The Wrestler

The Wrestler

I remember Pi and watching it the first time vividly.  When it became easy to find was right around the time I was beginning to take notice of these types of films.  It had a profound impact on me and I consider it to be one of the experiences that molded the way I watch movies.  Aronofsky followed up Pi with Requiem for a Dream, one I do not believe anyone walked away from unscathed.  I made his third film, The Fountain, my almost favorite of 2006, one most would completely disagree with me on.  Like all the small cadre of my favorite directors, I anticipate their future projects like a little boy on Christmas Eve.  Sometimes my expectations are up so high that if Jesus Christ himself walked out of the screen and sat down next to me to share popcorn I would shrug my shoulders and yawn.  It’s a curse.  I was not disappointed with The Wrestler.

Aronofsky is starting to make this look easy.  The story moves forward effortlessly through waters most other movies get bogged down in with sap and over-writing.  Watching this film was more like watching a documentary or following him around.  Much has already been written about Mr. Rourke’s performance, and I do hope he works some more and lays off the plastic surgery.  He turned the role into something you couldn’t imagine anyone else doing, not even the real guy this story was loosely based on.  Marissa Tomei has been showing off her body quite a lot lately, god bless her.  But the beautiful thing is not her courage to show off her body, but to take the parts she’s taking as the characters are complicated and anything but the damsels we’re so used to.

This is a deeply touching story about a man so far down on his luck it’s almost painful to watch.  The stuff that really stuck me was the estrangement with his daughter, something I have experienced in a way.  Even though the man is alone, broken and a pauper, he does what he knows in his soul he was put on this earth to do.  In spite of everything, getting to the end will make you smile with a sigh.

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