Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Wrestler

Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler showcases the sheer physical brutality of wrestling despite the fact that it is staged. In one particularly gruesome scene (one that I wasn't able to find on Youtube sorry), Randy "The Ram" takes turns using a real stapler gun with a fellow wrestler on each other. The dives they take and the chairs and other objects they use to hit each other clearly do very real damage to the amateur wrestlers portrayed in this movie. Mickey Rourke, the actor who plays "The Ram", before filming had very little respect for professional wrestling because of his background as a boxer but quickly after training for the movie he stated that wrestling is just as or maybe even more dangerous than professional boxing. Many of the old retired wrestlers today are banged up physically with many problems and lasting damage from their careers.

The movie also delves deeply into the culture of wrestling. Wrestlers, despite their public animosity towards each other through playing roles like babyface (the good guy) or the heel (the bad guy), have for the most part a great deal of camaraderie with each other and are good friends with each other in private. They plan the bouts together, they commend each other's performances afterwards, and they even share steroids together. Beneath the violence on display in their matches is an obvious respect and caring for each other.


  1. I watched the movie not too long ago, and thought it was very well put together. When you watch wrestling on television, it always seems that the actors are nearly invincible. Characters seem to fight for decades despite crushing blows to the head, leaps from the ropes, and weapon-inflicted injuries. Even though a guy may go through a table during a main event and require an ambulance to be removed from the arena, the fighter often appears two weeks later in a scheduled fight.

    Behind the scenes, it isn't hard to imagine that the life of a fighter more often resembles the character played by Mickey Rourke. We often see into the lavish lifestyles of the more famous wrestlers such as The Rock and Hulk Hogan, but there are thousands of wrestlers who never make it into the spotlight. The use of steroids, fighting injuries, and general wear on the body do not make it into the media because they are rarely thought of as a problem in a "fake sport." I would actually love to find a documentary that shows more of an in-depth view of the life of professional wrestlers.

  2. I havent watched this movie yet but I really look forward to it since I really like and respect Darren Aronofsky as a director. But when it comes to wrestling I always thought of it as a fake sport. I never gave it the credit that it actually deserves and didnt understand that although the matches may be predetermined, those wrestlers are putting their bodies on the line. Of course it is hard to take wrestling seriously since everything is just so dramatized but once you get by the acting you get to see how dangerous this sport really is.


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