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The Wrestler (2008)


Duration 1h 49m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Darren Aronofsky
Writers/Script Robert Siegel
Starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood

Elevator Pitch: A worn out wrestler, on the verge of financial ruin, is now taking part in matches in small town halls, and engaging in more and more extreme scenarios and is working part time in a supermarket. He is hoping to establish a relationship with a stripper and restore his relationship with his estranged daughter, but neither is happening for him. When he has a heart attack after a bout he finds himself in an all or nothing situation.

Content: There is quite a bit of nudity and some of fairly explicit sex, as well as drinking, drug taking and the wrestling itself which, even though we know that it is fixed, is still pretty violent. We also follow the wrestler through his various activities, visiting the strip club, meeting his daughter and working at the counter in the supermarket. There is a constant atmosphere of impending doom as nothing seems to be working out for him.

A View: This outing was very well liked by the critics and was nominated for numerous awards including two Oscars. It is a pretty bleak film and there are no laughs in it. I thought that Marisa Tomei was extremely courageous in her role as the stripper – actually more an erotic dancer – but overall it was a difficult watch and I would hesitate to recommend it. But you can tell how it goes, so a watch if you like that sort of thing.

Additional Info: It was claimed that Mickey Rourke did not receive any payment for appearing in the film, but it was revealed in a profile of the director in 2014 that the actor was paid $100, 000, most of which he received in a paper bag.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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