Gran Torino (final draft)
In the Eye of the Beholder
The film Gran Torino allows Clint Eastwood directs and plays a role that depicts an older man dealing with lost love, life and death, hauntings from the past, and managing his own racial biases. All of these obstacles come to a harsh reality with the changes taken place in his mid-western home town. Eastwood plays the widower, Walt Kowalski, who is highly racist and prejudice. His character was a former Korean War veteran and Ford factory worker that believes all things should be kept American, especially his neighborhood. With his cynical mind set on the world, each day slowly becomes darker and darker for him as more and more Hmongs and other mixed races move into his once Anglo-Catholic dominate city. Walt perceives himself as though he is the epitomy of what the ideal American is and should be. The American flag is a present symbol outside Walt’s house; and as Walt encounters a life-changing journey. The assumed idea of what an American flag represents strays away and evolves from his narrow perspective to a much larger and more personalized view.
Walt Kowalski perceives himself as being the ultimate American. In his eyes he would be the most appropriate definition of an American man. He owns an American car, drinks American beer, fought for America and its people, and contains the stereotypical ego of an American; the idea of that he is better than anyone else based upon his way of life. The ego of Walt is presented in the very beginning of the movie at his wife’s funeral. The American flag is out of focus behind Walt as he watches his family come in for the funeral. Walt immediately grunts with disapproval and glares at his own grandkids as they walk into the pews. The way they disrespect the proceeding funeral and church of God with there inappropriate actions and attire allows Walt to look down at them with disapproval. To Walt, they are American due to the way they look,... [continues]
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