Edge

The glory of being someone else

Salvation is a common theme in movies – one in which a flawed but undeniably good character is driven to change internally, make amends and become the hero. The Wrestler tweaks this formula by establishing two worlds – the wrestling world and reality – and questioning whether glory as a fabricated persona can lead to actual salvation.

Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) is a washed-up professional wrestler who led a celebrity lifestyle in the ’80s. Now he works at a supermarket and wrestles in front of a few hundred fans in run-down gymnasiums.

Randy’s mind stays in just two places: inside and outside of the wrestling ring. Inside, the chants from the crowd still echo loudly and a weight seems to be lifted from his battered shoulders. He becomes “The Ram” and life is only as simple as taking down the man in front of him. But outside the ring, his life is a string of failures – his daughter hates him and his body begins to break down.

Rourke’s performance is the centerpiece of The Wrestler, for he truly is “The Ram.” Watching his character struggle through life outside the ring only makes the wrestling scenes more poignant. The story drags in places and the supporting characters are disposable, but the dichotomy in the grappler’s life and the constant push-and-pull are compelling. It becomes a question of which of his worlds will prevail, and if his story will end in destruction or salvation.

The Wrestler places a familiar story within an uncommon setting, but its deeply troubled hero truly resonates.

Rating: 3 out of 4

January 21, 2009

Reporters

Gabe Habash

Senior EDGE Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.