This is said to be his last acting performance; if it’s true then it has to be special to be a farewell note for someone like Clint Eastwood and you bet it is.
I became a Clint Eastwood fan with his cult western movies ‘The Good the bad the ugly’, ‘A fistful of dollars’ and ‘For a Few Dollars more’. When I first saw them I didn’t knew who Eastwood was; it was by chance that I get my hand on a DVD with these three, with nothing to do I watched one and immediately after that the other two as well. This was seven years back, summer of 2002.
In the past 7 years I have seen all the Eastwood movies I can get my hands on, but to be frank didn’t liked anything as much as the initial three until I saw ‘Unforgiven’. It showed an old and wrinkled Eastwood as a farmer unable to come to terms with his past, living a life of remorse and sorrow. My friends found it to be too slow to be an Eastwood movie, but for me it was legendary.
The same legendary out of the league stuff I saw again in ‘Million Dollar Baby’. It was a story of boxing coach who is again not able to come to terms with his past and holds himself responsible for things which happened to his student. Both proved Eastwood mettle again and again. There were many in between and all are good but after ‘Million Dollar Baby’, Gran Torino is in my list of legendary work.
This is the story of Korean war vet Walt Kowalski, as a grunting old man not happy with his neighborhood [which is now full with Hmong people], his family, anyone else living around and himself. He doesn’t want any interference from anyone including the local priest who insists he goes for a confession [the last wish of Kowalski’s wife], which gave me a hint that in this one too Eastwood is not at terms with his past.
But things start to change when his neighbor kid ‘Tao’ tries to steel his priced possession a Ford Gran Torino, as a ceremony act to get into the local gang. But can you beat this old man, I guess not. Then one night, Kowalski saves the same kid from the local gang and tells them to get off his lawn. It is then when by the interference of Tao’s sister Kowalski starts developing friendship with the kid. But the local gangs are there to create problem and we have apna hero to teach them a lesson.
Like any other Eastwood movie it goes easy on you, still hits hard. There is action, melodrama, comedy and off-course a groaning and grunting Eastwood. Although you think you know what is going to happen next and it is obvious that it will happen but the way it happens and how Eastwood shows it is spectacular and it moves you to the limits, he surprises you with the climax.
It’s sad that the movie missed the Oscar birth, but still it will remain a masterpiece, and I don’t think you should miss it if you are Eastwood genre fan; and if it actually is his last acting performance then I’ll surely miss him. For me it is ‘A+’.