|Darren Aronofsky Director||previously directed The Fountain|
The Wrestler tells the story of a professional wrestler "past his prime" and the struggles he has with his family and career.
WWE Hall of famer "The Wild Samoan" Afa Anoai trained Mickey Rourke and planed his matches.5 More Trivia
3 More Quotes
The fuckin' '90s sucked.
|Robert D. Siegel|
|Mickey Rourke||Robin Ramzinski|
|Evan Rachel Wood||Stephanie|
|Judah Friedlander||Scott Brumberg|
|Ernest Miller||The Ayatollah|
|Wass Stevens||Nick Volpe|
|Dylan Summers||Necro Butcher|
|Tommy Farra||Tommy Rotten|
|See Full Credits|
The film opens with a collage of promotional posters, photographs and newspaper clippings focusing on wrestling legend Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson (Mickey Rourke). Dozens and dozens of photos fill the collage all praising the triumphs of Randy, who in the 80s was at the top of the wrestling industry. Now, 20 years later, Randy is past his prime and wrestles small independent leagues on weekends at school gymnasiums.
After completing a gig Randy gets paid a small amount of cash and heads out, not before being stopped by a few old fans for an autograph. He drives home and finds that his landlord changed his locks, he spends the night in the back of his van, painfully unwrapping all of his wrestling gear in the process.
When he wakes up in the morning a group of the local kids are banging on his van. He playfully wrestles with them for a bit before tracking down his landlord and asking why his locks were changed. The landlord refuses to let Randy in until he pays him money for rent.
Randy then goes to his other job at a grocery store and asks his manager (Todd Barry) if he could get more shifts. His manager insults him asking if tights had a price increase. Randy then mentions how he can only work weekdays, as he’s busy on weekends.
At a small wrestling gig, Randy fights against a young wrestler named Tommy Rotten; the two discuss their match in the dressing room. Randy wins the match, giving himself a blade job in the process, and when he returns to the dressing room everybody applauds him. The wrestling promoter tells Randy about a match he is planning, a rematch between Randy and The Ayatollah (Ernest Miller), reliving a great rivalry from the 80s. Randy agrees to it, but doubts that Bob, The Ayatollah would be interested.
After the gig Randy goes to a local strip club and defends Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), a stripper he enjoys from a group of young men insulting her. They get pissed and storm off, causing Cassidy to get mad at him for losing her all that money. Randy then buys a lap dance from her. During the lap dance Randy’s wound reopens and Randy then tells Cassidy about various wrestling injuries he sustained through his career.
Another day, in the locker rooms, Randy buys a bunch of steroids and supplements and then injects some of the steroids into his butt. He works out, gets his hair dyed again and then goes to get tanned, all to prepare for upcoming matches. Randy then goes with the dealer from before to purchase a bunch of random weaponry for an upcoming hardcore match.
Randy ends up winning the hardcore match that had the two wrestlers beating each other with glass, barbed wire, ladders, fake legs, trash cans and staple guns. He shakily walked to the locker room and after some paramedics tend to his wounds he walks to his bag and throws up just before passing out.
Randy wakes up in the hospital where a doctor tells him that he had a heart attack and it required surgery. The doctor then says that he has to avoid all strenuous activity and Randy says he’s a wrestler, the doctor responds saying that he can’t do that anymore or it may kill him.
Randy pays his landlord some money and is able to get back into his trailer. Feeling somewhat lost he invites in one of the local boys to come in and play an old wrestling Nintendo game with him. The match in the game is Randy versus the Ayatollah, Randy wins and the kid gets bored and leaves. Randy tries to go for a run but it proves to be too much for his heart and he doubles over in the woods.
He goes back to the strip club and talks with Cassidy for a bit. He tells her that he had a heart attack, she is able to get away from work and they talk in his van. Cassidy says that Randy should be with his family and asks where his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) is; he says that his daughter doesn’t really like him much anymore. The next day Randy tries to call his daughter but can’t get a hold of her so he decides to visit her at her house.
She comes out of her place and tries to brush him off at first. Randy pleads for her to talk but she keeps ignoring him, he tells her he had a heart attack which just causes her to get even more pissed at him. She says that all she thinks he wants is for her to take care of him, which won’t happen because he was never there to take care of her.
Back the strip club Cassidy continually gets turned down by clients until she bumps into Randy. He tells her that things didn’t go well when he tried to talk to his daughter. She then suggests that he should buy her a gift, like some sort of clothing. She then tells Randy about a small vintage clothing store to buy something at and she says she’ll meet him there Saturday to help him pick out something.
At the grocery store Randy talks to his manager and asks for more shifts. His manager says the only thing he has is weekends, so Randy gets a job at the deli counter. At the vintage store Randy meets up with Cassidy and she helps him buy a jacket for his daughter. Afterwards the two go for a drink and talk for the first time out of the strip club. Eventually Randy goes for a kiss until Cassidy stops it and leaves the bar.
Randy works his first shift at the deli counter and seems to try and make the best out of it. Afterwards he calls his wrestling promoter and tells him that the big rematch is off because he’s retiring.
Stephanie, his daughter, gets off the bus near her house and finds Randy waiting outside her place. He gives her a gift, a gross green jacket with an ‘S’ on it. She fakes excitement until he says it was a joke gift and gives her the gift Cassidy recommended for her. Randy asks her if she’ll go for a walk with him at her old favourite place.
The two take a walk down a small boardwalk that the two would visit a lot when Stephanie was younger. Randy apologizes to Stephanie for just leaving her when she was little because he couldn’t handle the responsibility. He tells her that she didn’t do anything wrong that it was all him, he was the one who screwed everything up. He says that all he wants is for her not to hate him.
After the two are walking and Stephanie shows the first sign of affection and grabs onto Randy’s arm. They then notice an abandoned area and Stephanie sneaks inside. Randy follows and inside the two of them dance together. Stephanie then agrees to see Randy Saturday for a dinner.
Randy goes to talk to Cassidy at the strip club to thank her for the help with picking out the gift for Stephanie. Randy makes another advance at Cassidy, she rejects him, causing in an argument between the two. Frustrated, Randy goes to a wrestling event and watches from the audience, it causes a further stint of depression so he goes to the bar afterwards with the wrestlers.
At the bar he meets up with a girl and does some cocaine and goes home with her. He wakes up in her bedroom and sneaks out as she’s taking a shower. When he gets home he passes out in his bed. He wakes up hours later at night and realizes that he missed his dinner date with Stephanie.
Randy goes to Stephanie’s place to try and apologize but Stephanie says she waited over two hours and is too angry to forgive him. She tells him that she can’t feel any more sadness for him. She says she doesn’t love him anymore and their relationship is over forever. Randy leaves her place depressed and slowly walks to his van.
The next day Randy works at the deli counter again and, after a customer recognizes him as The Ram, he has a freak out and jams his thumb inside of a meat slicer. Bloodied he yells at his manager and quits, running through the aisles and knocking over merchandise. When he gets to his van he calls his promoter and tells him he’s back on for the big rematch against the Ayatollah.
Cassidy shows up at Randy’s place and apologizes for how she reacted at the strip club. Randy accepts the apology and says he has to get going because he has a match. Before Cassidy even has the chance to respond he drives away, leaving her with a flier for the event.
At the ring Randy and Bob talk a bit about their match, and Randy ends the conversation saying he’s glad things haven’t changed. Cassidy dances at the strip club until she has to stop because she can’t take her mind off of Randy. She leaves the stage in the middle of a performance and leaves the club for the event.
Right before the match begins Randy stands at the entrance to the ring, he’s about to go out before Cassidy catches up with him. She begs him not to go out there because it will kill him and she tells him that she’ll be with him. Randy says that the only thing he has is out there, in the ring. He then leaves to go out to wrestle, leaving Cassidy at the entrance.
The match between the Ayatollah and Randy begins as Cassidy watches from the entrance. She eventually gets fed up and leaves, tired of watching Randy possibly kill himself. The match continues and there’s a moment where Randy’s heart starts to feel the pressure of the match. The Ayatollah asks if he’s okay but Randy says he’s fine, The Ayatollah then gives Randy the opportunity to finish the match.
Randy, feeling the emotional high from the audience cheering for him, climbs to the top rope to give his finishing move against his opponent. He smiles, the crowd cheering, as he gives his signature taunt and then he dives off the top rope with the crowd still cheering for him.
Originally Nicholas Cage was supposed to play Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, however eventually Nic Cage left the project and Mickey Rourke was cast in the lead role. The film shoot itself lasted about 40 days and was filmed in various places of New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia.
The Nintendo game that Randy plays with the young boy who lives near him was an actual fully functional demo made for the film. Darren Aronofsky requested for the game to actual work so title designer Kristyn Hume and programmer Randall Furino built the game.
The locker scenes and the some of the deli scenes were improvised in the film. Mickey Rourke was trained by former professional wrestler Afa Anoa’i.
Bruce Springsteen had a song titled ‘The Wrestler’ play over the credits of the film. Springsteen wrote the song specifically for the film. Axl Rose also donated the use of Randy’s entrance music ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’ for free. Clint Mansell, Aronofsky’s longtime composer, composed the score for the film. Slash also recorded the guitars for the score of the film.
The Wrestler received high critical praise and was nominated for several awards. Specifically Mickey Rourke was praised highly for his role of Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson and received several Best Actor awards, including the BAFTA and Golden Globes. He was also nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars.
The film appeared on several top ten lists for many critics, and Roger Ebert praised it as one of the best films of the year. The film also took home the Golden Lion award at the 2008 Venice Film Festival.
Throughout the film Darren Aronofsky used a specific shot to follow the characters around. These shots are anytime a character is walking and the camera follows them from behind showing their back as they walk. Most characters in the film have a moment like this. This could be done for many reasons, but gives a distinct feeling that we are following the characters through the story, or that it’s even similar to a documentary.
Some notable moments of this are right at the beginning or when Randy is walking through the halls of the grocery store to work at the deli for the first time.
|review||Balances on the Turnbuckles (4 out of 5)||etragedy|
|blog||Sometimes you just got to keep going||etragedy|
|news||Best (And Worst) Of Cinematic Strippers||staceywi|
|forum||Mickey Rourke was robbed.||AngeTheDude|
|blog||One Film-maker, One Theme #1: Darren Aronofsky & Parenthood||TrulyAlive|
|review||Simply amazing from my perspective. (5 out of 5)||DG991|
|blog||Screenedcast Summary - 12-06-2010 ep#31||CrazyCraven|
|review||Nice change of pace for Aronofsky (4 out of 5)||Sam_Peckinpaws|
|Rank This Week|
|Rank This Month|