Well, think my quest for a character finally gets appeased. Not by some 20 – 30 year old idealist trying to fight the system, but by a 78 year old man who still has you thinking he has not changed for the last 30 – 40 years. As the title song Gran Torino plays in the background on repeat for the millionth time, I can't help but imagine the aura which Clint Eastwood carries with himself. The last time I saw him was in Million Dollar Baby and though it was a huge departure from his dirty harry movies or his western spaghetti series, and the ending was something which leaves you with a knot in your stomach and leaving you thinking about how unfair life really is.
I started watching this movie after being abysmally bored out of my senses and my nerves screaming for blood of the makers of bride war. I started watching this movie with no expectations really, not really having read any of the reviewers I usually read before I start watching a movie. And within the first 2 minutes, the movie had me smiling and my heart going out for the old man and my hands itching to slap his stupid family. Looked like one of those Hindi movies which try to teach you the lesson of loving one's parents and shit for all the things they have done for you and stuff. And soon, the movie departs becoming a partly buddy dude movie. When you are watching the movie you are not thinking about how old Eastwood has become, you are so engrossed with the character, and the movie is directed in such a way that you feel like you are James Stewart watching over his neighbors in rear window. You are happy that you are watching him from a distance but at the same time you yearn to get up and move from your wheel chair and get to know the person, because you know it is going to be one interesting conversation.
All the while I kept thinking, "fucking awesome" and I kept wondering who in Bollywood could easy such a role and even though I kept going back to Amitabh, I knew there was just nobody else in the whole wide world who quite epitomizes the action hero fighting against the system which was a stereotypical image of hero at a time I was born. I mean Eastwood may just be the last of the remaining heroes heroes. I mean I always was more like a Paul Newman kind of a guy you know, trying to smooth, suave but god knows that is not happening in this lifetime. Mostly because I saw Paul as the kind of a guy I wanted to grow up to be. I really did not find Clint Eastwood's coolness in the dirty harry series to be so awesome as that of Paul's in Cool Hand Luke.
Paul was somebody who ALWAYS wanted to beat the system, and Clint was always somebody who got beat down by the system and learnt to live life with it. And I wanted to be like Paul. I mean why wouldn't a teenager like me who was trying to fight everything that people wanted to change, and wanted to fight about things which people wouldn't change. And then I grew old, not so much in years but in experience and I started seeing Clint's way and now I do. Which is why I revisit his movies from time to time, his movies are like the book alchemist for me. There is always an answer for all the questions which bother you and bug you down.
Gran Tornio is just another chapter in the book, probably the shortest but the most powerful chapter of the whole book. One of those chapters which you turn pages to when you are down and out and seeking answers for. Listening to Eastwood trying to sing more like rasping through the words of the song 'Gran Torino' and I wonder how different would life had been had this story come out say a couple of years back. All I got against the movie is that the name and the posters are so bloody deceptive to the story, but then again I can't think of a better name or a poster for the movie.
I can really go on and on… but I really have to get back to my books now. Finance the next paper which blows really. I hate finance.