Drama, English Movies

Gran Torino directed by Clint Eastwood

gran-torino1 You really have to wonder where these movies come from. Who would have thought that the cult western hero, the ‘Dirty Harry’, would turn out to be one of the most exciting directors who could churn out one masterpiece after another…

Gran Torino is supposed to be the last film that he would star in himself. So while you are watching it, take a good eyeful of the legend as he delivers a flawless performance…

Like his other movies, this movie too has its share of unlikely heroes. Heroes who are not heroes because they can shoot from the hip, but heroes because they rise a notch above the normal humdrum when needed…

Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a widowed Korean war veteran who is  bitter about almost everything – especially his family, clergy, his neighbours…and is also a cynical racist…

But life, as in all Eastwood’s movies, makes sure that nothing remains the same and no one remains how they seem to be…

Pretty soon, his life changes as the next-door girl befriends him, whosefilm_gran-torino brother had previously tried to steal Walt’s ‘Gran Torino’ as part of a gang initiation. He also slowly develops a fond relationship with the brother…

But life is never perfect, especially when everything seems to be going so well…The gang which had tried to initiate the brother, with its ego bruised now, begins to wreck the lives of Walt’s new found friends…

And how does Walt, the erstwhile legend of the wild west, counter this gang? You would be surprised. And that is where you are witness to the genius that is Eastwood…

In time, the climax would probably become of the most memorable scenes in the history of cinema…you realize that you have been holding your breath as Walt stands before the gang till the climax…

One thing about the movie that would not strike the viewer before seeing it and having heard the story is the humour. Walter has the dry cynical humour that you can absolutely associate with him. His grrr is absolutely outstanding. There is humour gran_torino_3in so many of the scenes but they never jar with the theme or the core of the movie. This humour is surely one of the things that makes this movie stand-out. It brings flesh and character to Walt. In fact, without the humour, the character would seem phoney…

And a review of this movie cannot finish without reviewing the way Eastwood looks in the movie. The wizened, cynical, gritty, tough guy who can take on street gangs but has private demons – this character was tailor made for Eastwood. He is a man whom you would turn for advice and surprisingly for his age, for brute strength. He has the look of a guy who has been toughened by what he has experienced in life and who battles his memories in private…and this look and his guttural voice is what carries the whole movie on its shoulder…the movie is made with one man in mind…

Watch this movie for well, everything…from the dialogues, the plot, the characters, the ending and yes, especially Eastwood…

A movie that would stay with you for a long time…and so will the song at the end of the movie…

And you would wonder…Slumdog won the Oscar over this???

 

 

 

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