Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Wrestler

This Friday I'll be reviewing Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler on Eastside 89.7 FM's Cinemascape show. I was always a fan of Mickey Rourke's earlier work, in particular Diner, Rumble Fish, Angel Heart and Year of the Dragon so when the buzz started that this was his great comeback picture my interest was aroused. Playing Randy 'The Ram' Robinson, the actor gives the performance of a lifetime. The role was made for him. A down on his luck star who's career reached huge heights but now is in the doldrums. One minute he was headlining Madison Square Garden, the next his local town hall. The parallels with his own acting career are obvious and it takes the film to heart wrenchingly emotional levels. Anyone expecting the poster boy looks that launched the career of the 'next Brando' will be in for a shock, his physical transformation is shocking, his body ravaged by age, steroids and peroxide abuse. This is a sport movie that doesn't rely on the sport. It relies on the frailty of the human spirit when it is at it's lowest ebb and the desperation people feel when they are totally alone. Aronofsky, using hand held camera work and indie film aesthetic, has made a modern masterpiece. To hear my full review tune in at 6pm.