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Review: ‘American Wrestler’ is great to watch during the quarantine (Includes first-hand account)

George Kosturos carries the movie on his shoulders in the lead role of Ali Jahani, who is a 17-year-old boy that escapes the civil unrest in Iran and faces even more hostility in the United States during the hostage crisis. It is set in the ’80s.

Possessing an indomitable spirit, Ali joins the school’s wrestling team and goes on to develop and sharpen his prowess in the sport thanks to Coach Plyler (William Fichtner) and Hafez Tabad (Ali Afshar). Early on, the teenager emerges as an underdog that the audience wants to root for, and rightfully so.

Kevin G. Schmidt and Lia Marie Johnson also star as Rowan Knox and Kristi Larsen respectively. Academy Award winner Jon Voight is sensational as Principal Skinner

Without giving too much away, the film’s ending tugs at the heartstrings. It’s a movie about persistence and perseverance, and the inclusion of the original Iranian language (with English subtitles) makes it even more appealing and authentic.

Particularly impressive about American Wrestler was the fact that it was inspired by true events. The performances by George Kosturos, William Fichtner, Ali Afshar, and Jon Voight are exquisite all around. It is highly recommended for all, and it garners two thumbs up.

American Wrestler: The Wizard is available for streaming on the streaming service HBO Max.

For more information on the movie, visit its official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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