A Broken Down Piece of Meat That Doesn't Deserve To Be All Alone
It's no coincidence that Mickey Rourke is responsible for the comeback performance of the year if not the decade. Rourke's life and tumultuous past parallel Randy "The Ram" Robinson's own life so eerily close it becomes clear that no one else could have ever played this role. Darren Aronofsky's fourth feature is not only his most intimate but also his most accomplished to date. Aronofsky offers his most simplistic film both visually and narratively and ends up creating a film that has more depth and layers to it than any of his previous films.
Everything about Randy's life is in a state of decay. He retains a body that is on the verge of collapse, he hasn't seen his only daughter in years, financially he is exhausted, and the only thing that brings him solace in life is the same thing that threatens to end it. The most effective aspect of Randy's character is that no matter what mistakes he might have made in the past his sense of regret is so strong and genuine that it is impossible not to forgive him. As beaten down and alone as Randy might be he never looses his fighting spirit or sense of hope, no matter how little it may be. Regardless what hardship Randy is confronted with he never retreats and is admirably courageous even if being courageous might not be the smartest settlement.
For the general public who tend to find professional wrestling laughable and are quick to judge as a form of entertainment rather than a sport will find a deadly adversary in Aronofsky. The Wrestler shows that while outcomes of matches may be fixed the physical tolls these men take on their body are often more extreme and long lasting than most other "respectable" sports. The fact that Randy gives so much of himself and is ridiculed from everywhere to the trailer park he lives in to the job he keeps while not in the ring, makes us even more empathetic to the struggle Randy goes through to try and make it back on top. Overall The Wrestler is a constantly engaging and compelling character study with some of the finest acting, writing, directing I have seen in recent years. Oh and I forgot, the last shot will leave you speechless.