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Revenge is Sweeter Than Sex: A Review of the 2010 Coen Brothers' Movie, True Grit

Revenge is Sweeter Than Sex: A Review of the 2010 Coen Brothers' Movie, True Grit

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Published by Jane Gilgun
Revenge is sweeter than sex. This article is a review of True Grit, a 2010 film that has won many awards. The main characters, Rooster Cockburn and 14 year-old Mattie Ross, have it both ways, with a twist. Mattie is hurt and outraged by her father’s murder. Rooster is an avenging, imperfect angel. They have their revenge, all right, but both pay a huge price. The only character in the movie who has true true grit is Mattie’s horse, Blackie, who in the end, sacrifices himself to save Mattie.
Revenge is sweeter than sex. This article is a review of True Grit, a 2010 film that has won many awards. The main characters, Rooster Cockburn and 14 year-old Mattie Ross, have it both ways, with a twist. Mattie is hurt and outraged by her father’s murder. Rooster is an avenging, imperfect angel. They have their revenge, all right, but both pay a huge price. The only character in the movie who has true true grit is Mattie’s horse, Blackie, who in the end, sacrifices himself to save Mattie.

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Categories:Types, Reviews
Published by: Jane Gilgun on Jan 08, 2011
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RevengeisSweeterthanSex: AReviewoftheCoenBrothers’2010Movie,TrueGrit
ByJaneGilgunSummary
TrueGritisaboutthesatisfactionsofrevenge.Revengeissweeterthansex.Thisreviewanalyzestheviolenceofthemovie.Themaincharacters,RoosterCockburnand14 year-oldMattieRoss,haveitbothways,withatwist.Mattieishurtandoutragedbyher father’smurder.Roosterisanavenging,imperfectangel.Theyhavetheirrevenge,allright,butbothpayahugeprice.TheonlycharacterinthemoviewhohastruetruegritisMattie’shorse,Blackie,whointheend,sacrificeshimselftosaveMattie.
 AbouttheAuthor
JaneF.Gilgun,Ph.D.,LICSW,isaUniversityprofessorandresearcherwhohasinterviewedviolentmenformorethan25years.Sheplanstospendmuchofthenext25yearstalkingaboutviolenceanditssavagecontradictions.ProfessorGilgunhasmanypublicationsonviolenceavailableonscribd.com,AmazonKindle,iBooks,andotheron-linebooksellers.Shealsowriteschildren’sstories,articles,andbooksonavarietyofothertopics,suchasresilience,childdevelopment,andqualitativeresearch.
 
RevengeisSweeterthanSex: AReviewoftheCoenBrothers’Movie,TrueGrit
ewantitbothways.Weloveviolence.Thethrillsandchillsofrightingawrongandofseeingjusticereignaregratifying.Snuffthebadguysout.Tearthemlimbfromlimb.Throwthemtothelionsandjackals.It’sonlyright.Somepeopledeserveit.Wehateviolence.Wehurtwhenwearetargetsofviolence,whenpeoplewecareaboutaretargets,andwhenourenemiesuseviolenceinpoliticalcauses.Killthosewhouseviolenceagainstus.It’sonlyright.Somepeopledeserveit.Individualsandthesocietiestheycreatebelievesodeeplyinviolencethatviolencewillneverchange.AcaseinpointisTrueGrit,theCoenbrothers’moviewherethemaincharactershaveitbothways,withafinaltwist.TrueGritisa2010remakeofanoldmovie,remade,Isupposebecauseofitstimelessmessage.Themessageisrevenge.Thetwisttothemovieisthepunishmentthatvisitsitselfupontheavengers..
PlotSummary
AfterahardchasethroughroughWesterncountryinthewinter,MattieRossfinallyfindsandshootsherfather’smurderer.Themurderisparticularlyheinousbecausethefatherwastryingtohelpthemurderer.Mattie’sshottothechestissopowerfulthatthemanispropelledoffacliff.HisnameisCheney.Notonlydoesa14year-oldgirlkillthemurdererofthegoodfather,buthefallstotheearthinaheapofbrokenbones.Howsatisfying.Inthemeantime,hersidekick,RoosterCockburnkillstheothermurdererswhowereCheney’scompanion.Moresatisfaction.Theworldisinbalanceonceagain.Butwait,there’smore.ThekickofthecarbinethatMattieusestokillCheneyissopowerfulthatMattieispropelledbackwards,rightintoapitfullofrattlesnakes.Asnakebitesherlefthand.Roostercomestotherescue,shootsthesnakes,andcarriesMattietosafety.Mattielosesherleftarmuptoherelbowbecauseoftherattlerbite.Weseeher25yearslater,dressedinblack,aspinster,withaleftarmthatendsatherelbow.MattieissearchingforRoosterafterallofthattime.Oh,no,Roosterdiedafewdaysbefore.Deniedthesatisfactionofseeinghersavior,themiddle-agedMattiehashisbodyexhumedandbroughttoherfamily’splot.Thelast
W
 
sceneisofMattiestandingatRooster’sgravestone,thenwalkingoffagainstthehugeWesternsky,hermissinglimbthereforalltosee.
 AnAnalysis
Themoviegivesviolencetousbothways.Wehavethesatisfactionofseeingbadguyssnuffedoutinexcitingscenes.Roostergallopstowardfourbadguyswithgunsablazing,forexample.Nowthatistruegrit.MattiepushesherbeautifulblackhorsetoswimacrossawildanddeeprivertojoinupwithRoosteronthehuntforCheney.Thegrithereisthehorse’s.Theblackhorseistheonlycharacterinthemoviewithapureheart.ThehorsehurtsnooneandhelpsMattiereachhergoals.HediescarryingherandRoosterbacktocivilizationformedicalcare.Thehorsehasrealtruegrit.Thedeathofthehorsehurts.It’salsocontrivedandmanipulative.Withtruegrit,RoostershootsthehorseintheheadasthehorseliesonthegroundpantingforhislastbreathafterhoursofcarryingMattieandRoosteracrossthefrozenterraintowardmedicalhelp.Thismovieshowswewantitbothways.Wegetit,too.Mattiehadherrevenge.Roosterkillsbadguys.Sadly,theypayaprice.Mattielosesherarm.RoosterdiesbeforehecanseeMattie.Mattiedoesn’tgettoseeRoosteronelasttime.Thedeathofthehorsesshowsthatevenvirtuegoesunrewarded.
TheMoraloftheTale
Themoralofthetalegetstotheheartofthings.Revengeissweet,butyoustillpay.MattieandRoosterarethegoodguys.Theyhadthesatisfactionofrevenge.Theymurderedpeoplewhomurderedpeople.Moviegoerssharethesweetanddeepsatisfactionofrevenge.TheyfeltsadbecauseMattielostherleftarmandMattieandRoosternevergottoseeeachotheragainaftertheysatisfiedvengefulquest.Revengeandretributionaresweeterthansex..TheCoenbrothersmaybelievetheyhaveavisionthatismoral.Afterall,MattieandRoosterpaidapricefortheirviolence.Thismoralvisionmaybeastepclosertoarethinkingofvengeance.Yes,theCoenswantitbothways.Theyexploitviolencetoattractattentiontotheirmovies.Theyalsoshowthepriceofviolence.Intheend,revengethroughviolencereignssupreme,evenwhenitexactsaprice.Revengeisapearlofgreatprice.
References
Gilgun, Jane F. (2010). Reflections on more than 20 years of research on violence.
 Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 16(4),
50-59
.
Gilgun, Jane F. (2010). Methods for enhancing theory and knowledge about problems, policies, and practice. In Katherine Briar, Joan Orme, Roy Ruckdeschel, & Ian Shaw,
The Sagehandbook of social work research
(pp. 281-297)
.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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