In the summer of 2004 for the first time I saw a western movie [before that I had heard and seen their promos but never ventured in watching them]. It was after my 12th exams that I had so much free time to watch anything I can lay my hands on and it was by sheer chance I came across a DVD with three western movies, ‘A Fistful of Dollars’, ‘For a Few Dollars’ and ‘The Good The Bad and The Ugly’. Those were the first three movies of Clint Eastwood and those were the first three movies of Clint Eastwood which I watched, but they surely were not the last.
The whole macho cowboy, with rugged looks, serene hot temper and exceptional skills with pistol, thrilled me to the heights that I became an instant fan of the man. Six years down the line in the summer of 2010 I have seen almost every movie which Clint Eastwood acted in or directed and in the same summer of 2010, the man turned 80 [he celebrated his 80th birthday on 31st may and although I intended to write this post on that day itself, I see I am late by a considerable amount of time].
Anyhow, Clint Eastwood with his legendary performance redefined the whole western genre. I have seen many western flicks since then but none as effective, plain and simple as the Clint starrer ones. Speaking with clenched teeth, chewing cigar, wearing a hat and the poncho on one shoulder to expose the pistol holster on the right hip, Shooting anyone and everyone you want to, putting a bullet in the person before saying hello; how can you beat that? You can’t!
Its not that the charisma of the man is confined to this character with ‘no name’ only; the loose canon-trigger happy angry cop, Dirty Harry, tall man with thick side locks and hair brushing on the shirt’s collar speaking again with clenched teeth and withered eyes those legendary words ‘Go ahead make my day’ started a whole new genre of movies which are being copied till date [back home Amitabh Bachchan became famous trying to imitate the same angry young man look].
Even in his last on screen appearance in Gran Torino as Walt Kawalski, the man is looking as charming as ever. He is still holding gun, spiting here and there, threatening people with clenched teeth and in hoarse voice telling them ‘get off my lawn’. Nothing has changed, except the fact his characters has grown immensely with time. Whether it was Unforgiven, which clearly showed all good guys are not good and all bad guys are not bad, million dollar baby in which people are forced to make tough decisions in a surrogate father-daughter relation or Gran Torino which talked about matters of life and death, about putting others before yourself and ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Clint is what you call a real legend, and at the age of 80 he is going stronger by the day. I don’t have much to say about the man, after more than four decades of life spent in movies he knows what people wants and he knows how to give it to them and that’s the precise reason we always like watching his movies … and as he says, let us begin!!!