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The Wrestler (SteelBook Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] (Bilingual)

Mickey Rourke , Marisa Tomei , Darren Aronofsky    Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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The mystery of Mickey Rourke's career comes to a grungy apotheosis in The Wrestler, the much-battered actor's triumphant return to the top rope. He plays Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a heavily scarred and medicated battler who's twenty years past his best moment in the ring. But he still schleps to every second-rate fight card he can get to, stringing out the paychecks (more likely a fistful of cash) and nursing what's left of his pride. His attempts to adjust to a more normal kind of life form the most absorbing sections in the movie, whether it's flirting with a stripper (Marisa Tomei is in good form, in every sense), establishing a bond with his understandably angry daughter (Evan Rachel Wood), or working behind the deli counter at a nondescript megastore. Rourke is commanding in the role; he obviously spent hours in the gym and the tanning salon, and his ease with the semi-documentary style adopted by director Darren Aronofsky allows him to naturalistically interact with the colorful real-life wrestlers who crowd the movie's ultra-believable locations. All of which helps distract from the film's overall adherence to ancient formula. You might find yourself waiting for the scene where the risk-taking Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream) pulls the switch and reveals his true motives for pursuing this otherwise sentimental story, but there's no switch. The Wrestler is an old-fashioned hoke machine, given grit by an actor who doesn't seem to be so much performing the role of ravaged survivor as embodying it. --Robert Horton

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Achievement May 6 2009
By Peter Cantelon TOP 500 REVIEWER
I just finished watching Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. Wow. This is about as realistic a movie as I've seen. There were times when it felt like I was invading this guy's privacy. The story is about a man with a tragic flaw. All the best protagonists have a tragic flaw - Macbeth and Hamlet both sought vengeance. With Rourke's character Randy "The Ram" it is only being able to feel valued when he's getting the crap kicked out of him in the ring.

The Ram has no inner sense of value. His complete and utter lack of self-worth drives him to make absolutly terrible relational decisions. He feels completely alone and he knows the world only cares for him when he bleeds for them - otherwise he's invisible to them. The Ram has become cynical and no longer cares whether he lives or dies. His story intersects with that of Marisa Tomei whose character is an older stripper nearing the end of her days. She is similar to Randy except that she has an outer source of value - a nine year old son to live for and sacrifice for. Tomei does easily as good a job as Rourke in the film but Rourke's character pushes into excellence on a few occassions - especially when he is attempting to renew a relationship with his daughter played by Evan Rachel Wood.

The film is incredibly sad. It is the portrayal of a man whose life is empty and meaningless except when he's doing that which will ultimately kill him. There is an early scene when Tomei's character quotes Isaiah 53 "He was wounded for our transgressions, pierced for our iniquities..." She is reminded of the verse by Randy's experience as an aging wrestler...she calls him a sacrificial Ram jokingly playing on his wrestling name.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Decline and Fall After Fame. May 29 2009
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll cry because it's real July 3 2009
I have been a fan of professional wrestling since I was a little kid. As you get older, you start to hear the non "kayfabe" stuff that goes on and what life is like for theses guys as they drop down the ladder. This movie is those stories come to life in vivid detail. It was said that this was the story of a comeback of Mickey Rourke as much as it was of "Randy the Ram" and that is 100% right on the nose. If you want to see a movie that "Beyond the Mat" could only pretend to be, this is the one. Definitely a getter from the word go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie! May 22 2009
By Paloma
My husband and I LOVE this movie...Mickey Rourke is incredible in this...for all of you who ever watched 80's wrestlers do their thing...this movie is gritty and fantastic as we watch an aged wrestler struggle with life after the money and fame runs out. Please don't think you have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy this....i don't love wrestling but i do love this movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie Sept. 28 2009
How good is Mickey Rourke in this movie ? I had trouble convincing my son that he isn't actually an old wrestler in real life. (And Marisa Tomei nails her part as well.)I highly recommend this movie - terrific character study.
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