The movie is over. The credits are over. I haven’t moved. I can’t move.
Sometimes a movie hits you from an angle you didn’t see coming and you can’t do anything but stare… soaking it all in. It wouldn’t be the first time a Clint Eastwood film struck hard. Million Dollar Baby was an intense movie — lit with passion, but rushing with emotion. There is certainly a different theme in the movie, but that same, well-developed plot carries the emotion high throughout the entire movie.
There is a certain passion that has been lacking in movies lately. Some great special-effects movies have come out and even the occasional movie with a strong plot. Gran Torino was a different kind of movie. There is a constant building to the climax you are certain is coming. Yet it is so elusive. Small streams of thoughts and themes run through the movie, but you can’t quite put your finger on where it is going. Yet each moment pulls you deeper into the character. Not in the way you expected, not in a way that has become cliche… yet you are pulled in none the less.
Everything that had been setup in this movie is clearly pulled together in the ending. It was like taking a trip down the Niagara River… blindfolded. You know there’s a clear end coming and that it will be spectacular, you can even hear the rushing waters, but you’re not quite sure wher– and then it’s over. The climax was everything I was expecting it to be and more and the denouement was perfect. Somehow Eastwood managed to put magic in this movie that can usually only be found in a book. It was truly breathtaking.
As usual, Eastwood was striking as an actor. There were some other parts in the movie that could have been played better. There were also some issues with the audio. I heard one viewer complaining that the sound track was too low, but personally I found it especially punchy. It didn’t seem well mixed and it made the voices jump out too much which was occasionally a distraction from the movie itself. I suppose if I didn’t listen in near-reference levels I may have found the same problem with the overall level not being loud enough. I tend to listen to my music softly and my movies loud, however.
In all, the few technical issues with the movie were just minor distractions. Those sensitive to language might want to know that it was rated “R” for some very strong language. Other than that, I can’t find anything bad to say about the movie. The plot was phenomenal, the directing was excellent, and finally — Wow. When you see the movie, you’ll understand.
Gran Torino is now available from Amazon for Rent or Purchase. I purchased this movie through Amazon and watched it on 100″ projection via Xbox360 and was very pleased with the quality of the Video on Demand.