Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Bigoted Korean war vet Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly helps the Hmong family next door, particularly timid son Thao, who's lost his father and is being hazed by his cousin's gang. As Walt gets to know the family, he becomes closer to them than he ever was with his two sons.

In case you haven't guessed, this isn't the most plausible movie. From beginning to end, Kowalski throws his weight around and the other characters yield to it. Similarly, if not for Eastwood's screen presence and directing touch, I may well have hated Walt and dismissed the movie as an afterschool special with profanity and racial invective for flavor.

If I may end the review here and begin the reflection, the first racial slur I recognized was said in jest by my first friend in high school. Others have not been so benign, and I've done my share of ignoring, becoming desensitized. Any minority learns to do this to survive. The dangerous result is that society is desensitized and invective is accepted into discourse as humor. Kowalski isn't rewarded for a life of close-mindedness, but I wonder how many viewers will see that point.

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I'm having trouble getting myself to see this despite its locale. I really just hate to see this stuff spewed.

PS I'm posting the flash challenge on Monday. Shall I send you the post ahead of time.