In a world obsessed with following the famous or notorious through television, the web, or print media, only the prime of a "star's" life seems to be examined and pursued. There is even a reality show about the paparazzi and their boss as they discuss and giggle over images they have captured of the notorious.
Few films have dealt with the life lived by the mediocre or unwise star who did not provide for his old age. "Requiem for a Heavyweight", with an outstanding cast, is a black and white version of this sad tale.
"The Wrestler", takes gritty look at the decline of a man whose career was fueled by steroids, alcohol and painkillers. The pain and abuse damage his heart. Recovering, he reaches out to an estranged daughter and a stripper who is having her own age related problems. His efforts start to bear fruit when the old, high living behavior reinforces bad, old memories. He is still loved and respected by his fellow wrestlers. So, like a gladiator in Roman times, his return to the arena becomes his destiny.