The movie “Gran Torino” was released in 2008. It was directed by Clint Eastwood, who also played the main character Walt Kowalski. The movie focuses mostly on him and the Hmong family living next door. Walt is a veteran who fought in the Korean war, and because of this he has both seen and done many things that he wishes he hadn’t.
In the beginning Walt seems like a grumpy, old man. He doesn’t seem to like his family, and they don’t seem to like him very much either. He does not have a relationship with his neighbors, and wants to keep it that way. However, this changes quite a lot throughout the movie. Even though he never “admits” it, his Hmong neighbors becomes his new family. Even though they are not related, they all end up caring for each other, and to Walt, that is much more important than blood. Therefore, when both Thao and Sue are in trouble, Walt does everything in his power to help them.
After a while Thao is attacked by one of the gangs in the neighborhood. You can tell by Walt’s reaction when he finds out, that he wants to do something with it. He ends up following one of the gang members home, and beating him up and threatening to kill him if he ever touches Thao again. The consequence of this visit, is even more painful for Walt to hear about. Sue, the first person from the next-door family to contact him, gets beaten up and raped. Walt gets even more pissed off at himself for not being able to take care of them, and blames himself.
Since nobody saw what happened to Sue, the rapists won’t get punished, and Walt realizes that Thao and Sue will never be able to live their lives to the fullest unless something is done. He therefore decides to take matters into his own hands. Once again, he goes to the house of the bullies, but this time he makes a big scene out of it. He shouts and make noises to get the attention of all the neighbors, without the intention to harm anyone. The gang however, believes he is there to get revenge, and they all shoot him till he drops dead. Walt knew this was going to happen, because that was exactly what he had planned. He sacrificed his own life, to get justice for the ones he cared about more than anyone else in the world. Even more than himself.