The Wrestler is unlike any other film I have seen in some time. What an absolutely amazing film. I sat in the theater watching the story unfold before me in utter silence, transfixed in the darkness. I could not tear my eyes away from this living, breathing person whose life was developing before my eyes. The main character is a man living a life of supreme sadness, a man so alone that all he has left is his legacy. He lives his life taking work as he can while always striving to maintain that legacy, fighting in an attempt to regain his glory days despite being broken down and unable to perform at his previous level. It is a tale that is timeless, a story that so many can relate to told in a way that unfolds in supremely poetic fashion. The Wrestler is an amazing cinematic triumph.
Mickey Rourke stars as Randy "The Ram" Robinson, an aging wrestler who is well past his prime but continues on as it is the only thing that he knows. Twenty years ago, he was at the top of his game and on top of the wrestling world, everybody knew who he was. Now, his body cannot take the punishment and the world has moved on to new, younger stars. This change of circumstance has done nothing to dampen Randy's need for the job; however, instead of performing in huge venues, he is reduced to high school gyms and community centers. In order to make ends meet (sort of) he works part time at a local grocery store.
The movie follows Randy's every move, from his work routine, to what happens when he fails to make his rent, to his working small meet-and-greet wrestling conventions. It is a sad existence, but it all goes away when he is in the ring. We watch him as he prepares for a match, and receives a hero's welcome as he heads off to a corner to tape up all of his aching joints and go over what is about to take place. This is his element, this is where all the troubles of the real world fade away.