Clint Eastwood. A star in the film industry. Blessed on the 31st of May in 1930, he commenced directing in 1971 and producing in 1982. Famous for his functions in the Dollars Trilogy, the Dirty Harry movies, Unforgiven and Mil Dollar Baby, his name is synonymous with masculinity. He has 7 children from 5 different women where only 2 of whom, each were at one point his better half.
In December 2008, Gran Torino was released and written by Warner Brothers. The movie tells a story of Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood), a caucasian veteran of the Korean War. Walt is the spitting image of the common racist American war veteran who rests outside his home with a 12 gauge shotgun firmly directed at immigrants with a southern drawl. Clint Eastwood's portrayal of Walt holds true to this general image albeit as the storyplot progresses, his frame of mind towards his neighbours softens. Walt's most valued possession is his Gran Torino, a classic muscle car.
The film starts with Walt Kowalski mourning silently the passage of his wife. Living by itself, his two sons don't get along well with the father. Days later, Walt's neighbour's boy, Thao (Bee Vang), will try to steal his car as part of a gang initiation service. Walt foils this make an effort with his semi-automatic rifle from his conflict days. Thao's family is thankful towards Walt's actions that kept Thao from a life in the gang. Walt will take it upon himself to set Thao on the correct path. But when Thao's sister, Sue (Ahney Her) is assaulted by the same gang who attempted to recruit Thao, Walt is obligated to do this.
Walt's rifle from the Korean Conflict is symbolic of his previous deeds. It represents the works of violence and hostility he perpetrated during his days of service. "Shut the fuck up! You want to know what it's like to kill a man? Well it's goddamn awful, that's what it is. The only thing worse gets a medal of valour for killing some poor child that wanted to 'just quit, that's all. ' Yeah, some afraid little gook just like you. I taken him right in the facial skin with this rifle you were retaining in there not long ago. There's not a day goes on that I don't think about it. You don't want that on your heart and soul. But I acquired blood on my hands. I'm soiled. That is why I am going it by itself tonight. " Walt is a man who is tortured by his former. Walt's Gran Torino and his dog, Daisy will be the only source of happiness and comfort for him prior to him befriending his Hmong neighbours.
At the beginning of the movie, Walt's distaste for the asian people is very apparent. He refers to them as "gooks" most of enough time. However, as the film advances, he realises that he is closer to his asian neighbours than he's to his own family. "God, I acquired more in common with these gooks than I do with my very own spoiled-rotten family. Jesus. Happy birthday. " At one point in the movie, Walt becomes so near to Thao's family that he's seen barbecuing some steak in his yard with Thao, Sue and Thao's time. Walt's resourcefulness is obvious as he has a garage filled with tools that corresponding to him took 50 years to put together. He perceives Thao's curiosity about them and products to him a lubricant, duct tape and a visier grasp. He later continues on to to help toughen Thao up by teaching him how to "talk like a man". Walt even should go as far as to help Thao secure a job at a development site and purchase tools for him to kickstart his self-reliance.
In order showing their appreciation of Walt's help towards Thao, the local Hmong community frequently brings food to him. Initially, Walt is unwilling to accept the gifts. But as they persist, he gives in after tasting and dropping in love with the flavorful Hmong food. The Hmong shaman reads Walt and explains to him that he is not reputed by people and that he posesses heavy burden. Upon reading this, Walt becomes visibly shaken and begins coughing blood.
Every case that Walt was about to take ambitious action, a military themed drum master would follow. This use of music indicated to the audience that Walt was about to take on something important. The armed service drum beat also brings to brain a feeling of patriotism that Walt has towards his country. That is further illustrated by the large American flag on his porch. The overall color used throughout the movie is a lifeless green. That is reflective of the quiet tempo of the movie apart from the changing times during confrontation when it's usually dark.
Thao's character at the beginning of the film is a passive one. He seldom talks and even when he does indeed, he talks with a very soft tone. This can be attributed to his sister's role as the dominating figure inside your home. Thao is undoubtedly female even by his own family. Obviously, Walt despises "Toad" as he calling him. "Yeah. . . Yum Yum. . . yeah. . . nice gal. . . nice female, very charming female. . . I talked with her. . . yeah. But you, you just let her go out right out with the Three Stooges. And you understand why? 'Cause you're a huge fat pussy. Well, I gotta go. Good day, pusscake. " As the film advances, Walt little by little succeeds in toughening Thao up. At one point, Thao stacks up for himself when he encounters the Hmong gang while going home from work.
Though Thao may be weakened willed, he is definitely a kind and helpful son intent on assisting others. At one point in the film, when a caucasian lady drops her groceries on the sidewalk, several 3 Hmong teens notice but do not help. Instead they make lewd gestures. Thao however rushes to aid the lady much to the shock of Walt who was viewing intently.
Some of the problems reviewed in the movie are that of racism, multiculturalism and faith. In conditions of racism, Walt is racist towards every non caucasian person in the film. Though he largely will keep it to himself, sometimes his outburts contain racial slurs. Walt's neighbourhood is also assumed to be a previously white prominent one. But as immigrants moved in, more people of other races resolved down there. Specially the Hmong people. The movie intends to show audiences that racism can be overcome by intellect. This is visible when Walt helps you to save Sue from some BLACK thugs. When Sue is in the car speaking with Walt, he instructs her that she's "alright". After that, the relationship between Walt and Thao's family improves and they become close allies.
Multiculturalism is an important aspect of the film as various races can be seen and traditions of the races are also portrayed. When Walt is asked for lunch break at Thao's house for a celebration, he pats a child on her mind. This act is seen as disrespectful in Hmong culture. In the picture where Sue is ambushed by the African People in the usa, she actually is seen to be going out with a caucasian teen. During Walt's trip to the doctor, in the longing room, people from various races can be seen as well. There's Walt, a caucasian, an African American woman, an Indian lady with a traditional dress, a presumably Mexican man, an Arabian nurse with a headdress and an asian doctor. The film intends to educate the visitors that the American landscape is quickly changing where once Walt's neighbourhood used to be mostly White, it is just a rarity to visit a caucasian.
In terms of faith, Walt is a catholic though not a devout one. His take on trust is insouciant and of disdain.
Father Janovich: Why did you not call the authorities?
Walt Kowalski: Well you know, I prayed for them to come but no one answered.
While speaking with Daddy Janovich, he telephone calls the priest a "young 27 yr old virgin". By the finish of the movie though, he appears to reconnect with his religious roots as he attends confession.
The movie doesn't appear to lean to either to matriarchy or patriarchy. Although values of the different cultures are very apparent. In the Hmong culture, a whole lot of members of the family is seen congregating. Communication is normally open and inclusive. Whereas for the european culture as seen in Walt's family, the audience can see a family group which is estranged and on bad terms. Walt's sons don't pay much attention to their father and only contact him when they want something. In terms of esteem, the Hmong people generally are definitely more respectful towards their elders. However in the case of Walt's grandkids, the granddaughter smoked a cigarette in Walt's house.
There are a few film techniques found in the film that are noteworthy. When Walt is confronting the gang's house during the night towards the end of the film, an estblishing huge shot is employed showing Walt approach the home. The lighting at this point is very low-key, only highlighting what the audience must see. Faint track record noises such as a barking dog, and crickets can be observed in the distance leading the audience to expect that the positioning is the one that is seldom seen.
When the gang participants begin speaking with Walt, the camera cuts to a wide shot of him. From homes behind him in the background, curious neighbours can be seen appearing out of their rooms. Within the next few moments, a few more shots of neighbours coming out of their houses is seen to help expand emphasise the idea that the whole scenario is being scrutinised. At this point, the gang head attracts his weapon, but Walt maintains insulting them, identified to carry out his plan unfazed. He insists on defending his neighbours. This is the point where the viewers observe that deep beneath the grouchy outside, Walt is a genuinely good man.
The movie overall was a stimulating change from the regular action videos which lack depth and substance. Gran Torino has enough action to keep up the male audience attention while providing to the emotional aspect as well via good character development and storyline. The touching scenes in the film truly can impact the viewers and make sure they are question their own behaviour towards culture and racism and doing what's right. Where at first the viewers is antagonistic towards Walt, they come to appreciate is gruffness and empathise with him and feel genuine sadness when he sacrifices his life in the end.