True Grit

Movie: True Grit
Director: Joel & Ethan Coen (Coen Brothers)
Starrings: Jeff Bridges( as Rooster Cogburn),
Matt Damon(as Texas Ranger Mr. LaBoeuf)
Josh Brolin(as Tom Chaney)
Hailee Steinfeld (as fourteen year old Mattie Ross)
Barry Pepper(as Net Pepper)
Movie ‘True Grit’ is based on short novella by Charles Portis.
Movie is nominated for ten Academy Awards.

‘True Grit’ means wisdom, determination, strength of mind, having gut to reach the mission.

The film ‘True Grit’ is a story is narrated by the adult Mattie Ross at her 40. She explains few days of adventure before twenty five years back, when her father was murdered by one of his hired hands, Tom Chaney. Chaney made off with her father’s horses and two of his California gold pieces. While collecting her father’s body, Mattie (played as a 14-year-old by Hailee Steinfeld) inquires about hiring a Deputy U.S. Marshal to track down Chaney. She is given three recommendations, but chooses to hire Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), because he is described as the most merciless. He repeatedly rebuffs her attempts to hire him.

Hailee Steinfeld

Meanwhile, at the boarding house where she is staying, Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) arrives on the trail of Chaney. LaBoeuf has been pursuing him for several months over a murder in Texas. He proposes to Mattie that they should team up with Cogburn, since the Marshal knows the Choctaw terrain where Chaney is hiding, while LaBoeuf knows how the man is most likely to behave. Mattie rejects LaBoeuf’s offer, partially because he would take Chaney back to Texas to be hanged for the prior murder, instead of her father’s. After finally securing Cogburn’s services, Mattie is instructed to meet him the following morning to begin the search for Chaney, though instead of meeting Mattie, Cogburn leaves a note telling her to go home while he goes to apprehend Chaney.

After she is refused passage on the river ferry that conveyed Cogburn and LaBoeuf, Mattie rides into the water and is pulled across by her swimming horse. On the far side, she learns that the two men have agreed to split the Texas reward for Chaney. Accusing him of fraud, Mattie threatens to have Cogburn arrested for breaking their agreement, which specified that she must accompany him on the manhunt. Reluctantly, he allows Mattie to come along. After a disagreement, LaBoeuf sets off on his own in search of Chaney. Eventually, Mattie and Cogburn come across an isolated shack, where two outlaws (Paul Rae and Domhnall Gleeson) are staying. After they turn on each other, Cogburn kills the older outlaw, and as the younger one is dying, he explains that “Lucky” Ned Pepper (Barry Pepper) and his gang were planning on returning to the shack later that night. Believing Chaney to be riding with Pepper’s gang, Cogburn and Mattie lie in wait for the gang.

However, LaBoeuf rides up to the shack ahead of the gang. When the gang arrives, they lasso LaBoeuf and drag him behind a horse. Cogburn opens fire from his hiding spot, killing three members of the gang and accidentally wounding LaBoeuf. During the night, Cogburn drinks a great deal of whiskey and is severely drunk the next morning. The following night, he and LaBoeuf argue again, and LaBoeuf departs once more. The next morning, as Mattie draws water at the river, she encounters Chaney, who is watering the gang’s horses. She draws her father’s pistol and shoots him. The pistol misfires as she tries to finish him off, and he drags her back to the gang. Ned uses Mattie as a hostage to force Cogburn to ride off. Though Mattie is initially hostile to Ned, she calms down when he promises he “doesn’t hurt children” and he seems to show respect for her. Not having enough horses for everyone, Ned leaves Mattie with Chaney, telling him that he will send a horse for him later. He orders Chaney not to harm Mattie and to drop her off in safe, colonized lands afterwards.

True Grit
Mattie Ross and Rooster Cogburn in 'True Grit'

Once alone, Chaney disobeys Ned and attacks Mattie; LaBoeuf appears and knocks Chaney out with his rifle butt, explaining that when he heard the shots in the morning, he rode back and encountered Cogburn, who devised a plan. LaBoeuf and Mattie watch from their distant perch as Cogburn takes on the four remaining members of Ned’s gang. Although one escapes, Cogburn kills two of them, and mortally wounds Ned before his own horse is shot out from under him. As the dying Ned is about to kill Cogburn, LaBoeuf shoots and kills Ned, impressing Mattie with his ability as a marksman. Chaney comes to and attacks LaBoeuf. Mattie grabs LaBoeuf’s rifle and kills Chaney, but the recoil knocks her back into an old mineshaft, where she unwittingly disturbs a ball of snakes. She is bitten before Cogburn can rescue her. Cogburn and Mattie leave the wounded but stable LaBoeuf at the mine with the promise they will send help, and Cogburn rides through the night to get Mattie to a doctor, arriving just in time.

Twenty-five years later, Mattie – now 40 and with only one arm, the result of an amputation necessitated by gangrene from the snakebite – receives an invitation from Cogburn to meet him at a traveling Wild West show with which he is performing. When she arrives at the site, she learns that Cogburn died three days earlier. She has his body moved into her family plot, and the film ends with her standing over his grave and pondering how time catches up with everyone.


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