Dir: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Marissa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood
Much ballyhoo'd return to grace for Mickey Rourke, it is everything
the hype machine claims it to be, and more, for cheap quotable praise is
too easily given away these days.
The wrestler and the
stripper are symbols, as obvious as it may seem, for those who rely
solely on their bodies for their living and as their bodies begin to
fail them, so goes their worth in the world. As each grows older, and
the form is stripped away, all that is very apparently left is the soul
and the innate need to be loved, wanted, needed, simply not to be alone.
Aronofsky eschews all sentimentality, though, in favour of raw
emotion, of small lives laid bare and lived large, of characters who are
legends in their own mind, but who ultimately come to the terrifying,
soul-crushing, and ultimately redemptive - and profoundly human -
realization that this...is...it. Facing the void, but too
stubborn or too dumb to turn away. This small spark is often all we have and we
must clutch the spark, protect it, never let it go out. As long as we
have that tiny spark inside of us then the soul of man can never die.
Instead of throwing in the towel, the characters soldier on, absurdly
and beautifully. The final scene
alone is worth the price of a million bleeding hearts, and the rest of
the film is just as good.
breathes, it bleeds, it weeps; it is broken, it sins, and it forgives.
It simultaneously revels in the absurdity of human life and shows why
that life is worth living.