I saw it this past weekend, and now I think I need to go on Prosac. Everything from the grainy quality of the film to the broken-down NJ locations brings you down. You watch this character struggle through matches (wrestling does not look fake the way this film portrays it! All I’m going to say is “staple gun.” Good God!), his day job (loader dude at the supermarket), and his mangled relationships.
I think I love movies when they show us connection — you know, despite some cr*p hand of cards life hands you, at least you have a buddy and a beer, or some such thing. It’s why I liked “Gran Torino” so much — an imperfect film, but Clint Eastwood feels a familial bond with this Hmong teenage boy. Realistic? Not necessarily (he’s a rabid racist who seems to reform his ways in a week — really?) Satsifying? Totally.
“The Wrestler” is good. I mean, the female characters get the shaft, b/c their stories don’t make much sense, but the film as a whole gets this world and feels convincing — BUT no one connects. There are fleeting moments, but in the end, it’s just the wrestler.
I think I could have stomached all the ills and the violence of this character’s life, if he managed to make a connection with somebody, ANYBODY! But on a positive note, it makes me incredibly grateful that my job does not include lifing heavy objects for minimum wage or jumping around in flashy tights and smashing chairs on my head.