The Cow (1969)

The Cow Movie Review

The Cow Movie Review

The Cow is a 1969 Iranian drama film directed by Dariush Mehrjui and starring Ezzatolah Entezami. It is one of the major classics of its country and for many good reasons.

The film is about a man’s relationship with a cow. After the cow gets killed, the other villagers break him the news and his mental state quickly deteriorates. I really enjoyed this film and found its plot to be simplistic, but wonderfully so. The film is so well crafted and it tells its story in a great way, by focusing on emotion and character interactions. The film is so heartbreaking, but also incredibly realistic in its portrayal of villagers.

The characters are all very well realized with Hassan being the standout naturally. You really feel for him and I particularly liked his relationship with other men in the village. The men are so well portrayed here and they are all so good-natured and genuinely wanted to help him. You can easily see the care in their talk and in their eyes and that was just so wonderful to witness and it brought a smile to my face.

The acting is excellent, all of the actors did a splendid job, but it is Ezzatolah Entezami who is superb in the main role as he gave a terrific performance. Dariush Mehrjui also did a magnificent job as a director as the film is so well directed and crafted. The Cow is also for the most time really well edited and paced and I liked some of its imagery quite a bit. The cinematography is solid, but some of its more intense in nature sequences are just so well executed and wonderfully atmospheric. I really liked the film’s look.

The Cow isn’t a perfect film as it has its problems which are mainly the first and third act. Now, they are definitely good, but they are still never as terrific as the second act is. The beginning should have been more memorable and better realized and the ending kind of disappointed me and I can’t help but wish that the movie hadn’t gone into boanthropy territory. I know that it is important to the story, but just the pure mental breakdown itself would have sufficed. Nevertheless, those scenes were still tragic and so moving and the film is mostly excellent. It’s just that it could have been even better in my opinion had they fixed some of those things that I mentioned.

The score is quite good, but the film’s emotion is evident and it is always natural and it never went into overly maudlin territory which I appreciated a lot. The Cow is basically a neorealist film as it has a very realistic storytelling and characterization, but also contains a heartfelt, touching feel to it. And I loved that about it. The dialogue is also really good and the movie even has a bit of the humor at times which is nice. The film is also so memorable and it always has that crucial feel to it in that you feel that you are watching something important. And it is important and it is a classic of Iranian cinema and I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment as it is also one of the finest 1969 films that I’ve seen so far.

The Cow is a terrific film that benefits from a great neorealist approach with a very realistic plot and characters, but also having such a strong emotional grip with many moving scenes in it. The film isn’t perfect, but it is mostly great with excellent directing and acting, realistic characters and such a heartbreaking story to it. It is in the end rightfully considered to be an Iranian classic.

My Rating – 4.5

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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

A Girl Walks Home Alone at NightA Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Review

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a 2014 Iranian horror film directed by Ana Lily Amirpour and it is a critically acclaimed film and I would even say that it is the best vampire horror film of all time.

The story is simple. It follows a vampire girl who stalks and kills people, but who is also very lonely and sad. And it is set in the fictional Bad City and it perfectly captures the mood of death, despair and loneliness. The story may be too simplistic, but is perfectly executed and is engaging from start to finish.
As for the characters, they are all pretty well developed. And acted. The acting in this movie is superb. The vampire girl and Arash as main characters are wonderful, they have their personalities and their troubles and the relationship they develop is very intriguing and interesting to watch. And the rest of the characters are good and serve their purpose.
You cannot talk about this film without mentioning its technical aspects which are all splendid to behold. The sound design is the first thing here. It is absolutely stunning, perfectly capturing the intensity and making you feel uncomfortable and scared with its background fabric noise. And the soundtrack is absolutely terrific and authentic with its intriguing mix of American old and new music with Iranian songs. But the cinematography is amazing to witness. This is one of the most beautifully shot films I have seen in a while. And it is one of the major reasons why the movie is destined to become a classic it deserves to be. Each and every shot is excellently considered and executed leading to a lot of very iconic and memorable shots and angles.
And the black-and-white cinematography is perfect for this film and it is definitely fitting to the mood and is incredibly satisfying. It created some breathtaking imagery here. I always wondered why other directors don’t use black-and-white cinematography for their horror films when it is absolutely perfect for the medium. It helps raise the tension and provoke fear and I hope people will take this as an example and a lesson how to make it work. This is one of the best and most beautifully executed black-and-white films recently.
The tone is great in the movie. It is mostly scary and tense, but it sometimes takes its time to present some comic as well as emotional moments and those are great. As for the editing, it is probably my only bigger problem here. While this film is decidedly slower paced and I don’t mind that because it works for this kind of film and it is never, ever boring, the beginning should have been reduced a bit in order to have some character development put in there whereas the ending to me is somehow unsatisfying and disappointing. But those are minor flaws that don’t take away much from this spectacular movie.
As for the scares, this is the most frightening film since ‘The Conjuring’. Because everything is perfectly executed and the sound is amazing and incredibly effective, you really get scared at times thanks to excellent jump scares as well as wonderfully done stalker sequences that are eerie and indescribably tense. They are Hitchcockian in style meaning that you wait for them thanks to strong build-up, but when they arrive, they’re superbly achieved making you scare and appreciate the movie even more.
The film is also very original and authentic. Never have there been a film like this. It is incredibly authentic. And also very realistic, memorable and never predictable. It is artistic thanks to its cinematography and scenery to the point that I would call it art because it truly is that. And the picture has a quality in that it has both brain and heart to it. It is both grounded in its approach and very touching at times which is perfect and very rare for the genre.

All in all, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night has amazing cinematography, stunning sound design, good characters and setting, but above all it is authentic, scary, effective and perfectly executed and directed. It is the very best horror film of the year and one of the finest horror films of all time and the finest vampire flick ever made. A masterpiece, a future classic and simply put art.

My Rating – 4,5

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