Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: Movie Review: The Wrestler, or Jesus, the Other Anti-Hero

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Movie Review: The Wrestler, or Jesus, the Other Anti-Hero

by Lissette Decos I had very little time for movie-watching in 2008. A minor detail I should have thought long and hard about before seeing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Not only did it suck, but it was so long that it left no time for any other movies. I did manage to see Slumdog Millionaire, which was good - but in the way that vanilla ice cream is good. And I prefer my vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips. But now that the Oscars have come and gone my movie dance card is clear once again, and I could finally go see The Wrestler. This movie is great - great in the way that a trip to Italy with enough money that you don’t have to stay in hostels and actually eat at restaurants is great. I saw it two days ago, and I can’t stop thinking about it. And I love movies that make you think. When the titular wrestler, Randy the Ram (Mickey Rourke), is preparing for his big fight it made me think about Rocky and how unlike Rocky he is. When the wrestler has his “pump up/getting ready” montage he doesn’t find the biggest set of stairs in town and run up them. As far as I can see, he doesn’t even own a jump rope. And there are no raw eggs in his diet. Instead, the Ram self-tans, dyes his roots, and injects himself with some sort of steroid. He lifts a few small barbells just to pump up the muscles on his arms. Oh yeah, at one point he stretches his legs a little. Rocky Balboa may have had his faults, but the Ram makes Rocky look like a standup citizen. Randy is a self-absorbed, deadbeat dad with a drug addiction. But that’s where the Rocky comparisons and contrasts ended for me because really the Ram’s more like Jesus or Jesus Christ Superstar. I’m not sure which. I would need to see the latter to be sure. His stripper friend, Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), mentions it early in the film and from that point on it was clear to me. There’s a virgin, a prostitute, and he’s a Ram - which let’s face it, sounds a lot like lamb (as in sacrificial). And the clincher is the major (what I like to call) crucifixion scene, where a crazy nut that looks a lot like Pontius Pilate staples him to the cross. At one point they even go up a ladder as if trying to hang him on a cross, the barbed wire they crash onto looking a lot like a crown of thorns. When he comes out of that bout he has a huge gash on his side, and a medic puts his finger in it. Remember when Judas did that to make sure that was really Jesus? Isn’t there a famous painting depicting this scene? I loved The Wrestler in the way that makes you feel like why in the @$%# did this movie not win an Oscar... or five Oscars!? I loved it in the way that I wish Randy the Ram could beat up Benjamin Button. Put Randy in the ring and have his way with Button. I don’t care if it’s old-but-really-young Button or young-but-actually-old Button! Just get whichever Button you want, throw him in the ring, and have your way with him Ram!

6 comments:

Kotto said...

it really pissed me off that this wasn't even one of the best picture noms. imho, slumdog, button and even milk had no business being nominated. slumdog winning makes me ill.

grettel j. singer said...

can´t wait to see it. great review, a bit violent, but makes me want to see it.
besos

Mattson Tomlin said...

definitely missed out on the awards. would have enjoyed a nod to aronofsky even in the golden globes. travesty that it really got slighted.

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Anonymous said...

This is written so well with humor, intelligence and a sharp point of view! And I loved Button! - Peter A.