Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Wrestler

The Wrestler does not start in a way that’s likely to impress me, with grainy hand-held camera work and wrestling (I don’t hate wrestling as much as Who Wants to be a Millionaire or highwire walking, but it’s close). But then the grainy cinematography became the perfect way to show the real and ordinary and depressed life of this troubled and desperately-lonely man in the midst of a real and ordinary lower class environment full of real and ordinary people. That worked very well for me indeed, especially with Mickey Rourke’s magnificent performance (his performance in Sin City was one of my favourite of a few years ago). And no one watching a Darren Aronofsky film is likely to think they are going to see a feel-good film, so the relentless misery of The Wrestler is hardly surprising. Still, my enjoyment of the film stops at a deep appreciation of such a real-life honest story. A solid ***+, but it won’t make my top ten of 2008, which is coming tomorrow.


  1. I concur with a lot of your feelings about this movie. There's a deep sadness about this tragedy - but somehow enough connection to keep it watchable (I normally don't like deeply sad movies.) Not worth all the hype, I don't think, but probably the ***+

  2. I watched The Wrestler this week. I liked it a lot. I was interested by the little subtext on American involvement in the Middle East - Randy's old opponent is "The Ayatollah", the Nintendo videogame is supplanted by Call of Duty 4, a wargame about Iraq - is there a meditation on the American addiction to fake violence (wrestling, videogames) and its relation to real-world violence?