Overall Impression – Great in so many ways.  A wonderful film about belonging, one’s place in the world, and of course… WRESTLING!


Who’s your main character? – Randy (a.k.a., “The Ram”).

What’s he trying to accomplish? – Professional: reboot his dying wrestling career.  Personal: get his life back on track.  Private: figure out who his true family is (figuratively).

Who’s trying to stop him? – Numerous elements stand between Randy and his goals, but his greatest enemy is himself.

What happens if he fails? – He’ll have nothing to live for.  No passion, no real relationships… nothing.


Orphan – Randy is a once-famous wrestler who’s way past his prime.  He has no meaningful relationships and is estranged from his daughter.

Wanderer – Randy tries to balance being an adored wrestler on weekends with being a nobody in the real world.  He connects with an aging stripper named Pam, struggles to maintain his wrestling with his supermarket job, and trains for a comeback match which he hopes will jump-start his wrestling career – only to have a heart attack.  Randy realizes that he’s too old to wrestle… and that he has no idea what to do with his life.

Warrior – Randy attempts to live in the ‘real world’. He takes a job at the deli counter, tries to see his daughter, and attempts a relationship with Pam… all of which is doomed to failure.

Martyr – Randy realizes that his fans are his true family, and steps back into the ring despite his weak heart.  By doing this, Randy also sacrifices a future with Pam, who fears wrestling will kill him.


I can’t say enough good things about THE WRESTLER.  This is an extremely endearing character study and a candid look at semi-pro wrestling that’s as entertaining as it is educational.  The dedication these guys have to putting on a good show is stunning.

It’s been a long time since I’ve rooted for a character as much as I did for Randy.  This guy just wants to be liked, and that’s something he has to fight harder for in the real world than he does in the ring.

Much like Randy, Mickey Rourke has stepped up and deserves all the praise he gets!

– Dan Pilditch

2 Responses to “THE WRESTLER”

  1. judy nelson May 4, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    I watched The Wrestler last night on ON DEMAND TV, and fell asleep just as he was going into his last match – did he die?!? I am dying to know, can’t believe I woke up just as the credits rolled and Bruce Springsteen was singing that awesome song that won the Academy Award – thanks!

    • danpilditch May 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm #

      Hey Judy,

      Even if you’d caught the end of the movie you’d still be asking the same question! You never actually find out if he lives or dies. Try and catch the ending somehow/somewhere to see what I mean – it’s great :>


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