Friday, December 26, 2008

Sacrificial 'Ram': "The Wrestler" as the Story of Job

"He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5


The new movie by Darren Aronofsky, "The Wrestler" is the beautiful and terrible story of an aging professional wrestler, Randy 'The Ram', played by Mickey Rourke. The hard-bodied and oafish Randy finds no comfort in the world outside the ring. He lives in a dilapidated trailer, has an estranged daughter and an demeaning side job at a local grocery store. He lives for the weekends when he can wrestler.

The movie is really a modern story of Job.

Of course, Randy doesn't fit the traditional Job-archetype. Through the movie you realize he is derelict, a delinquent father, a drug-user. He is not pious in any conventional sense.

Yet, he is unshakable in his faith. Not for God, but for wrestling.

The heart-aches, the heart-attacks, the poverty, and the alienation from friends and family are all endured. He is unflinching faithful to the religion and ritual of wrestling. And for his fidelity, what felicities does it bring him? None. His age relegates him to minor contests, his steroid use leaves him deformed, while still always true to profession.

During the movie, he begins a relationship with a stripper named Cassidy, played by the Marisa Tomei. She is the parallel to Randy; both live off the exploits of their flesh, and they are past the peak of their prime. While talking to Randy at a club she jokingly says, "You were pierced for our transgressions, you were crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace is upon you. You are the sacrificial Ram." And he is. You can almost here Randy 'the Ram' saying to the gods of Wrestling, 'Forgive them - the fans - for they know not what they make me do."

Also, see this article of "Job as Wrestler". Art immitating the Bible, and Bible immitating Art.

7 comments:

Hellernot said...

Sort of like voting: Forgive them for they know not what they are doing.

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