Nov. 24, 2011- Movie Review – “The Wrestler”

Director Darren Aronofsky, Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Rachel Evan Wood all come together to give us this very gripping film about how a professional wrestler, a stripper and a child left alone struggle within their lives about second chances and the pursuit of belonging.

Plot Summary:

This is a drama about an aging professional wrestler, decades past his prime, who now barely gets by working small wrestling shows in VFW halls and as a part-time grocery store employee. As he faces health problems that may end his wrestling career for good he attempts to come to terms with his life outside the ring: by working full time at the grocery store, trying to reconcile with the daughter he abandoned in childhood and forming a closer bond with a stripper he has romantic feelings for. He struggles with his new life and an offer of a high-profile rematch with his 1980s arch-nemesis, The Ayatollah, which may be his ticket back to stardom. Written by Matlock-6 (IMDB)

Honestly, if you just simply view the plot as is, you’d think that you’d want to watch the movie precisely for the following:

1.) Marisa Tomei is still hot despite being 44 in this film.  There are a couple of topless scenes in the first few parts.

(If I can remain as fit as she is when I get to that age, I surely have something to be proud about in physical terms.)

2.)Mickey Rourke plays the perfect part of being a has-been wrestler, and seeing him in his 50’s with green tights this film is in some way a Schadenfreude for most people.  Come on, admit it to yourself, that you normally like to watch about a fifty year old guy, still trying to keep up with the times.


Okay, All of the above are of course not the reasons why “The Wrestler” is worth watching.

Here are the real reasons why:

1.) Just as reviewed in NY Times by A.O. Scott, Darren Aronofsky perfectly captures the huge parallels between movies and professional wrestling’s brute realism.

Many people perceive professional wrestling as simply “fake pain”  Everyone just plays pretend, and it all is an artifice.  Is it really?

While the fights are choreographed, the pain and the blood are frequently real. We are privy to tricks of the trade, like the tiny bit of razor blade that Randy uses to open a cut on his face in the middle of a bout. And we witness a horrifying match involving broken glass, barbed wire and a staple gun, all of it agreed upon by the combatants.

– A.Scott

2.)  Performers

Randy (Rourke) and Cassidy (Tomei) (it’s not her real name, either) are both performers, both expert at faking something the customers desperately want to believe is real. The wrestlers don’t really hate one another, and the stripper doesn’t really love you. – A Scott

3.) A Story About Comebacks (The Realities)

Mickey Rourke plays the battered, broke, lonely hero, Randy (“The Ram”) Robinson. This is the performance of his lifetime, will win him a nomination, may win him the Oscar. Like many great performances, it has an element of truth. Rourke himself was once young and glorious and made the big bucks. He did professional boxing just for the hell of it. He alienated a lot of people. He fell from grace and stardom, but kept working, because he was an actor and that was what he did. Now here is his comeback role, playing Randy the Ram’s comeback. – Roger Ebert’s Review


Traders frequently will have many setbacks.  Others “perform” out in the fields of CNBC or Bloomberg, talking their books whether fundamentally or technically, quantitatively or psychologically whatever they think is possible.  People normally talk about reality distortion fields and perceptions being stronger than realities.  Analysts, hedgefund managers and a lot of people in the finance industry are always performing everyday for their clients, and themselves.  The only thing that matters in the end of course is the performance scorecard in the bottom line.

This movie illustrates that fund managers/ hot shot traders have to be less blinded by their stardom or streak of good performances, and be able to admit to the realities that it never is forever.  Just like Randy, who has grown a little wiser with the years, this story is about struggles, comebacks and second chances.  Watch it yourself.

I cared as deeply about Randy the Ram as any movie character I’ve seen this year. I cared about Mickey Rourke, too. The way this role and this film unfold, that almost amounts to the same thing. – Roger Ebert

– Faceless Trader


Watching this film evokes honesty, reality and struggle that one faces when one starts to crawl after the song and the limelight is over and has passed. Drop the I’m doomed mindset, and do something about it, or die trying.  At least, that’s what I somehow “get” from this film.

If you’re feeling lost, or want to watch a movie about people doing all that they can to set things right.  Watch this.


About Abc

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One Response to Nov. 24, 2011- Movie Review – “The Wrestler”

  1. shoyu says:

    “Marisa Tomei is still hot despite being 44 in this film. There are a couple of topless scenes in the first few parts.

    (If I can remain as fit as she is when I get to that age, I surely have something to be proud about in physical terms.)”

    Namaste FT!


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