The Wrestler

The Wrestler ★★★★½

87

Darren Aronofsky, notorious for his shocking content, sporadic movements, and the clashing of Man versus Image, seems to have adopted something more out of the ordinary and revealed something out of place when filming The Wrestler: subtlety. I love Aronofsky's crazy style (hell, mother! was one of my favorites of last year), but it's now apparent after viewing The Wrestler that he's a versatile filmmaker. He captures the downward spiral of Randy "The Ram" Robinson with such a poetic stream of elegance and tragedy; we know the outcome of "The Ram" even before the credits roll and yet, Aronofsky doesn't flinch away from showing us his self-destructive personality. In one scene, Aronofsky captures Randy and his estranged daughter, Stephanie, in an argument --he has let her down one time too many and screams at him that she wishes to never see him again-- and he doesn't move the camera from the emotional breakdown; he violently thrusts us into their world and their problem and there's nothing we can do except look on at the wedge between them growing. On top of that, you have Mickey Rourke, who gives one of the most diverse, dedicated, and emotional performances of the 21st Century. It's rare for a performance to be this convincing nowadays and never did I think that I was watching Mickey Rourke onscreen in those bright neon tights (if I did, I think my eyes would've melted out of my skull); I was watching Randy "The Ram" Robinson seclude himself even deeper into the past, instead of moving on with the future. He cannot let go of the past because that was the only time he ever felt convenient and important. The past embraces him, the present rejects him, and therefore, he rejects the future. Don't quote me on this, but this may very well be my favorite Aronofsky yet.

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