Arfonsky’s films have always left me a little cold, pi was smart but tried to be to cerebral, that heroin picture was pretty good though, the one about the plant that ends in space… awful but the wrestler represents a maturity in his film making, its not eager to show off its smarts, the subject is heartfelt, and surprisingly darren is the right guy to do it. The problem is, i just don’t like the film. Rourke is grotoesque, the romance with marisa tomei is rushed and a little hasty and while america’s most protoreal sport could use the silent treatment of “art film” the film doesn’t quite draw me in. This surreality of strip mall and school gym matches also lacks bromance, despite being idolized by his peers, the ram is strangely lacking in male friends. The broken relationship with the daughter thing is also faulty, rourke plays the ram with apathy, he is an extremely likable loser, and the story pits him between the praxis of poverty and pride, i kept wishing he’d die in the ring, but the story is to smart lend us that satisfaction.