I have to say: The Wrestler isn't what I expected it to be. It's certainly not as Aronofsky-y as I expected and I think because of that, I think I ended a little stunned. I suppose what threw me off so much was how quiet of a movie it was. You know, I thought Pro-Wrestling... Aronofsky... we're gonna see some bones being broken, men being pushed to their limit. Where in fact, I felt a kind of distance from The Ram. At least, I felt distant from his pain. There weren't a ton of fast cuts and frenetic editing in the ring. Rather, we spend time getting to know the man personally. I was surprised, Aronofsky was making a character piece. It began to make a lot more sense when I realized Big Fan writer and director Robert Siegel wrote the screenplay. The two movies do feel spiritually connected in a sense. Character centered pieces that seem careful and slow without actually SEEMING careful or slow (HA!). They both handle somewhat ugly American settings (SPORTS FANS?! WRESTLING!?). At times, (and I think I felt this way about Big Fan too) I'm not sure I really cared enough. I think I would have liked to feel The Ram's pain. I can respect the restraint used but at the same time... as we reached the Climax, I realized I didn't feel particularly hyped up or interested in what was about to occur. It felt like a cold show. Additionally, I have to say that I struggled with Rachael Evan Wood. I'm not sure I really get behind her. Marissa Tomei was friggin awesome though! Rourke was completely natural and deserves whatever praise he got for the role. He managed a very impressive balance in the character and was sympathetic through and through without any kind of pandering to the audience. So, I have to admit: a really good movie, if a little emotionally underwhelming.
Rourke on one of his better days.