We've had the privilege of seeing The Wrestler already, and can say with no amount of hyperbole that Darren Aronofsky has fashioned the stand-up-and-stick-a-fork-in-some-guy's-head movie of the year. Sadly, however, it's not immune from controversy:
During the fight, the Ayatollah, played by actor and former professional wrestler Ernest "the Cat" Miller, waves an Iranian flag before ramming the pole under his opponent's neck. Rourke's character then grabs the flag and snaps the pole over his knee before tossing it into the crowd.
Newspapers and websites in Iran say the Darren Aronofsky-directed film is just the latest manifestation of Western prejudice towards Iran in Hollywood films.
This wouldn't be the first time Iranians have found fault in their Hollywood depictions—the last being in Zack Snyder's Spartan abstravaganza 300, where Persians were portrayed as swarthy, drag-queen worshiping barbarians. We don't particularly find any fault in that, but just trust us—the Iranians were up in arms! (Hopefully not nuclear.) In the case of The Wrestler, however, the objectionable character is an authentic product of the pro wrestling circuit the film sets out to depict. Iran's beef, then, is with wrestling itself, and not the film, and we suggest the two sides hash out their differences in a best-of-five steel cage match, winner takes all.