Monday, February 16, 2009
i went with my mother to see mickey rourke in the wrestler yesterday. i don't know if you've had the chance to see it yet, but you might wanna put it on your to-do list. and you might wanna move it up to the top.
it's hard to know where to start because for me it so full of american folk lore. as a matter of fact, it reminds me of looking at an old country quilt whose colors aren't as vibrant as they used to be and is tattered a little around the edges. at a glance, this quilt may not seem so remarkable. there are so many more flashy and modern things in the store. but upon closer inspection, and once i put it in my hands, its magic and history rolled out into my spirit just as the sun lights up clouds in the sky well before it has moved up into the horizon.
there are three connected, deliberate, and intimate tidbits of characters, but they are so american and so much ingrained in our national pastiche that i didn't need cliff notes or backstory to jump in tandem with the beat.
let me start with the daughter played by evan rachel wood. there is not much required in understanding her character's frustration with her father. or more appropriately her father's absence. this idea leaps off the screen and gets put into question as he tries to reconnect with her. her performance is not long but it is anything but small.
then we move to marisa tomei's embodiment of the only slightly aging stripper and kinda sorta friend of rourke. i can't remember spending time watching a "dancer" on screen and being filled with so much shorthand. her eye movements and her "wishing i were somewhere else" looks acted like a logo or branding for her character.
and finally there is the lead, "the ram", inhabited by mickey rourke. he has found his pace here. the character flows into him and then out of him and it may take clairvoyance to decipher them. both look bruised, both have teetered on the brink, and both have said yes probably way too many times.
there isn't much that is modern, or sleek, or high tech, about this film. there isn't much moralizing going on either. but there is a slow and intentional stitching together of once colorful but now torn and fragmented lives.
on another day, perhaps i will add the layer of texture that my understanding of recovery brought to me with this celluloid fable, but for now i will only highly recommend that you take a moment to breathe in the disheveled and distinguished atmosphere of "the wrestler".
today's sound choice is bruce springsteen with the song he made for "the wrestler"...
one trick pony.