The Wrestler

In the absence of anything else interesting happening in my life, I decided to post a review of a film I saw recently – The Wrestler. I am a bit of a fan of WWE, and have been to see them live a few times. Me and dear half like to visit our local cinematic establisment on a reasonably regular basis, and this week we thought we would see what all the fuss is about with this film.

This film is brilliant! Absolutely fab! At first, the filming style seems odd, as it’s filmed with a handheld camera that follows the main character around, almost like a documentary, but this gives the film a kind of authenticity that brings the cast alive, allowing the viewer to see into the tortured soul of the main character. Mickey Rourke does a fantastic job, and I can’t praise him enough. He dispenses with all vanity and gives the performance of his career. He manages to portray a character that initially appears sad, and slightly pathetic, and you feel almost embarrased for him, but with the brilliant acting and direction you realise he is actually very flawed -yet likeable, and charismatic. Rourke allows you to see the tough, but gentle man, that was only ever good at one thing – wrestling. Failed as a father, and as a lover, he feels his only success in life has been in the ring – and that the crowd are the only people in his miserable life that want him. His biggest battle is against the ravages of time, and although he sees its effects on his peers, he refuses to let this slow him down, to the detriment of his health. At times the film is brutal, and not for the squeamish, as it highlights the violence and damage that professional wrestlers subject their bodies to in order to give the audience the show they want. These guys are outside the big brands like WWE or TNA, and perform in the town halls and sport centres. They don’t have the pyro and glamour that the large corporations bring to the game, and substitute this with extreme violence to get the crowds going. The crowd wants blood, and they get it in spades.

I really do recommend that you go see this if you have an opportunity, and you don’t even have to be a fan of wrestling to watch it, by any means. Guys will love it for the violence, and the emotions don’t get too slushy but give a deeply moving portrait that deserves the award frenzy its receiving.

Note to moms: Even if you kid loves wrestling – I would not advise you let them see this film when its out on DVD until you have seen it, as it contains extremely graphic violence, sex, and drug taking.

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