to get the rhythm of a wrestler since he came from the boxing world and it was so different.

Bruce Springsteen does an incredible song over the end credits and the soundtrack features a lot of 80’s bands.

But Rourke’s performance will stand out over time. His whole life is in his face and those eyes, but his voice has a sweetness to it that counters his appearance. Darren the director focuses a lot on that face, showing us all the scars and the pain until we feel it too. He does his best to put together a life after wrestling, but just can’t seem to catch that one big break again. This movie really makes you want root for him.

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