Kees Chalmers’s review published on Letterboxd:
A deep and aggressive look at an aging, former professional wrestler, struggling with the come down from his days of glory, realizing those years of fame, fans and fortune blinded him from what’s really important, confronted head on with an undeniable understanding that he’s come of an age where he’s no longer able to efficiently perpetrate his idea of purpose. We meet him two decades on from the peak of his career, with a disconnect from his loved ones, living in a caravan, riddled with heart problems, scrounging for cash, and his only form of friendship coming from the neighborhood middle schoolers and a local stripper. His palpable sense of pain, disguised by his masculine exterior is performed with such raw and unstudied subtlety from the metamorphosing Mickey Rourke, perfectly capturing Randy’s emotional layers while also possessing the shredded physique necessary to buy into his character. Aronofsky’s emotionally kaleidoscopic and gritty handheld movements of the camera, once again teams up with Weisblum’s exceptional editing, creating a psychedelic infiltration, to the mind of Randy and the ‘Ram’, exploring his shambolic and acrimonious subconscious, ultimately deciding that he doesn’t belong in the world of actuality, confining himself to a dangerously endless pit of emotional void. Touching upon themes of regret, weariness and nostalgia in such a visually tenacious, and emotionally arresting way. The Wrestler poses to me as Arronofsky’s master stroke. A rich, yet unforgiving sports drama, with Rourke emotionally anchoring the film with his ferocious performance.