Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Grand Torino (Clint Eastwood) and Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle): In the Same Neighborhood of themes

Grand Torino and Slumdog Millionaire share certain themes and characteristics.

1) Both are love stories--though "Grand Torino" is a bit of a sneaky one, and "Slumdog Millionaire" is more along a classic fable line.

2) Both reveal depths of an exploration of cultural difference with deft sensitivity...though, again, "Grand Torino" sneaks up on you with out of stereotype depictions of reaching across cultures.

3) Both show real change in characters as the movie's story progresses. And, that, after all, is what makes a good movie, is it not?

4) Both end in noble sacrifice by characters that you don't expect it from. The closing image in "Grand Torino" is a haunting visual reference to the crucifixion that cannot be missed, yet is handled beautifully.

5) Both reveal grit of character and bravery...in surprising ways. The tough guy in "Grand Torino" has an unlooked for sensitivity. The quieter guy in "Slumdog Millionaire" turns out to be tough in his own way.

6) Both provide wonderful portraits of the the place and time in which they are set.

7) Both are masterful creations by film makers with strong visions.

8) Both use music to great effect. Clint Eastwood wrote the theme song to "Grand Torino." Gosh, what a guy! And, in "Slumdog," even the Bollywood closing number somehow fits as a cultural tribute to the India that teams with every manner of high and low contrasts.

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1 Responses »

  1. Janet,
    I really liked Slumdog. Among other things, it follows the narrative form of Bollywood movies right down to the conflict scenarios and the dancing. I most liked that it reveals an inside perspective that builds the characters motivation. And all within a clear fantasy (read non-realistic) film. Good art. Hope they win.

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