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Gran Torino plot and soundtrack

September 7, 2009

Walt Kowalski is a widower who holds onto his prejudices despite the changes in his Michigan neighborhood and the world around him. Kowalski is a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy an old man, who can’t get along with either his kids or his neighbors, a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. When his neighbor Thao, a young Hmong teenager under pressure from his gang member cousin, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Thao’s family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them from the gangs that infest their neighborhood.

I have also the lyric:
So tenderly
Your story is
Nothing more
Than what you see
Or
What you’ve done
Or will become
Standing strong
Do you belong
In your skin
Just wondering

Gentle now
The tender breeze
Blows
Whispers through
My Gran Torino
Whistling another
Tired song

Engine humms
And bitter dreams
Grow heart locked
In a Gran Torino
It beats
A lonely rhythm
All night long
It beats
A lonely rhythm
All night long
It beats
A lonely rhythm
All night long

Realign all
The stars
Above my head
Warning signs
Travel far
I drink instead
On my own
Oh,how I’ve known
The battle scars
And worn out beds

Gentle now
A tender breeze
Blows
Whispers through
A Gran Torino
Whistling another
Tired song

Engines humm
And bitter dreams
Grow
Heart locked
In a Gran Torino
It beats
A lonely rhythm
All night long

These streets
Are old
They shine
With the things
I’ve known
And breaks
Through
The trees
Their sparkling

Your world
Is nothing more
Than all
The tiny things
You’ve left
Behind

So tenderly
Your story is
Nothing more
Than what you see
Or
What you’ve done
Or will become
Standing strong
Do you belong
In your skin
Just wondering

Gentle now
A tender breeze
Blows
Whispers through
The Gran Torino
Whistling another
Tired song
Engines humm
And bitter dreams
Grow
A heart locked
In a Gran Torino
It beats
A lonely rhythm
All night long

May I be
So bold and stay
I need someone
To hold
That shudders
My skin
Their sparkling

Your world
Is nothing more
Than all
The tiny things
You’ve left
Behind

So realign
All the stars
Above my head
Warning signs
Travel far
I drink instead
On my own
Oh
How i’ve known
The battle scars
And worn out beds

Gentle now
A tender breeze
Blows
Whispers through
The Gran Torino
Whistling another
Tired song
Engines humm
And better dreams
Grow
Heart locked
In a Gran Torino
It beats
A lonely rhythm
All night long
It beats
A lonely rhythm
All night long
It beats
A lonely rhythm
All night long

Paqui

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. george permalink
    September 7, 2009 7:34 pm

    I got this review from somewhere in internet trying to bring something to think about. I don’t agree with some people’s performing expectations of the Hmong cast or some of the production flaws which the review refers to. Instead, I definitely think it’s worth seeing.

    On the other hand I’ve just realized that if Mr Eastwood despise violence (or so I read somewhere after flicking through all sorts of reviews), how come he tries to lure us in while cocking his rifle when gangbangers intrude on his territory? The answer: Hollywood, the world of dreams come true… Believe me, everybody will fall for the bait, or at least you’ll be touched with Walt’s concerns. Just like Rogelio said, you’ll see Dirty Harry, 30 or 40 years later, trying to school a teen before he screws his life up waving his rifle and snarling his 3-word-very-tough speech…

    Check this out. Here’s a couple of concepts in the film and further down and interesting review:

    Racism,
    reconciliation,
    violence,
    respect
    generation differences (or maybe similarities)…

    The highlights of Gran Torino are the scenes between Clint Eastwood and the various thugs in his neighborhood. Here is a frail old man saying the things to today’s youth that we all wish we could put into words. And he is saying these things to ferocious packs of them, in person, on their turf. It is an empowering feeling, an inspiration to the rest of us to stand up to the losers and idiots that are ruining our youth. So, behind the myriad flaws are some very thought-provoking comments on our society. We are privy to the peer pressure that decent kids face. Because the kids who are going to fail in life have two choices: They can fail alone and be very conspicuous or they can alter their small pocket of society into a system that rewards failure, which puts them at the top of the heap instead of the bottom.

    If doing well in school, speaking clearly, dressing sharply, and making an honest wage are the hallmarks of success, the large, ignorant bully is going to fail at life. If, however, a few bad apples can turn failure into what is considered “cool”, then they become the alpha males, and the kids who do everything correct are the losers. This is not a new feature of society. It is probably as old as human culture. The problem we face today is that our media vehicles can spread and amplify the effect to new heights and “cultural diversity” provides an incubator for disease.

    It sickens me to hear that OVER HALF of black males do not graduate high school today. This is too big a problem for us to ignore, and yet we are doing just that. Minority culture, spread through a media that celebrates misogynism, consumerism, violence, and egotistical one-upmanship is let loose on a forest dried up by the permissive hot air of political connectedness. The ensuing bonfire is destroying minority youth, and talking about it or fighting for change is quickly labeled “racism”. This use of the ‘R’ word immediately squelches honest debate, and cheapens a concept that had real and horrible meaning to a recent generation of institutionalized lynchings. Today it is a magic bullet used by those who profit from racial strife to keep those of us that care about our fellow man out of the debate.

    I do not think that Gran Torino will dent this problem or further the discussion, but it is the chasis on which the vehicle was built, and for that I can appreciate the product despite its flaws. Is it worth going to this film to check out Clint’s performance? No. Wait until it comes out on video and save yourself a few bucks. Better yet, spend the time and money you might have used on the film, and donate to a public school’s chess club or volunteer for a Big Brother/Sister organization in your area.

  2. Jordi permalink
    September 8, 2009 9:31 am

    I saw the film last Friday, but in spanish, because I went with friends that preferred not to read subtitles. The film is perfect in all senses, the script, the different topics you can think about after watching it, and, no doubt, the great interpretation and the masterly direction made by Clint Eastwood who is able to amaze us more and more with each new production.
    I have to recognize that when I was a child (and, not so child) I enjoyed watching Sergio Leone’s spaguetti-western starred in by the young Eastwood who used to represent roles as a harsh and violent man (Don’t forget the serial about the inspector Harry Callahan). And it seems unbelievable how the Eastwood’s films would move in a way of quality such his last films.
    I propose to think about what does Grand Torino mean in the film. I think we can get different answers all corrects.
    By the way, the soundtrack is perfect.

  3. Miguel permalink
    September 8, 2009 2:32 pm

    Two months ago I read Rogelio’s review of this film and there he pointed out the main topics of this film. Yesterday Paqui told us the plot summary and she uploaded the video with the lyrics of the final song of the film that is sung by Jamie Cullum (I think it’s originally written by Clint Eastwood, but I’m not sure because his son Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens are the soundtrack composers). I haven’t watched the film but your opinions and this beautiful song is enough to attract me! To that you can add the chance of going out together to the cinema and have a debate after the film.
    Today I’ve read Jordi’s comment asking us for finding what Gran Torino symbolizes. He also tells us that he liked the soundtrack.
    And now I have just read George’s comment in which he gives a detailed review of the matters that the film may come up (especially for the young people today) and I’m surprised to read that in the last paragraph the review recommends us to wait for the video to come out if we only go to see the film in order to admire Eastwood’s performance. As Marisa, I thought it was his own review. I understand that George wants that we do an active watching of the film. But he’s asking us too much! For his task we have to focus our attention on the social aspects of the film and don’t get distracted by Eastwood’s exhibition (that must be wonderful, as all of you who have seen the film say).
    My task for debate won’t be so difficult. While I was looking for the composer of the song “Gran Torino” I’ve read some reviews of the soundtrack. Besides knowing your opinion of the soundtrack, I’d like to ask you if you find two different kinds of music in the film trying to guess what each of these two themes represent.
    By the way, I’ve found this song (that has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award) sung by Clint Eastwood. His deep voice is quite the opposite of the biggest selling jazz artist of all time Jamie Cullum. I’m trying to add an extract of the song.

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