Movie Spoiler alert– don’t read this if you want to see the movie. I’m going to talk about the end.
Just finished Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. It has gotten a lot of acclaim because it is so well done. I totally agree. The language is rough and there are topics/ images that are violent (rated R for a reason).
What struck me is the end. Walt Kowalski wants to set Thao and Sue free from the life they are destined/trapped to lead. In order to set them free, Kowalski gives up his own life so that the bad guys who keep Thao and Sue trapped will be put into prison. He publicly arranges to have himself murdered in order to free his friends from the life that enslaves them. As Kowalski is gunned down, he falls to the ground in a cruciform shape.
Why does the Gospel haunt our culture? At our core, there is a story that speaks to something deep within us. There is a hero who will rescue us from our slavery by giving up his own life. Do we dare hope that there is one who loves us enough and is powerful enough to defeat the bad guys and rescue us?
There is a Kowalski who came for each of us. He set us free from the things that hold us captive by giving his innocent life. The story is not just wishful thinking. It resonates so deeply within us because it is so profoundly true.
By the way… hated the priest in the story. He’s a pretty accurate portrayal of some dude in his late 20s who is trying to pastor a tough situation. But why does he have to be such a sally…