Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wrestler, The - 5/5

"The only place I get hurt is out there. The world don't give a shit about me." --Randy 'The Ram' Robinson

I just finished my first viewing of my much highly anticipated "The Wrestler" and I must say that although the film was quite different then I had envisioned it in my head, I was completely enthralled with it. From beginning to end, I couldn't pull myself out of the film and that says a lot.

Although there were plenty of comparisons to the classic "Rocky" film made when this first was being hyped, I found that although on a somewhat surface level the comparisons work, much of this film is far darker and more gritty then "Rocky" ever was. Despite the 'fun' and 'ridiculousness' that Pro-Wrestling should hint at in the story, "The Wrestler" is far from being fun or ridiculous as we watch Rourke portray a man trying to find life in a real world and dealing with the struggles that come with a tragically flawed hero.

I was worried that my 80s hero, Rourke, would end up disappointing me with his work here (I'm always cautious about hype especially when it has to do with heroes of mine) but the film is centered on him and he ably carries it the entire time. The massively underrated Rourke finally seems to be catching some of the limelight he has deserved in his career. Granted with lots of praise for the supporting roles (which I found interesting since both Tomei and Wood actually have very little screen time but use it amazingly) its a combination of Rourke's interaction with them that makes this film amazing on all levels of acting.

I must also praise Aronofsky with his almost documentary-esque approach to filming this bad boy. It's down in the dirt realistic take worked wonders for the story and its presentation and his use of music throughout the film was brilliant. Whether it was those 80s arena filling Hair Metal anthems or the final song by Springsteen, I was just amazed with how the songs added all new levels to the feelings and heart of this film.

I'm going to say that "The Wrestler" now has my vote for best film of 2008. It worked so well on my emotions and nerves that this is a film I could watch a 100 times and never tire of it. If there is one movie you see of 2008, make it "The Wrestler". 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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