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

Posted in 1960s, 1969, Drama, FILM DECADES, Foreign, Iranian, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , .

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