It is well known that professional wrestling is fake and is also same about movies. However, in both cases the spectators simultaneously admire the artifice and pretend it is not there. It allows themselves to believe those people in the ring are truly inflicting pain on another. The movie wrestler is made on the story of such perspective. This is fourth production by director Darren Aronofsky, written by Robert D. Siegel, and starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, and Ernest Miller. The movie has an incomplete ending which exploits this parallel. At the same time it also demonstrates in both movies and wresting, the line between play acting and authenticity is less clear than people suppose. The movie can be classified as simple and mannerism art which strongly evokes atmosphere of numerous ‘70s dramas.

Actor Nicolas Cage entered negotiation to star as Randy. However, the following month he left the project after attending for a ring party show and Mickey Rourke was replaced in the lead role. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) helped to promote the film in one single range. Interestingly, the involvement of Chris Jericho criticizing legendary wrester Rick Flair and Mickey Rourke for portrayal in The Wrestler has played a great advertising role for the movie.

In addition to this it has been condemned by the Iranian newspaper in response to the scene of Randy breaks the pole bearing an Iranian flag. During the visit by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences actors and producers in Iran, cultural advisor demanded an apology for this film which is considered anti-Iranian. During her visit to the Mideast in 1973-74, she received additional honors ... gains with the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (Guild, 1976, p. 40). 

The basic story of the film is very simple and plain. With the hearing aid of the central character, his hair and face has been disgraced too many times. Throughout the film, Randy the Ram could easily be seen as symbol for actor’s career. In the film, the contrast of persona making him looks like an ageless and unbreakable machine. A number of periods during the film, Randy conveyed as a piece of meat, whether it is in his expressions or by working like a slaughter. He is injured in many scenes which makes it clear that the movie is all about celebration of the body. Whether the pain comes from an opponent or is self-inflicted, this body seems, at least for a while that it is indestructible shield behind which a horrified soul can hide. But when this shield breaks, he is forced to disclose his own shadow and revealing an emotional being which was lost without his armor.

Mickey Rourke is certainly the backbone of the film. Needless to say, his performance is superbly bare and not glamorized at all. Unlike other Hollywood movie, the actor portrays an “exceptional and beautiful loser character” with strong sense of self-mockery. He is a pro-wresting hero in the 1980s whose memorable days are far behind him. He lives alone in a trailer in New Jersey, and hardly shows small scale on the weekends, where he is the regular top dog and still get respect from the has-beens and not-yet of his career. To pay the bills, he works at a grocery store for part time loading dock, ignoring the insulting jokes made by his boss about the weekend activities. He spends most of the time in evenings at the strip club, flirting with Cassidy whose best days are behind her too.

As much as possible, Randy loves to live in the past. The legendary match of his career between him and a character ‘The Ayatollah’ is peak subject of the movie. The 20th anniversary of that match is near and his promoter thinks a rematch could help him to recover his youth and glory. But Randy’s health problems as well as recent heart bypass surgery have led the doctor to urge him not to take party in any form of wrestling. This is to be said as the film’s central and existential dilemma. But Randy has physical demanding jobs which require stage fame. While Randy is slowly realizing that wrestling is his destiny, he was ought to say, "The only place I get hurt is out there,” meaning the world outside the ring.

The message of the film is not controversial because of simple story and no twist meaning. There are numerous scenes throughout the film where you can find some educational message for the viewer. For example, when the crowd yells, "use his leg!" you must use his leg. This is really a perfect scene. After hitting the enemy out of the ring with a crutch, he follows him into crowd where some of his fans with a prosthetic leg separates said leg, hands it over and begs with him to beat the guy with it. This movie also provides the message that people love what he is born for. Randy clearly showed a great respect to his profession by any means. Director is completely successful through this film to give the message and question about pride and respects. People loves to see what a superstar can do, not what he can not do. Apart from the other movies by Darren, this one is to be said more heroic and phony.

The film has showed us a real word which we can not see in our life because of ignorance. Randy, who was a big superstar, becomes worthless because of his age even to his own surroundings. The real love and fake love has been presented quite differently through acting by different characters. How people react in the response of different taste of love can be seen in the quote of Randy. When he says, “In this life you can lose everything you love, everything that loves you. A lot of people told me that I'd never wrestle again, the only one that's gonna tell me when I'm through doing my thing, is you people here” [The Wrestler 2008]”, it is the reflection of his all thinking about whole experience of life.

The whole picture of this film is ended dramatically in the last scene. Cassidy left her which was unexpected to Randy after being there. The ending shows that the movie is all about one moment where Randy is on the top of the world, nothing else. It is not a matter at all whether he is alive or dead for the viewers. That cannot be said ambiguous, because Darren leaves it up to the viewer to determine.

Order now

Related essays