Grand Torino is a movie about an old American man, Walt, who lives in a neighborhood where there only live Hmong people. In earlier years mostly American people lived there, however they have moved and the place has almost turned in to a “gettho”. The main character is a very stubborn man, and he refuses to move even though the condition of the neighborhood is getting really bad. Furthermore he isn’t making any effort to get to know the Hmong people, more important he does not want to learn about them. Actually the man really does not know anything about the Hmong people, not even where they come from. He believes that Hmong is a place, however he later learn that Hmong is a combination of people from China, Thailand and Laos. Almost unwillingly the man ends up getting to know a Hmong family, who are also his neighbors. The family consists of parents, a grandmother and two children, Sue and Thao. All the family wants is to live peacefully, however a gang starts to bother them, and it gets really serious. Walt does not respect this gang, and more importante he does not want them to bother his neighbors, especially not the two children. Walt sees so much potential in both of them, so when someone tries to ruin their chance of a normal life and a future, it is enough for him. He has to help them. After all they turned out to be more of his “family” than what his real family ever was. Walt actually sacrifices his own life, just to give Thao and Sue a chance.
In my opinion, I think the main theme in the movie is the relationship Will gets whit the Hmong family, especially Thao and Sue. At first he says that they are like badgers, he does not get rid of them!! However later on, he understands that they mean good, and that they are really not that different from him at all. And that it is a good thing that they visit him. There are reasons why Walt and the Hmong family suits. Firstly, Walt is a very traditional and conservative man, and in the Hmong tradition they are very much polite and they show respect to elder people. In comparison to his own family, son and grand-children, the Hmong family takes much better “care” of him. Walt really does not need mush help, however his family believes he does, but the Hmong family gives Walt food to be polite, not to take care of their “crippled” neighbor. Therefore Walt comes to respect the new neighbors more than his real family.
The movie ends with Walt and the Hmong family showing mutual respect. Walt and Thao get a really close relationship. When Thao works for Walt, they get to know each other. Walt almost gets the role of being a grandfather and a father to Thao. Walt has even written in his testament that Thao is going to get his Grand Torino car. Walt sacrificed his life for the family, and he gives Thao his most precious “item”. For the first time in a long period of time, Walt cares. He really cares! Maybe more important, he cares about the people who care for him, and really appreciate him.