Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oscar Review: The Wrestler

Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler" is a film that is widely touted as resurrecting Mickey Rourke's career. What is often overlooked is the manner in which Rourke's performance so perfectly showcases the plight of a desperate man. The reason Rourke's role as Randy "The Ram" Robinson is so interesting because it is easy to draw the similarities between the "has been" Robinson and the "has been" Rourke. When you watch the life that "The Ram" has crumbled into; that of a joke, a loser, a failure - it is easy to believe that this is all too familiar for boxer-turned Actor-turned boxer- turned actor, Rourke. What is surprising is how likeable The Ram is. For all intents and purposes, it would be easy to watch this movie and find The Ram to be a sad, pathetic, loser; and he is: He is also someone you want to cheer for. Maybe it is the close parallels between Rourke; a once promising young actor, considered by many to an actor that would follow the path paved by the likes of Brando and De Niro, but failed to live up to the expectations cast upon him. Although the life of Randy the Ram is far from traditional, it comes apparent in as the film moves forward that he is not as easy to vilify and dismiss as it seemed. Although the life of a former wrestler is hyperbolic, it maintains an air of truth in humanity. What makes the Wrestler the most interesting is not the freak show effect of watching the backstage life of a modern day court jester, it is the fact that Aronofsky is able to paint a picture in which we can all relate to. That of a man that has tried his best at life, but came up short.

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