Movie Review – The Wrestler (2008)


Love. Pain. Glory. – The tag line of the movie beautifully captures the whole mood of the movie.

The movie takes us through the journey of a fading professional wrestler well past his prime. It won an Oscar not for no reason. Though the movie starts a bit slow but builds your interest superbly along the way.

The story is about a professional wrestler, Randy ‘The Ram’, who was a wrestling hero in his prime but now is struggling in all the major areas of his life – money, health and relationships. He does small-time wrestling to just keep himself floating and also works part-time at the local grocery store. He plans on making a comeback with a high profile recap match with one of his hay-day rivals.

But just then his plans for comeback go down the drain given his health. This is where you can totally sympathize and empathize with ‘The Ram’ and his loneliness. He tries but fails in reviving his relationship with his daughter as well as the stripper he has feelings for.

The movie beautifully shows that though the sport of wrestling is fixed so to speak, but is as taxing as any other sport with the wrestlers working as hard as they would in any other sport.

The movie shows that when you love something from all your heart, it’s difficult to let go, even if that means putting your own self at risk.

All the actors have done a good job and have completely got into the skin of the character. The background score totally fits with the movie’s mood. All in all it’s a good movie though I wouldn’t call it spectacular.

Oh and did I mention the breath-taking scene at the end.

Trivia:

  • IMDB Rating – 8.2/10
  • Metascore – 81/100
  • The film was shot in 40 days.
  • Reportedly, both Bruce Springsteen and Mickey Rourke were paid no money for their contributions towards the film.
  • Only two days after its completion “The Wrestler” was screened on Venice Film Festival and walked off with the Golden Lion award for Best Picture. Mickey Rourke also would have walked off as Best Actor if the Venice jury chairman, director Wim Wenders, had had his way but Wenders’ vigorous campaigning could not topple a longstanding festival rule which insists that one film is not allowed to win both awards. Rourke happily contented himself with finally being the star of a prize-winning picture.
  • Due to the film’s modest budget, W. Axl Rose donated the use of Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” free of charge for the final match.
  • Throughout most of the movie, “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” by Quiet Riot is The Ram’s theme intro.
  • Star Mickey Rourke received his first Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for this film.
  • The film reportedly moved wrestler/actor Roddy Piper so much; he broke down and cried after a screening.
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5 thoughts on “Movie Review – The Wrestler (2008)

  1. I agree with everything you say. Found it a deeply moving film, although I don’t like wrestling at all. One could really identify with the main character.

    1. Yayyy!! You are the 1st person to comment on my Blog…Congratulations 😛
      Well you’re damn right in saying that the best thing about this movie is that you don’t need to like wrestling as a sport to like the movie…Feel free to recommend any other good movies you have come across recently 🙂

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