I always had a soft spot for old warriors who outlived the fray; but – to quote myself – even greater strength must fail in the end. The Wrestler is a painfull and depressing movie; and unlike an other painfull and depressing movie I saw recently, namley Precious, I must stop myself from simply stopping the movie several times during its almost 2 hours.
Mickey Rourke was offered Bruce Willis role in Pulp Fiction. It took 15 years to get back in the game from that blunder. Unless you're counting Sin City, which I guess you should.
The raving reviews of Mickey Rourke's fantastic comeback is'nt all hype. He is perfectly casted (well, aparently the role was written for him), and he does an amazing role. I love (the old) Sylvester Stallone so much I sometimes fantasize of writing a script for him – he is the perfect old warrior. And while I guess I'd love to see him in this role aswell; Rourkes portrayal of the fallen 80's hero shows a tender superficiality that portrays a whole decade. A portrayal I'm afraid Stallone would have been unable to do. Bravo!
There is a scene between Marissa Tomei and Mickey Rourke, the whore and the wrestler, where they discuss how great the eigthies were, how great the music were... 'and then Curt Cobain had to come and ruin everything'. The times left them behind, and both are so stuck in their patethic roles they can not even comfort eachother. Had they only been able to let go of that which already is gone, they could have had great lives. They could have lived happily ever after. But they don't, ofcourse.
The Wrestler was written escpecialy for The Wrestler by Bruce Springsteen. A beautifull piece... "Have you ever seen a one trick pony you've seen me/have you ever seen a one legged man try to dance his way free?"
Its a great and gritty movie. But its sadly overdone. Director Aronofsky (the man behind some of the truly best films of the last decade+ like Requiem for a Dream, Pi and The Fountain) is one of those directors I love to hate. Not because he sucks, but because he usually is ->this<- close to making true immortal masterpieces. Rourkes character The Ram is a showman. Even when reduced to whorking in the dheli-counter in a supermarket that seems to have frozen as much in the 80's as himself The Ram is still a showman.
But I don't belive it. Not that he is'nt a showman, just that he would be working in such a place. I'm not saying life would'nt be shitty for someone like this guy; a guy who never cared for nothing but himself and the show. But then a guy like this, a charismatic guy, a fighter, could always get a job as a bartender, a salesman and a whatnot. When Aronofski drag him through the gutter and I suddenly start feeling very very very fucking gratefull for living in the Norwegian Wellfare State... I know he is trying to tell me something else.
And in my humblest of opinions he should'nt have. We all know life sucks in the wake of the american dream. Aronofski&Co could have made immortal art; but "destroyed" it trying to do politics.