Movie Review: "Gran Torino"


Movie "Gran Torino"

"Gran Torino" is a drama film produced by Clint Eastwood in 2009, a story that embraces many issues which are quite penetrating and absorbing for a potential viewer. It is not a secret that a film is a combination of topics prevalent in the United States of America nowadays, meaning particularly those which are connected with the rejection of different ethnical groups living on its territory. What concerns prominent stars shown in the film, Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, and Ahney Her should be mentioned as they are the leading figures doing their best to make the film flourish until the end.

To be more explicit, the movie’s aim is to put an apparent emphasis on describing a large Hmong American cast, its social demeanor, and position in relation to the other ethnic groups that seem to despise it. Primarily, Walt Kowalski and his experience are being portrayed throughout the film as he is considered to be the main hero. What concerns the peculiarities of his character, a few traits can be distinguished. At the beginning of the film, he demonstrates a sense of composure that is changing due to the occurring circumstances. Being a Korean War veteran, he hates Asian nation. However, Michigan neighborhood is now populated by Asian immigrants. Walt becomes acquainted with Sue, who introduces Walt to Hmong culture and impulses him to become more benevolent.

The crucial moment that actually makes the film is Thao’s intention to steal Walt’s car. It is a Ford called Gran Torino, the cause of bringing social misunderstandings. The notion of this car brings the potential viewer to the major theme in the movie regarding ethnic minority issue. The conflict is raised among the Hmong people when Thao fails to steal Walt’s Ford Gran Torino. The boy is chased by his cousin and a group of young gangs that are known as “Spider”. Walt is the one to offer a helping hand. Moreover, his iron heart melts when he sees the signs of appreciation. People that he used to despise bring him presents in gratitude. Later, Walt takes care of a neighboring boy Thao and wants him to succeed in life. Their relationship is determined by mutual friendship.

Unfortunately, Walt suffers from coughing up blood, but he does not want to talk to his family after an incident concerning his relatives’ wish to send him to the retirement community. The man rejects his family explaining that they want to make use of him. The intrigue continues by numerous attacks on Thao and his family. Although Walt wants to cease it, the situation only worsens.

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The film is an emphasis made on a few important topics connected with cultural diversity in the USA, generation gap, racism and sexuality. "Gran Torino" also tends to describe intercultural communication concerning the point of endemic hostility as well as benevolence among societies. However, people have to understand that as long as they communicate, habits and customs always keep them apart.

Cultural diversity in the film concerns a dominant nation, the Americans, then the Hmong people, and Afro-Americans. The conflict between them is obvious. Nobody wants to accept the minority. There is a variety of cases accurately portrayed in the film that serve as a bright example of this notion in particular. For instance, Thao’s persecution by his cousin leads to the forthcoming attacks. Moreover, there are scenes in which Afro-Americans insult the white people. However, the movie is still a little inaccurate in presenting the notion of racism as the group of gangs “Spider” consists of the members of different races. That is a proof that the co-operation between them is possible.

When describing “Spider”, Clint Eastwood probably wanted to show the aggressiveness of the American society. It is full of shameless, muddle-headed young people whose aim in life is still unspecified. It is reflected in different attacks and offences, the inability to perceive the rights of others.

Another problem traced in the film belongs to the notion of generation gap. Walt fully rejects his family considering them to be dishonest. Frankly speaking, this matter is eternal because of the fact that everyone has to face such a problem in their lives. Walt also cannot tolerate his grandchildren as they are too naughty and indolent. The scenes connected with this matter are delineated throughout the film when his sons visit him. Some misunderstandings always occur between them on the background of the film.

Religion is also portrayed in the light of Walt’s defiance as well as disrespect to the local priest. The latter is trying to explain to the old man some moral principles about life and death, but Walt does not want to listen to him as he is too young to talk about such issues. Moreover, the aspect of religion is also presented by the opening and closing scenes, where the funerals and the sermons are shot.

The theme of different kinds of relationship is fully introduced and developed due to the communicative purposes. There the matter of sexuality is also mentioned when the gangs do terrible things to Sue.


In conclusion, "Gran Torino" is a film that has become a mirror of the American culture. It presents the true story of the relationship and communication between the people of different races. The development of the intrigue brings a potential viewer to make some conclusions about culture diversity in terms of some racial and religious issues. Clint Eastwood made quite a didactic film with a highly moral background. The film is worth watching because of the breathtaking plot and a group of well-matched actors.

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