The Wrestler is a Golde-Globe Award winning feature, directed by Darren Aronofsky starring Mickey Rourke as Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, a professional wrestler from the 1980s who is way past his prime. The Wrestler won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the festival’s most prestigious award and Mickey Rourke won the Golden Globe for Best Actor with his co-star Marisa Tomei also scooping a gong at that particular award ceremony for Best Supporting Actress.
The thought on everybody’s mind is now will Rourke receive the Oscar and mark a come-back every bit as remarkable as the one that his character in the movie was attempting to? The odds are in his favour, the Academy loves to heap laurels on actors who transform themselves by throwing on huge weight, becoming emaciated or turning good-looking into ugly. For the part, Rourke stuck on sixty pounds, got his face all beaten up, studded scars and all. But it’s not all just about that, he does put in a sterling performance, turning a rather clichd script into something much more compelling and thought-provoking. The film however remains pretty ordinary, this is all the more annoying since the first third sets it up to be a real decent effort as we trudge through the circus like world of lower end wrestling. The backrooms of the sport offering a quixotic mix of the masculine bodies and feminine penchant for dressing up as the wrestlers seemingly attempt to lose themselves in a fabulous array of alter-egos and hero personalities. The whole scene is achingly poignant, giants of men reduced to pathetic dance moves in front of a baying crowd of no-hopers for whom the wrestlers draw blood, break bone and viciously hurt one another only to hug later, a strange allusion to slaves fighting as gladiators in front of obnoxious spectators.
However, soon the old Rocky Balboa stereotype rears it’s pretty head from the shadows – had it all wrestler – now in mobile home – falls in love with pretty, sincere and earnest stripper- same stripper helps him to build bridges with estranged daughter – goes back in the ring to prove all the doubters wrong. Fair enough, it’s seedier, he doesn’t get the either of the girls but by that time we have lost interest as we are paraded down roads that we know all too well. But none of this is Rourke’s fault, indeed he fights the script, spectacularly kicking life into it.
Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt, http://www.exploringireland.net