The Wrestler

NOW working for a major media outlet in London, Tim Lince began his journalistic career in the Fens when he joined the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard for work experience. His family still live in Doddington but after leaving school Tim went off to the U

NOW working for a major media outlet in London, Tim Lince began his journalistic career in the Fens when he joined the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard for work experience.

His family still live in Doddington but after leaving school Tim went off to the UEA to study for a degree and last summer headed for London and the beginning of a media career.

His pet interest is the cinema, and in coming weeks will be reviewing many of the latest releases, including those nominated for an Oscar.

Here he begin with The Wrestler


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Anticipation

It was two years ago when I first discovered the delights of Darren Aronofsky, and his mesmerizing style of filmmaking. His 1999 debut movie was the black & white psychoanalysis 'Pi', and it was the pure potential of that which led the stellar cast and script-collaboration of 'Requiem For A Dream'. Absolutely powerful, gritty and with an effect that still leaves a shadow - it was rewarded with almost universal applaud. Aronofsky followed the modern tragedy with the big budget, sprawling romance 'The Fountain'. Interwoven across thousands of years, it told a love story that touched on karma, philosophy and religion. Indescribable, but a true Aronofsky in style and result.

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And the follow-up, I hear, was about wrestling. From a tortured genius, a drug-fuelled lesson and then a heart-wrenching epic... to a wrestling movie. The cast, after browsing on IMDB.com a few years before the release, included Mickey Rourke... of 300? Get Carter (remake!)? And then other cast members I've barely heard of... I had big worries, even after it won the coveted Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. But the trusty Aronofsky seems to have delivered, with the billion five star ratings littered across the poster.

Anticipated? Of course, but I've gotta withdraw my reservations of wrestling and put my trust in Aronofsky, who's yet to disappoint.

And there we have it. We've all read the reviews of it, and I don't want to repeat what's been said. Well, I will briefly; yes, Mickey Rourke is fantastic and definitely deserves the Oscar. This is a departure from much of what made Aronofsky individual, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

What he promised and what he's delivered is a good story that's been told well. A perfect little slice of cinema. It's low key, it's raw but has moments of relief and it is full of juxtapositions that just seem to work - an old-school wrestler working at a supermarket, a small boy playing a 1980s wrestling videogame with him (and, of course, bigging up one of the new games of our age - COD4).

What made it work for me though? It still had that Aronofsky charm about it. You can tell he loves wrestling, and even with my aversion to it he drew me in because of his passion for it. The actual wrestling parts (that take up about, oh, 10% of the movie) didn't annoy me or put me off at all - this reserved and only confused man, the wrestling is almost another character, a bad influence the audience wishes would back off.

Did it match my anticipation that had been build up over all this time? Yes and no. It is an immense movie that deserves anyone's attention - it just didn't quite match up to his classic 'Requiem For A Dream' (which if you've not seen, please at least rent it). It is a brilliant movie in it's own right though, and it's criminal it didn't make the Best Picture nomination at the Oscars - or even best Original Song for Bruce Springsteen's perfect end credits tune.

So yeah, as a work it's pretty solid all round. My only gripe is it didn't have the spark of his previous work, but for anyone who's not seen them then it's gonna be a really quite brilliant drama about a human; yes, he does a job few can relate to, but we can all relate to what he faces as age and torment undertake and consume his life.

I was going to end with a clever wrestling pun but I won't, I'm not gonna hit rock bottom on my first review. Oh, wait

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