Review/Oscar Road, Part 7:The Wrestler

After the critically acclaimed but box office bomb Fountain, director Darren Aronofsky goes back to the drawing board and creates his new drama flick, the Wrestler. The movie is doing well at the box office and has drawn Mickey Rourke a lot of positive attention. This is Aronofsky’s seventh film and the highly esoteric director has changed gears and finally given a film that relates to a larger movie going audience.

The story of the Wrestler talks of a spirited wrestler, Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson and his turbulent life as he continues to wrestle beyond his prime to make both ends meet. The movie starts off with the introduction of Mickey through images of his matches with the familiar sound of a ring side before ending with a scene in the present where he sits dejected while accepting his prize money after a bout. The movie is touching in many ways and throws light on the tenderness behind the brutes of the wrestling world as they lead ordinary lives and stick up for each other in quite a surreal atmosphere. Mickey has given a fascinating performance and this was just what the doctor ordered for Mickey to resurrect his career after a string of massive flops.

The beautiful Marisa Tomei plays the stripper Pam and the object of endearment of Randy in the film and quite surprisingly one needs time to get used to her bold character considering the roles she played before this movie. Her role never takes centre stage but adequately fills the supporting cast space. His strained relationship with his daughter and the battle with frailty are well portrayed by Mickey. Darren doesn’t let himself indulge into his characters and treats the audience with amazing images of Mickey’s pain and glory. The whole movie never lets go of the urban feel that surrounds it and the background music from Clint Mansell is nothing less than perfect.

Having already won the Golden Globe and the Bafta awards in the Best Actor category, Mickey Rourke looked tailor made for this role and it would be a definite surprise if he doesn’t bag the coveted Oscar too. Aranofsky is set to finish the Fighter that again talks of the life of a boxer and Mickey is rumoured to be working on Sin City 2 and Iron Man 2, both could get him back on track.

Rating: 8/10.

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