A customer brought me an early 2009 MacBook whose display suddenly failed. It had no backlight, but an image was still evident on the display.
Initially I replaced the inverter. It's a finicky machine to disassemble, but if you take your time, it's not terribly difficult (assuming you're handy). As it turned out, the inverter was fine, it was the LCD panel that failed. After replacing the panel itself, all was well.
Get yourself an egg carton. As you remove the screws, label each egg slot with the screw size and drop them in. This is particularly important with this model as there are something like 15 distinct screw sizes and some are of similar lengths, but with different shank sizes.