Sometimes there are movies you can relate to in way that other movies do not. Even if they try. Gran torino is that kind of movie. It’s not an action movie. It’s not a FX movie. It’s a movie about our society and how people live with it, how they are connected with each other.
This is a movie directed by Clint Eastwood. He also played the main character. A bitter old man that just lost his wife and still struggles with his memories of the korean war that influenced him more than he might admit. Over the years he lived through all the changes that a neighborhood can go through. And most of the time such changes are negative. Still he refuses to move since his whole life he lived in that neighborhood. So our old man is not only struggling with his past but also with how his world changed over the years. Now there are tons of immigrants in his neighborhood and he is wondering when it all started to fall apart. With all the foreign people there is also a certain degree of criminality that arose over the years. Gangs, drugs… the usual suspects.
One day new neighbors, immigrants, moved into the house next door and our friend is directly confronted with all the problems that come with it. At first he decided to close his eyes to ignore everything but then things happen that cannot be ignored. Without actually wanting it he defends the family next door from a gang that starts to make trouble. Over time we see how the old man is trying to, not necessarily change himself, but to understand these people. He is becoming friends with them. He learns about their culture and they learn about his experiences and why he is that bitter man that he is. They try to help each other. Unfortunately the gang is still making trouble and our old man sees no other way than to do something.
While in the beginning our main character is the old bitter man, it’s nice to see how he is trying to understand the other people as well as their culture. We see that he’s not only a man who lived through some tragedies… a broken relationship to his kids, the recent death of his wife… but a man of principles. He appears like a man made of steel but someone who knows what’s good and right in this world. And that’s what he is trying to do. Whatever it might cost. That’s where i see myself in it somehow. I’m also trying to do the best thing possible. Holding up the old values like honesty and things like that. Whatever it might take. Often you get a kick in the rear for that. But nonetheless… you try to hold up the flag… because someone must do it. Another thing that relates to me is the fear of new things. Where our old man has problems to get in contact with other people. Because he really is the always grimly looking man. I know that too well. So i was glad to see that in the movie we can see how he is becoming friends with someone he never thought he could.
At the end of the movie you hope for the perfect ending. And it kind of is the perfect ending. The only possible ending.
Oh and yeah… the Clint Eastwood in that movie could still beat the sh’t out of some Bruce Willis or Vin Diesel. =) That’s for sure!