True Grit is about finding True Grit in others and most unlikely places including yourself. It's the story of a fiesty 14 year old, Mattie Ross (played by newcomer Hailee Steinfeld in a dream debut) out to avenge the death of her father. True Grit is a film with actual heart - one fuelled by retribution, bloodshed and black humour, but with a heart nevertheless.
I have not seen the earlier movie based on a bleak Charles Portis novel. The Coen brothers, I believe have stuck to the story, more faithfully than the original movie, which got Mr. John Wayne an Oscar. But, Jeff Bridges who plays the role of the grizzled, eye-patched U.S. Marshal Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn, originally played by Mr. Wayne does really well.
True Grit is about performances. Starting from Hailee Steinfield who sets the tone from the beginning, when she as the narrator says, "People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day".
The way, Mattie negotiates for her father's dues and later cajoles Cogburn into taking the assignment of pursuing her father's killer, Tom Chaney is hilarious. Her determination to take things in her own hands and to represent her family responsibly in avenging the death of her father has the innocence of a teenager as well as the audacity of thinking at that age, when fear is unknown. The scene where, Mattie finally meets her father's killer is also quite hilarious, when she tries to arrest him, by telling a few lies. Her first attempt at shooting from her father's gun is also quite funny, as her determination to take back the gold she believes, her father's killer has taken from her father.
Matt Damon plays the buffoon Texas Ranger known only as Mr. LaBeouf ( pronounced LeBeef) who has completely different reasons to go after Tom Chaney and he develops a strange bonding with Mattie in their journey to nab the same person.
Though, some times, the movie moves at a slow place in the initial stages and the accent is too difficult to follow, you won't miss much of the proceedings. Even the ending is not softened, and kind of represents the era and genre the movie represents.
Watch the movie for the different era it represents and the beautiful way in which a parable is told about good and evil. And the line between good and evil is sometimes so blurred, that it's indistinguishable and keeps shifting. If not for anything else, watch the movie for, they don't make such movies here in Bollywood.