Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gran Torino is 5 Stars. Just go Watch it. Now

A few days ago, my friend dug up a really good copy of the Gran Torino on the internet (only after we had watched it did we realize that was yet to be released. Dont know how this copy was floating around!)

The critics have gone ga-ga over the movie. Here is a what a friend (Dr. V) has to say about Gran Torino, which he thinks "is the best movie of this year and one of the best this decade."

I dont usually wax about movies as its a rather personal journey. But this Clint Eastwood (actor, producer, director) film takes the cake. Its called Gran Torino. I dont wanna give any spoilers but suffice to say, he's at the zenith of his directing career.
A humourous, dark, tragi-comic story of a Korean War Vet and his relationship to "the gookheads in this neighbourhood" as he succintly puts it. Nothing is wasted in this film in typical Eastwood style. For those familiar with his work like 'Unforgiven', 'Mystic River' or 'Letters from Iwojima' will know what I mean. Not a single pan of the camera, not one dialogue, not even a glance. This film however surpasses them all. Its back to short 'Dirty Harry' style dialogues- 'Padre...Youre just an overeducated 27 year old virgin...' or "Once in a while you stumble across someone you dont wanna fuck with...Im thatt guy..." might make you think this is a ham. But he does it with such force that you feel it ans somehow it gels with the whole character he builds so effortlessly. The same themes run through this film as before, anger, justice...but most importantly self discovery which very few people appreciate about him.

I cant agree more. Clint Eastwood know his movies. He knows how to keep things simple, focus on the human drama and thus make a cracker of a movie.
The movie is terse, refreshing, gripping, funny, witty, tragic and leaves one with a sense of loss but also of hope. The movie has a refreshing story and unlike others shows a lesser known and depicted ethnic immigrant group as they struggle to reconcile their culture with the demands of the American way of life.

The script is taut, to the point and the story takes commonalities and turns them around. A neighborhood that was once white, is no more so with just one old man toiling to keep his place (and his way of live , mowing the lawn, doing the garden). An American war hero, a Korean war vet, who killed many Koreans, now having to befriend an Asian (Humong) family, not out of choice but after an attempted robbery goes bust. An American father who could never understand his own family and children, now fighting for his next door Humong family. A non-believer who is coaxed by the local padre to come to church, but ends up teaching the padre the real meaning of life and death. An old American ford car factory workers pride in his 1972 Gran Torino which is in super pristine condition even 35 yrs later, as the super giants of the aut industry are falling apart in Detriot. This is a story that is so simple but looks at life from the other end of the tunnel.

Wont get into more details, but the tension builds on to a climax.

Quoting Dr. V again, "Anyways enough talking, just watch it. You can watch it for free on or this is worth a friday night out (thursday if in Nottingham) with a beer and some buffalo jerky.

Go Ahead Make Your Day..."

Oscar Predictions:
1. Best Director (will win)
2. Best Picture (close fight with )
3. Best Actor (will probably go to frank langella for frost/nixon)
4. Best Screenplay

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