Bumping the thread because I just saw this today.
I think I might be a slight wet blanket here. While I thought Mickey Rourke was superb, and that Aranofsky’s direction was faultless, I thougt there could have been a little more story to it, and – I admit it – I didn’t really care for the ending. I found it unsatisfying, not because I demand a happy ending, but because I don’t think we really got a sufficient explanation as to why Randy would make that choice.
While I loved the scenes in the locker room and basically all the backstage stuff involving the wrestlers. The wrestlers talking shop, ostensible opponents casually mapping out their fights and deciding on what kinds of damage to do to each other, the comraderie and mutual support – all that stuff was great. What I don’t think we saw, though, was what made Randy love the ring itself, why he loved wrestling itself. We can see why he loves the other guys, and why, at one time, he loved the fame and the fans, but I’m not sure we see why he loved actually getting into the ring.
I would have also liked to see some more backstory on his career – how he got started in wrestling, what it was like when he was on top-- stuff like that. What we see is where he is now, as basically a has been, but who he used to be and how he got to thispoint is never explored.
I think that the decision he makes at the end might be more understandable if we had more insight into what he likes about the ring. The end of the result of the movie was that I thought it was an extraordinarily well-drawn character portrait, and a beautifully realized, gritty milieu, but I think it needed just a little something more in the story – a tiny bit of redemption and glory for Randy.
I will say that naked Marisa Tomei elevates any movie.
While Rourke deserves all the accolades he’s getting and is probably the odds on favorite not just to get nominated for the Oscar, but to win it, I think I’ve seen at least three or four better movies this year. I think Slumdog and Milk were both better. I even think Doubt was better. I see it as a Best Actor movie, but not as a Best Picture movie.
Rourke really is very, very good, though. He really vanishes as Mickey Rourke and you totally just see him as this Randy the Ram guy.