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Eastwood is the star and director of Gran Torino and proves that this
Hollywood force only gets better by age. The story revolves around Walt
Kowalski, a Korean War veteran who has just recently lost his wife and
it appears his passion for life. Having little time for his children or
grandchildren, his only outlet in life is his 1972 Grand Torino car
which is in immaculate condition and his pet Labrador.
Kowalski is stuck in a different time period as he sees the world pass
him by and he is quite disgusted by the new un-Americanism ideology of
America, especially after he fought for his country and spent decades
working for Ford. To create added duress Kowalski, his neighbourhood is
becoming quite run down due to the changing demographics in the area and
when an Asian family move in next door, he finds it difficult to hide
Kowalski is also being hounded by the local parish priest, a request by
his wife to keep an eye on her husband, however this only compounds his
disgust at the world with this 27-year old virgin attempting to tell him
about life and death. Things begin to change for Kowalski when he
catches the teenage son, Thao (Bee Vang) of the Hmong family next door
attempting to steal his car and from here an uneasy friendships occurs.
Unfortunately a spanner is thrown into the works with Thao's cousins
being part of a local Asian gang and when Kowalski attempts to
intervene, a devastating event occurs that causes him to consider the
Eastwood was born to play the role of Walt Kowalski in this gripping and
emotional drama that is a social commentary on ageism, racism and the
collapse of socio-economic disadvantaged neighbourhoods. It's the tale
of one mans redemption and how his narrow and jaded views of society
will be forever questioned and changed.
DVD, the video and audio quality nicely compliment the film with sharp
images, deep black levels and a vibrant colour palette that goes hand in
hand with the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The special features of
Gran Torino are a little lacking, however it does give the viewer a
brief insight into the American car culture and a little about the movie
itself. Commentary by Eastwood would have been quite insightful, however
unfortunately this is nowhere to be seen.
conclusion, Gran Torino is a very moving and gripping drama that will
draw you immediately from the start, even though Kowalski is quite the
racist, however there is something endearing about the character and how
Eastwood portrays him. Bee Vang as Thao also adds to the film as this
young man who is attempting to stay on the straight and narrow, however
will only survive if he has the guidance of Kowalski.
A brilliant drama
that comes highly recommended from Impulse Gamer!
Managing the Wheels: Reflected in American Car Culture
Torino: More then a Car