'The Wrestler' shows the other side of the wrestling lifestyle

“A lot has already been made of the impressive performances from Marissa Tomei and Mickey Rourke, both of whom received Oscar nominations for their work in Darren Arronofsky’s The Wrestler. There is a lot more to it than just the performances. Their performances in this film are very natural because of the documentary-style way it is filmed.”

A lot has already been made of the impressive performances from Marissa Tomei and Mickey Rourke, both of whom received Oscar nominations for their work in Darren Arronofsky’s The Wrestler. There is a lot more to it than just the performances.

Their performances in this film are very natural because of the documentary-style way it is filmed. Even the smallest characters seem alive because of the way it was shot.

There has been a lot made of the real life parallels between Rourke and Randy The Ram Robinson. In a poignant scene with Evan Rachel Wood, who plays his enstranged daughter in the movie, Rourke re-wrote that part of the script to give it a more personal touch. My only complaint is that the father daughter relationship could have been more developed. It was obvious he was not around much, but there was never much else to it.It’s been called Arronofsky’s version of Raging Bull and the similarities are noticeable.

Rourke’s performance is up there with Deniro and Pacino in their prime. The role was originally offered to Nicolas Cage and Sylvester Stallone, but it isn’t seen as being as believable or likeable as Rourke. The Oscar is Rourke’s to lose and after seeing all five of the performances receive a nomination for Best Lead Actor, Rourke was by far the best.

Tomei is also great as a conflicted exotic dancer who is ashamed of her job. She has a young son and does not want to get involved with Rourke because of the circumstances in which they met.

This movie could be enjoyed by wrestling and non-wrestling fans alike, but it definitely gives a non-wrestling fan like myself another look at their lifestyle, the beatings they take and the effect the profession has on their health and personal lives. It also shows the mutual respect and friendship they have with one another that one never thought of before.

Reportedly both Rourke and Bruce Springsteen who wrote the song The Wrestler were paid nothing for their contributions to the film. Springsteen won the Golden Globe, but surprisingly was not even nominated for an Oscar. The screenplay, which is brilliant, was also snubbed of an Oscar nomination.

This could be described as the best movie of the year. Often people complain about movies being too long, but this movie could have been four hours long and it’s not a movie that you would want to miss. The story and characters are so real it’s impossible not to love.