Friday, January 9, 2009
The Wrestler at the Loews Harvard Square
I don't like Darren Aronofsky. Pi was little more than a glorified student film to me with each camera shot trying to out do the next. Requiem for a Dream was a shallow look at drug abuse with camera shots that showed a complete lack of restraint. I didn't even bother with The Fountain. Granted, it was apparent that Aronofsky had talent, he just wasn't making the kind of movies I like. After noticing The Wrestler gracing many top ten lists for this year, I decided to give Darren another shot and I'm glad I did. Gone are all the disruptive camera shots and angles that would take me out of his earlier films, the film is beautifully shot. Its direction perfectly complements its script. The Wrestler tells the story of Randy "The Ram" (Mickey Rourke) twenty years after his glory days as a wrestler. He tries to patch things up with his daughter and tries to woo a stripper
(Marisa Tomei); all the while doing what he really loves- wrestling. I was worried that The Wrestler would be little more than a morality tale about the excesses of wrestling. And yes there is some of that in there. But more than anything this movie is about what it means to have to give up something you love. "The Ram" loves to wrestle. The ending of The Wrestler is brilliant. None of the story threads are forcibly tied up in an unnatural or unfitting way for "The Ram," yet there is a very clear ending that reinforces perfectly the previous 2 hours of the movie. Overall, "The Wrestler" is Darren Aronofsky's best movie and one of the best of the year.