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How was Gran Torino?

September 20, 2009
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I really enjoyed the movie!! Eastwood is fantastic in his role!! What I liked most was the dialogues with that touch of humour… specially when Mr. Kowalski is invited to a “party” next door, also when he goes to the barber’s with Thao to teach him how to behave like a man…and the scenes where Clint and Thao’s granny show their strong dislike for each other in their own languages. Gran Torino is a lovely and hard story of friendship, the car for me represents that “friendship”. I think, one of the things the story tries to show us is the stereotypes and prejudices people usually have towards what in unknown. I was touched by the ending, it seemed to be predictable but it wasn’t at all!! What do you think???

Ana

8 Comments leave one →
  1. jordi permalink
    June 23, 2009 3:05 pm

    The film opens the door to think about a lot of things indeed such as the immigration, the increase of violence due to social outcasting, the loneliness, the generation gap, etc., but above all, in my opinion the film talks about the life and the death. The film begins and ends up in the same place, the church, and with the same kind of celebration and with the same priest talking about the life and the death. But I would like to talk about what the car suggest to me. Certainly it suggests a lot of things but I want to remark only the two next ideas:

     For Walt.- The car represents the best moment of his life, happy in his work, and maybe happy and proud with his family. He is touching his 40s, his sons are still children and therefore still being appreciated by them.
     For the time the car was built.- 1972 put the end of the most important period of economic growth at US which had been increasing since the end of II World War. In 1973 begins the Oil Crisis and the end of the “American Way of Life”, and just begins to happen the Japanese miracle (curiously Walt’s son works for a Japanese company)
    And that’s all folks.

  2. Adriana permalink
    September 21, 2009 9:28 pm

    I think that Walt gives his life so that Sue and Thao might live without fear. It´s a self-sacrifice. He has been living during all his life thinking about the people he shot in Korea. Thao (atontao in the spanish version) reminds him of this little scared boy he shot just before getting a medal for bravery right. Fifty years living with his past is way too much. Walt has nothing to loose as he is ill, he can´t live with his present because all those horrible memories, his wife is no longer with him and his sons are like estranged.
    Wonderful film.

  3. victoria permalink
    September 22, 2009 8:28 am

    I couldn’t enjoy the film with you on Thursday, but as I consider myself a disciplined person, the day after, Friday, at 5 o’clock I was sat in a lonely cinema (in fact I was the only spectator) waiting for the movie of which I had been told so enthusiastically , in order to be able to do the weekend homework.
    First of all, I must say that the movie wasn’t in O.V., and this fact determines my opinion about the film, to be honest I didn’t go out totally satisfied, in fact I was a little bit disappointed with the film.
    To be honest I have to admit that actors and actress perform rightly their roles, but dubbing was awful, specially the one of gangs, it sounded hardly reliable, extremely artificial, that prevented me to get involved .
    Movie deals with topics deeply human: friendship, xenophobia as the fear of the “other”, social violence, loneliness, family relationships, the life and the death, guilt ,need of redemption ,…all of them universal human feelings , I wonder if it was really necessary to include the part of the priest, can’t these subjects be raised without the presence of the religion?

  4. begoña permalink
    September 22, 2009 11:10 am

    I liked the film but not from the very begining, maybe because I had seen Eastwood in other kind of films, but I think he did a great acting.
    Marisa, I really think it was Walts fault, because he had not given love to his sons, and if you don’t give love , they don’t give it back to youProbably his circumpstances brought him to this, but I think he had to make the effort to communicate with them and give them love.This is was for me the most sad part, his loneliness, when he says to his dog something like “there’s no difference in drinking alone or with unknown people”.
    What I liked about the film, was the humor, there was really funny moments.
    And the girl was fantastic too, Kowalski gets impressed because of her strong personality. She is the one who opens to Walt an unknown world of relations and love
    Great film

  5. ROGELIO permalink
    September 22, 2009 9:27 pm

    Leonard Cohen’s Sisters of Mercy came to my mind when I was thinking about the film (just to ilustrate):


    “O the sisters of mercy they are not
    Departed or gone,
    They were waiting for me when I thought
    That I just cant go on,
    And they brought me their comfort
    And later they brought me this song.
    O I hope you run into them
    You who’ve been traveling so long.

    Yes, you who must leave everything
    That you cannot control;
    It begins with your family,
    But soon it comes round to your soul.
    Well, I’ve been where you’re hanging
    I think I can see how you’re pinned.
    When you’re not feeling holy,
    Your loneliness says that you’ve sinned.

    Well they lay down beside me
    I made my confession to them.
    They touched both my eyes
    And I touched the dew on their hem.
    If your life is a leaf
    That the seasons tear off and condemn
    They will bind you with love
    That is graceful and green as a stem.

    When I left they were sleeping,
    I hope you run into them soon.
    Don’t turn on the light
    You can read their address by the moon;
    And you wont make me jealous
    If I hear that they sweeten your night
    We weren’t lovers like that
    And besides it would still be all right
    We weren’t lovers like that
    And besides it would still be all right.

  6. miguel permalink
    September 22, 2009 9:58 pm

    In my opinion Walt feels guilty about his lack of communication with his children. When he goes to confession I expected unmentionable sins (especially from the war) but he only confesses unimportant sins and he blames himself for his indifference towards his children. When he calls his son trying to tell him that he is going to die he isn’t able to do it, and his son is surprised to receive a call from his grumpy father. But there is so big distance between them…
    It is surprising for me the incredible development of this bad-tempered main character. As Marisa points out, he changes his racist view, his relationship with his neighbours or with the priest, but he can’t change the relationship with his family.
    I liked the film very much and I’ve been thinking about it during these days. I agree with Ana and Begoña that the most remarkable things of the film besides Eastwood’s performance and the unexpected ending are the funny dialogues in some scenes inside the dramatic situation.
    Last week Jordi asked what Gran Torino symbolizes for us. Everyone wants this car: his granddaughter, the gang… It’s his most valuable possession, a symbol of his days in a Ford plant, a symbol of his idealized past.
    Miguel

  7. george permalink
    September 23, 2009 3:15 pm

    Well, I think there is no way to determine whose fault it was. Maybe Walt did want to communicate with his children but didn’t know how, taking into account that he was a Korean vet and was brought up in a different way. Remember when Sue tells him about her own dad being far too in “the old ways” and Walt saying that he also was? It reminds me of my father and my sister. They both want to communicate but it seems there is no meeting point due to their prejudices. My dad would think that she’s a cheeky girl and she would despise him as an unreacheable sergeant.

  8. eoimarisa permalink*
    September 23, 2009 6:17 pm

    I also liked the film very much Ana. What struck me was how Walt ends up feeling closer to those immigrants than to his own family. The next day I saw a documentary about tramps and one of them said he had children but hadn’t heard of them for years. I think communication is so important and Walt just couldn’t communicate with his children nor could his children communicate with their own ones. Do you remember the scene in which they are at their wonderful home? or what they do the minute they get into the car? . Now the thing is , was it Walts fault? After all, he was the one who had brought his children up and maybe living with all that guilt inside didn’t let him come closer to them. I think there is a moment when he realises that just hasn’t been able to cope with his family.

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