I haven’t liked that many westerns, though I haven’t watched many in recent years. I will still give them a chance if I think they look interesting, which is what I did with True Grit. I really liked the movie.
I probably saw the John Wayne version of True Grit at some point, but I honestly couldn’t remember anything about it before seeing the new version. Once I saw this one, I ended up watching the older version. The main plot is the same, though a few little things have been changed here and there. Both movies are based on the book by Charles Portis. I haven’t read the book, though I’ve heard that this version stays closer to the book.
True Grit begins by setting up the situation and explaining how Mattie Ross decides to deal with her father’s killer herself. The pace is a little slower while that is going on and the characters are introduced, but it doesn’t take that long for more to start happening. The plot is very interesting and I was surprised by several things. I’m thinking that I wouldn’t have been as surprised by a few things if I had seen the previous movie. The plot is very entertaining and it is definitely worth watching.
Most of what happens in True Grit is more serious. Mattie’s father has been murdered and Mattie decides to track him down herself since the authorities don’t seem to be doing much. She hires Marshal Cogburn because she hears he is the most ruthless. He isn’t interested at first, but she keeps after him and gets her way. There is violence in the movie, though it isn’t too graphic. There are just one or two scenes that are a bit disturbing. There is a decent amount of humor in the movie, mostly from things that Cogburn says at times.
A lot of True Grit takes place when Cogburn and Mattie are on the trail, searching for her father’s killer. The landscape is a bit bleak and colorless, but that fits in well with the movie. Things look wonderful. There are a few gorgeous, and even powerful, shots in the movie.
Mattie is a wonderful character. She is a very determined young woman. She takes on something that many adults wouldn’t in deciding to go after her father’s killer. She is very intelligent, and she is frequently able to get her way. I love how she deals with a merchant early in the movie. Rooster Cogburn is a complicated character. He isn’t fully a hero type character, though he isn’t really a bad guy either. He does use questionable methods at times, and he tends to get drunk. Jeff Bridges is wonderful in the part. Le Boeuf is a Texas Ranger also looking for the same man. He teams up with Cogburn, though the men don’t get along that well. Matt Damon does really well with the part.
True Grit is a wonderful movie. I do think it is one of the best of the year and it is definitely the better than many of the other movies currently in theaters now. Fans of the cast or of westerns should give it a chance.
I did get a review posted on Epinions after seeing the movie in the theater.