The film True Grit, directed by the Coen Brothers in 2010, is a western film that can most certainly be portrayed as a revisionist western in that the general cinematography brings forth a darker feel, with more realistic elements, straying away from the typical romantic feel of classic westerns.
1. The general iconography in True Grit evokes a more realistic, rugged feeling from its audience. A classic western often portrays the protagonists as clean-cut individuals, as in Stagecoach, with all the bells and whistles to convey the nobility of their intentions. Though, the head marshal Rooster Cogburn, played by Jeff Bridges, lies on the opposite side of the spectrum (much like Eastwood in Fistful): his general attire consists of tattered cloths and stained jackets. He wears an eye patch that pronounces his imperfections; his faults. In fact the directors first introduce the marshal in a court room where he appears to be being rightfully convicted of excessive authoritative force. Even in the formality of a court room, Roster wears a wrinkled--poorly assembled--suit and sits in a manner that implies disgust; his hair is contained by the grease that looks as though it has been accrued through weeks of neglect. Everything the marshal wears, implores a feeling of distrust and dishonesty, yet it is him, the audience must rely on to concur the greater evil.
The main character, Mattie Ross is a figure of nobility--consistently questioning the marshal and his seemingly harsh methods. Though, rather than wearing warm, brightly colored dresses with complex patterns to perhaps suggest spiritual wealth, she is almost always wearing a head-to-toe austere collared dress that is almost disheartening in its blandness. Her hair does not flow lusciously down her back but rather it is always braided, and hangs lifelessly on either shoulder. Whereas her attire does in fact give the viewer the sense that she has an acute moral compass, as well as a “proper” way of...
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