The Wrestler, directed by, Darren Aronofsky, written by Robert D. Siegel and brilliant acting by Mickey Rourke. I have to say - as of right now, this could be my favorite movie of all time. Let me explain.
I just got out of the movie and I am having that swirly-whirly of ideas and relations and I was pretty much closed lipped after it was over. I couldn't even explain my thoughts on this. Except brilliance.
Let's take a journey shall we.
I'm an 80's girl. I'm an 80's rocker girl. I grew up in a small town, so a lot of my nights were spent on the "drag" with my friends in our cars listening to Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Metallica, Guns N Roses. You get the picture. I didn't drink until I was in college so metal went well with my sugar rushes from the 48oz Tallsup - equivalent to a Big Gulp if you will.
Also, being a small town girl, with not a lot going on and my parents owning 2 TV's, I watched a LOT of TV. But, one of my favorite things was coming home after going to church at FUMC and watching wrestling for hours. This changed to skateboarding when I got older, but I digress.
I loved wrestling.
Now, my folks didn't like wrestling, so I regret to inform you I don't have any of the cool posters or action figures from that time period. Nor, did I ever get to a live wrestling match. But, when my school did have a girls wrestling program, I wanted to join. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of girls and wrestling and that most of the time jello or mud was involved in the sport done by females. And, I was only one of 2 people that came to the tryouts. I talked a friend of mine into coming along. However, at this point, I didn't know that wrestling as a sport and wrestling that I saw on the TV were 2 different things.
Hold on there - WWE (or WWF in my day) is a sport. Yes, it is, I mean only to distinguish the only way I know how.
I watched the matches, I watched the cartoon show (with Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper was the bad guy - remember that?). But, the day it ended for me was the day that Andre the Giant went over to the dark side or in the biz "turned heel" and joined forces with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and challenged Hulk Hogan. Andre was the gentle giant and I knew it was for ratings and for a bout with Andre and Hogan. I felt like the whole thing sold out. Of course I saw the bout, but it all broke my heart.
I haven't really followed wrestling since. I hear bits and pieces of what is going on and am embarrassed when I do hang out with fans, cause most of the time I can only come up with the old names from the old days.
Last week, on a whim, I watched Requiem for a Dream. What a horrifying movie about addiction. And, how brilliantly pulled off by Darren Aronofsky. He is gifted at having you feel the character. He has a way of mixing reality and the dream world or the fantasy to where you aren't really sure which is which anymore.
Now, the movie. (Spoiler Alert! Stop Reading.)
Just hearing that opening song, seeing the posters, knowing that we are 20 years from that time, but that time is being played out to the last note. It's a struggle to holding on to the only thing you know. Then watching a struggle to not go back to the only thing you know and try to move forward with your life, your next chapter - what you should be doing. Marisa Tomei telling Mickey Rourke, well you had a heart attack, you should contact your daughter, that's what you are supposed to do when these things happen. Mickey Rourke going through his pictures of wrestlers, places he has been, to find a grade school picture of his daughter with multiple phone numbers written on the back and crossed out as a new one was added on.
The Wrestler. That's what he was and when he was able to be that person, he was at his most content. After the first bout in the beginning of the movie when he goes home to find his trailer all locked up cause he's missed rent again. After being tossed around like that, all I could think of was a shower or a bath, some Tiger Balm and some hot tea. He can't have that. What does he do? Goes to his van, where he has a pillow and blanket, takes some pain pills and has a beer while looking at his pictures as a younger wrestler on the side of the van. To me, it just spoke passion.
Also, Darren once again is able to get this overall feel of the audience peaking in on this person's life. It definitely had a feel of a biography, without the narration. You were walking along this person's life. The back story was not given to you on a silver platter either. You knew by observing what this man has gone through and who he is. One of my favorite places was where the walk through the supermarket's back sections mirrored the walk to the wrestling ring. And, how sad and awful it was - his new reality.
The Wrestler - Randy 'the Ram' Robinson, Mickey Rourke, is someone I would like to know. Charasmatic, fun, charming, sweet, a big teddy bear, but also someone that would make my skin crawl and I wouldn't be able to place why. Mickey Rourke plays this character beautifully, wonderfully, like on the ropes of the ring itself. It is so good to have him really come back and with such an amazing performance.
I feel like I want to talk more about this, but I'm getting tired and I really just needed to say what a beautiful movie this is. Ahhh, bliss.