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Life Arts    H3'ed 1/25/09

The Wrestler: Of Love, Pain, and Glory

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The culmination of this film is that there’s a fan fest, which “The Ram” was going to be a part of until he had his heart attack. The match was to be a rematch between him and The Ayatollah. At one point, he gave it up. After a stint at the deli that wracks his nerves and leads him to go into a rampage and quit his job, he recommits himself to the match.


The physical scars are minor compared to the emotional scars that constantly bleed, scar, and then bleed again within his soul. He’s nothing without wrestling; his life isn’t worth living. He cannot convince himself that it is important to hold a steady job and pay the rent because paying the rent doesn’t allow him to experience any kind of glory.


So, Randy “The Ram” Robinson faces his mortality and goes back to the ring for one final match and nobody can stop him. Not even those he has a desire to love and seek comfort and solace in can save him.


As he goes out for the rematch, he’s asked to not go out there by Cassidy. She reminds him of his fragile heart condition and tells him he will get hurt. Randy replies, “The only place I get hurt is out there. The world don't give a sh*t about me.”


There’s a lot of subtext that could be ascribed to this film. One could say that The Wrestler is a representation of America. (He faces off with The Ayatollah, an evil wrestler that was probably popularized by the politics of the 1980s.)


Certainly, the way with which Randy’s character is juxtaposed with Cassidy’s character presents a reflection on the human body. Randy is does anything and everything to his body so he can feel mentally and emotionally sound. Cassidy does little to nothing for herself mentally or emotionally but she keeps her body in tact. Both degrade themselves to live and one appears to derive more glory from doing so than the other.


The film may remind one of that saying, “The body is a temple.” Several variations of that phrase exist:


Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one. ~Astrid Alauda

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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