January 16, 2009

Man-Making Movie - Grand Torino

Phil Perry, a Man-Making blog reader, sent along this review of the recently released movie, Gran Torino. If you have a favorite film that speaks to men and boys, send along your suggestion or add it to the comments section of this post. I'll add it to the growing list on the Man-Making Website.

Here's Phil's review:

How I identified with the two main characters in the movie Gran Torino. The film starts showing us an old man that nobody wants to be around. He is isolated, gruff, uncaring, haunted by his past, and quite content to be left alone. He is trapped in a struggle to break free from the past and embrace the present. As a male I identified with his struggle. Twenty years ago I referred to myself as a recovering male. Back then I was recovering from my past, and I felt frozen in an ambiguous, confusing present.

As a teenager, while trying to figure out who I was, I felt the peer pressure to be like everyone else. I felt the cultural judgments, the fear of being different, and the fear of not belonging. Gran Torino also profiles a male teenager with similar feelings. He's new to the neighborhood and trying to be himself. He has cousins in a gang that are determined to have him join them.

The relationship of the movie’s two main characters is beautifully woven. During the course of the movie, the old man discovers his caring side (apparently dormant most of his life), his mentoring ability, and his nobility. The young man discovers his manhood, is given hope, and a better chance at life than he once had.

I liked this movie a lot. It's not just a sad, painful tale; it's filled with delightful wit and humor. The story is told masterfully, keeping you entertained all the way. And as an older male, it brought home to me the need to try harder, to reach out more to young men. I was reminded, once again, of how the young males in this country painfully need older men involved in their lives.

Thanks Phil.

Here is the trailer for
Gran Torino. See if it doesn't stir something in your protective male soul. If you can't view the clip use this link.


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