Friday, March 6, 2009

The Wrestler

I didn't want to go see The Wrestler. I had enough of looking at Mickey Rourke on the talk shows, and the comeback public relations tour. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad for him. Go, Mickey! Make movies! Yay.

But, damn. You know what I'm talking about. His face is every reason to age gracefully that I've ever seen. I digress....

Back to The Wrestler. It's worth seeing. The surprise is the absolute naked longing playing out before our eyes. It's like an accident that's not actually horrific or fatal, and the traffic's stopped up on our side anyway, so we can sit and watch the emergency crews cut someone out of the car.

Stop! That's awful. No. What I mean is....actually, I mean exactly that.

The real reason to go see The Wrestler is Marisa Tomei. Her character is wrestling with her own life in this film -- as a used-up, almost-old, fret-faced stripper, she is perfect. Though she's a beautiful woman and a good actress, we believe she inhabits this part on some primal level. I felt a little ache-y every time she was on screen. The naked truth -- whatever she was conveying with this character -- just oozed out of her soul. She was breathtaking.

Don't expect to be surprised because it's about just what it looks like it's about. Do, however, prepare yourself for the first 20 minutes -- this was "the accident" as it was happening.

I couldn't help thinking, as the movie was coming to an end, "Okay, good, I'm glad that this life experience -- the life of a two-bit wrestler -- is being articulated on this big screen. This we haven't seen." And I think, in the end, that's why it's worth seeing.