Mickey Rourke and a soundtrack dominated by ‘80s Hair Bands were the highlights of this film. The cinematography was true to life and integral to setting the scene, wonderfully choreographed wrestling routines had me captivated, despite the graphic violence and bloodshed, and Rourke became his character’s passion, pain and perseverance. But, despite the excellent choices made by Darren Aronofsky (who directed the film) and Mickey Rourke (who played the lead role of professional wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson); I am NOT a fan of The Wrestler.
The truth I felt watching Randy in the ring and by himself was not there when watching him interact with his estranged daughter. I found it wholly ridiculous that a young woman, who harbors strong resentment for the father who neglected her, will push away those feelings of abandonment in a few hours time. Going from having no contact to sharing intimate moments and smiles and walking arm in arm on boardwalks is not a logical progression.
And the whole relationship with Cassidy (stripper played by Marisa Tomei and the object of Randy’s desire) I don't get either. At no point in the film did I see her show any real affection for Randy, no reciprocation of his feelings whatsoever. She only ever looked to him because other people ignored her and she could count on his infatuation with her to lift her spirits. But then at the end she's all profoundly upset by Randy knowingly putting his life in danger. I'm glad Randy “The Ram” died doing what he loved, in front of people who appreciated his talent, instead of holding on for a woman who may or may not have provided him a smidgen of the happiness he felt in the ring.
Much respect to Mickey Rourke for embodying his character and delivering a riveting performance and much respect for those in charge of the musical accompaniment. The Wrestler is worth seeing, but I wouldn’t spend movie ticket money to do so.