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The Wrestler

When I heard Mickey Rourke was back in a leading role, I had to go see the film. Back in the 80s, he was one of my favourite actors; then he dropped off the radar and all I had was fond memories of of a few stellar performances in Rumble Fish, 9 1/2 Weeks and Angel Heart. When he returned in a supporting role in Sin City, because of the makeup I hardly recognised him; but in The Wrestler, which I saw today, the old Mickey Rourke, quality actor, was back and I enjoyed watching him just as much as before. Though I'll be the first to admit that I don't know the first thing about wrestling, I think the film probably paints an accurate enough picture of the sport (if such it can be called) and those who've made it their profession. Not a lot happens in this film: Mickey Rourke plays a beatup middle aged wrestler whose glory days are behind him and who seems utterly alone in the world. He keeps on wrestling because it's the only thing he knows how to do and it's only in the ring that his life seems to have any purpose at all. Outside of the ring, out in the real world, he struggles to make ends meet and he struggles to connect to people, most of all his estranged daughter who he tries to reconcile with after he'd had a heart attack and he's had to give up wrestling; but he blows his last chance with her. Now at his lowest ebb, he goes back to wrestling...and though the film has an open ending, you just know he's not long for this world after he's made that decision. And Mickey Rourke? He is just brilliant.



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