Gran Torino: Walt Kowalski's View Of The World

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Clint Eastwood’s motion picture, Gran Torino covers excellent scenarios of Walt Kowalski’s views on the world. Throughout the film, Walt begins having little understanding or tolerance for the modern world, which then develops to him obtaining a more positive view of life. At the end of the film, Kowalski ends up sacrificing himself as he knows that doing so will make the world a better place, and ensuring the safety and happiness of his friends. This essay will cover the development of Walt’s perspective of the world throughout the film. In the early stages of the film, Walt’s views on the world are what would be expected of a stereotypical old man. The re-occurring close up shots at his wife’s funeral presents this to the audience. Clint…show more content…
The director, Clint Eastwood, shows this is with a combination of point of view shots, long shots and mid shots. A mid shot displays Walt in his comfortable position, seated on his porch with his dog, Daisy. The camera then shows a long shot of a woman across the road, unpacking her groceries from her car. She drops her groceries as two neighborhood boys walk past. Rather than helping her, the boys pull inappropriate gestures and then continue walking away. This long shot was filmed from Walt’s point of view. He then mutters the dialogue to himself, “What is it with kids these days?” He then prepares to leave his chair to assist the woman. This train of thought is interrupted by another long shot of Thao, the Hmong boy from next door, running across the road to help the woman. Walt is shocked by seeing someone other than himself performing an act of kindness, that he murmurs another set of dialogue to himself, “Well, what do you know!” The use of diegetic dialogue, combined with the long shot from Walt’s perspective, highlight to the audience how Walt’s views of the world are beginning to change. He is becoming more positive, and open-minded to this boy whom he originally did not connect with. This reveals Walt how he has stereotyped the rest of the world as being disrespectful. Another example showing the beginning of Walt’s change of perspective, is in the scene where the characters move the fridge. Walt asks Thao to help him move his fridge upstairs. Walt suggests to Thao that he should push the bottom, leaving himself to take the top as this is the toughest part. Thao immediately disagrees, and uses the dialogue, “No! I’ll take the top”, and indicates that he will not help unless Walt follows his command, The director then uses a mid shot of each character changing positions, which is then followed by a long shot of them in their

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