The Wrestler is the fictional story of pro wrestler Randy The Ram Robinson
(Mickey Rourke) twenty years passed his glory years. At one time a Hulk Hogan
style personality and champion on the pro wrestling circuit, Randy now works
part time at a supermarket while wrestling for a few hundred dollars a night in
front of a few hundred fans at small venues across New Jersey. Randy is used to
the way things work out in a wrestling match, where hes always the
predetermined winner and events are scripted to work to his advantage. Hes not
as successful in his personal life, where he is utterly incapable of dealing
with each problem he encounters when things dont go his way. Wrestling matches
may be scripted, but life is not.
The Wrestler is a film that will affect you in more ways than one. Mickey
Rourkes performance as The Ram is both powerful and convincing, and you will
genuinely feel for his character, feeling a mix of pride and hope each time it
seems that he is pulling his life together and frustration and despair as he
invariably makes a mess of things every time his journey on the road of life
hits a speed bump. The film is made even more powerful by the fact that it is
filmed in the style of a documentary. Theres no narration or voiceover, but the
style of the film mirrors that of a documentary, making you feel that Randys
world is all that more real and less of a fictional story. Theres no soundtrack
to the film other than the music that plays at the locations Randy visits or the
music on his radio, so theres no feeling that the film is ever dictating to you
how you should be feeling at any given moment. The emotions that you feel are
genuinely yours and entirely genuine. The Wrestler is not an easy film to watch,
due both to the violence in the ring and Randys innate ability to sabotage
everything in his life, but its message is powerful and works on several levels.
You wont be able to watch this movie and not have it affect you or occupy your
thoughts for some time after you watch it.
Because of the raw film style and realistic soundtrack, it's hard to say that
the Wrestler is a must have on Blu-ray over DVD. It's like watching the local
news on the standard broadcast and then on the hi-def channel - the picture
looks sharper, but it doesn't necessarily need to be. In addition to the movie,
there is a second disc which gives you a digital copy of the film for use to
transfer to your iPod, PSP, PC, or similar device, which is a pretty nice extra.
The bonus features seem like they simply fill the standard requirement, but the
behind the scenes feature is interesting because it shows the lengths taken by
the filmmakers to present a realistic portrayal of the life of former pro
wrestlers. Another feature includes a roundtable discussion with former pro
wrestlers such as Rowdy Roddy Piper in which they share their impressions of the
film and how accurately it portrayed the types of issues that they have faced
since leaving the sport.