Gran Terino

Topics: Gang, Hmong people, Family Pages: 5 (1871 words) Published: December 4, 2013

Movie: Gran Torino

Gran Torino

It is very rare to meet people who are exactly alike. Even those who are generically identical, still have different personalities and characteristics. People often wonder, what exactly is it that makes us who we are? Is it the way people were raised? The environment they grew up in? The role models around them? The experiences they have been through? It would seem almost impossible to determine exactly what makes up the character of a person. It is often believed that it is a combination of elements that mold us all into who we are.

The 2008 film, Gran Torino, was an amazing movie. Throughout the movie you can somewhat grab the aspect of people, and who they really are. It also showed why others act specific ways and the background to their way of living, mindset, and beliefs. The movie is mainly about an elderly, Polish American man named, Walt Kowalski, played by Clint Eastwood. He is a retired auto factory worker. The opening scene of the movie was a funeral service in dedication to Kowalski's late wife. In this scene, it is possible to make strong actualization about Walt Kowalski's character based of his facial expressions, verbal notations, and the facial expressions and verbal communications from others who were present. Kowalski's wife was said the be extremely religious and was passionate about the Catholic religion.

Kowalski on the other hand admitted to not being as into church as his wife, and expressed that his involvement in church was mainly out of love and respect for his wife. For the majority of the movie, including the opening scene, Walt's face kept an angry expression. He seemed to be grumpy and extremely aggressive to others. Later, after the funeral, Walt held the reception for his wife at their home where viewers begin to see where some of Walt's personality stems from.

Walt stayed pretty much to himself, not reaching out to converse with many. He also seemed disconnected from the guest, tending to his car and other activities rather than talking to family and friends. Walt's son, Mitch, did not seem to enjoy his father too much. Mitch also seemed like he was somewhat used to his fathers' attitude and was not majorly effected by his disconnection. During the reception, a young, Asian boy knocked at Walt's door. He seemed to be very timid and shy. His name was Thao Vang Lor, a Hmong teenager, played by Bee Vang, who lived next door to the Kowalski's house. Thao was simply asking for a minor favor from Walt and it was still an issue. Walt was extremely rude and spoke very harshly to the young boy. Kowalski began to wonder, “Why did 'they' have to move into this neighborhood?” Walt was not a big fan of change and having neighbors who were Asian was not exactly his cup of tea. This thought of Walt could easily lead to the assumption of him being racist and very conservative. Walt even referred to his neighbors as barbarians when he viewed them in the middle of one of their cultural activities.

Later in the movie, the same young boy, Thao, who knocked at Walt's door, was caught trying to still his car in the middle of the night. Thao fell under the peer pressure of his gang banging cousin and was willing to attempt this act to fit in. When Walt caught Thao, Thao ran away and Walt was lucky enough to still have his car without damage. Thao's failure to complete his mission was the start of a new beginning for both Walt, Thao, and the people of their community. Refusing to be apart of another test, Thao decided to no longer continue with his negligent behavior and desperate himself from his violent cousin. This decision led to a physical altercation between the Lor family and attracted the attention of Walt once the commotion was bought over to his lawn. Furious that the Lor family was on his property, Walt approaches Thao's cousin and his gang member friends with a gun and threatens them to stay off his lawn and to get away. Though Walt was...
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