"The Wrestler" is exhilarating entertainment - dynamic and humane, awesome and poetic - and marks an astounding comeback by actor Mickey Rourke under the masterful direction of Darren Aronofsky.
Back in the late 1980s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) was a champion professional wrestler. Now, 20 years later, he ekes out a living stacking shelves in a supermarket and performing fights for handfuls of diehard wrestling fans in high school gyms around New Jersey.
It soon becomes clear though, that amateur wrestling is not just a money-making arrangement for the physically shattered ex-champ - the ring is the only place of comfort to him in a world he finds bewildering. Estranged from his teenage daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and essentially alone in the world, Randy is a battered dreamer who lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans.
However a heart attach forces Randy to evaluate the state of his life - trying to reconnect with his daughter, and striking up a blossoming romance with an aging stripper (Marisa Tomei). Yet all this cannot compare to the allure of the ring and passion for his art, which threatens to pull Randy "The Ram" back into his world of wrestling. A Rocky-style drama, "The Wrestler" delivers just the right amount of raw action and grit balanced with a finely-detailed and affecting story which will stun audiences. Rourke creates a galvanizing, humorous, deeply moving portrait that instantly takes its place among the great, iconic screen performances.