Korean war vet Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is everybody’s angry, racist grandpa. His wife has recently died and he’s the last white person left in an old neighborhood which has long since been repopulated with immigrants. Without her, he is angry and untouchable. He sits day after day on his porch downing beer after beer, shouting at his neighbors and calling them the most vicious ethnic slurs imaginable. By using these slurs, it could make the audience feel uncomfortable, or steam up with anger. The word use though, does not seem to bother Walt; but yet makes the movie more intense. Walt is intrigued by his neighbors, and sets out to change the rebellious family next door. The man takes Thao, the families son under his wing. The two work together to build character, and to make Thao a proper man. At this point in the movie, you begin to forget about all the foul language, and concentrate on nurture and the building of an old life, into a new one. Soon it’s clear that Walt loves Thao and his family, his loneliness becomes healed for awhile. The more the bond grows, the less he can allow gangs continue to rule his neighborhood. He loads his weapon and stands up.
April 15, 2009