By Jess (Australia)
Gran Torino, 2008, shows the distinct area (bad side of town) and depicts the harshness of the Asian Gangs. Clint Eastwood and Bee Tang, act very well together. They show the nature of behaviour between an Asian fellow, and an American who was in the Vietnam War. Eastwood, I think was a great choice for this particular role, with his stubbornness and his ability to take on the role with ease. As ‘Walt’ he was only one of the few all Americans that was still in that area.
I particularly like his use of wording. Yes, whatever he said was racist and rude, but it added to the entirety of the film. His reactions to Asian people, especially his neighbours, showed perhaps a fear and a memory of his past in the war. It was interesting to see the development of Walt and his next door neighbours. The grandma of the family seemed to hate Walt intensely. Not sure why, but it makes the audience think. Tao (Bee Vang), had a fairly timid, shy nature. The initiation that his cousin and co wanted him to do was the complication that shaped the film. Tao tried to steal the Gran Torino in fear that the Asian mob might do him harm.
Walt, being as stubborn and rude as he is, started to feel sympathetic towards Tao as he knew he didn’t have anything productive to do, with the mob trying to potentially kill him. I love how we see a relationship develop between the two. Makes us feel whole, makes us feel a sense of achievement and a “way out” for poor Walt. He discovered he was doing something good to a friend, helping him with a job and what not, how to speak like a man.
I found it particularly funny how the whole neighourbood appreciated Walt’s efforts for saving Tao from the gang, bringing him gifts in the many and eventually Walt wanted the foods that they brought for him.
Tao’s sister, Sue (Ahney Her) loved spending time with Walt, which I thought was sweet. She was a persistent and strong character in the movie which made her persistent in mingling with Walt. There was an obvious connection between those two as well because of the incident with the three guys on the corner. Walt came to her rescue.
In my opinion, there were no poorly written script or poor acting. The theme of the movie was straightforward and easy to understand. Mob Gangs vs. One American fighting for not only his own justice but the people he cares about tremendously. The styling of the Asian mob was accurate, using guns, making them look mean.
The ending was satisfying as it showed his humorous and evidently caring nature towards his neighbours. With the help of his thinking and his efforts previously in the film, he strived toward a great ending.