The film ‘’Gran Torino’’ sheds light onto a matter that tends to be avoided in the current world society. Hmong people, and other racial group for that matter, have their own culture which differs immensely from the one surrounding the area they live in. This could lead to some complications, though usually minor. However, the movie ‘’Gran Torino’’ is an attempt to raise awareness of how these cultural differences could lead to issues on a larger scale, without anyone necessarily doing anything particularly ‘’wrong’’.
- After the attack, Walt gets a haircut and shave, gets a new suit and goes to confession. What is the significance of these actions?
This action gives the viewer a transparent view into Walt’s feelings, and how he is readying himself for the inevitable death. His actions reflect his change of heart in terms of his views on the concept of life and society. He is ready to sacrifice his own life to ensure Sue and Thao’s future safety. This directly contradicts the personality Walt seemingly had at the very beginning of the movie.
What impression does he have of his son’s family from these scenes?
Walt seems to thoroughly dislike the vast majority of his son’s family and their social behavior. You get the impression that he wishes to distance himself from his biological family, due to their ideas and ways of life being so out of line with everything Walt stands for.
- At the end of the movie, Walt sacrifices himself for Thao’s family and the neighborhood. Why did Walt do what he did? Would he have done the same for his family? What makes or allows a person to make such a sacrifice for someone else?
Walt sacrifices his own life for Thao’s family because he wants to save them from a life living in fear of the inevitable disaster. Due to how the Hmong culture is organized, the boys to go jail whilst the girls go to college. Walt wants to save Thao from his fellow Hmong people, as well as keeping Thao’s family away from the wrath of their own culture.
It is hard to tell whether or not Walt would have done the same for his own family, especially considering the major change of heart he had throughout the movie. However, I believe he felt a closer connection to Thao and his family than he did to his own biological family. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say that Walt would go to greater lengths to protect his neighbors than he would for his own family.
- Walt’s wife had asked the priest to get Walt to confess. Walt is resistant until the end of the movie. Why does he change his position about going to confession?
Walt has made up his mind and has decided to sacrifice himself for Thao’s family, which means he is aware that he is most likely going to die relatively soon. A confession will, according to Christian beliefs, get rid of all your sins and ensure happiness after your death. I believe Walt was simply making precautions, in case he turned out to be wrong about his own religious beliefs.
Another factor which might impact this particular matter is once again the major personality overhaul Walt underwent throughout the movie. He might feel more connected to his wife after learning about human relations from the Hmong people, which might be the reason he chooses to fulfill his wife’s last wish.
- Walt locks Thao up. Why does he do this? Was locking him up the right thing to do?
Thao was under the impression that he and Walt were going to go over to the gang and battle it out. However, an armed battle of sorts was never Walt’s intention. Walt locked Thao up so Walt could sacrifice himself without Thao intruding or doing something that would lead to Walt dying without eye witnesses. Walt probably also wanted to keep Thao away for his own good, as Walt knew he personally had been scarred for life after seeing death and despair back when he served as a soldier in the army. Locking Thao up was the best way to ensure that things went the way Walt intended them to go.