Urged by a reader and previous buzz, I finally managed to watch the Calamari Wrestler. The movie is an over-the-top satire of Rocky with a Star Wars twist finish. Fortunately it is much better than the festering heap of movie, Rocky XXXIV. The plot is the tale of a wrestler and son of a geisha, Kan-Ichi Iwata, reincarnated as a squid who fights for more than a wrestling title.
The Calamari Wrestler is from the hills of Pakistan and may be related to the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. Kan-Ichi easily defeats his first opponent due to the fact “joint locks don’t work on an invertebrate, they’re too slippery” and because he is “incapable of fighting to lose.” There is the antagonist who claims, “You’re no hero! You’re just an ugly, disgusting, giant squid!” and urges him to take a dive in match. “By seeing a mysterious creature defeated, anxiety will turn into hope.” A minor subplot involves Kan-Ichi’s girlfriend overcoming her fear of loving a squid and the Calamari Wrestler waking in a cold sweat from dream about her. Overall, I found the movie hilarious although the ending had me torn who to cheer for. In the words of one of the characters, “I’m sure it will be a tasty fight.” You can also read PZ Meyer’s review.
“Will you perish as a mere desire-ridden terrestrial, or will you endure the rite of 365 points and sublimate yourself as a creature of the ocean? “