The Cow (Gaav) Reviews

  • Jan 18, 2021

    1001 movies to see before you die. A sad Iranian film about a small village and the owner of a cow. Fascinating look into Iranian culture. A well made film. It was on YouTube.

    1001 movies to see before you die. A sad Iranian film about a small village and the owner of a cow. Fascinating look into Iranian culture. A well made film. It was on YouTube.

  • May 07, 2016

    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.

    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.

  • Jun 20, 2015

    Simple story, powerful film.

    Simple story, powerful film.

  • Edgar C Super Reviewer
    Jun 23, 2014

    Six years after Farrokhzad's love letter to the beauty of humanity and the fortitude of the human spirit, Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui directed <i>Gaav</i>, which is claimed to be the beginning of the Iranian New Wave in feature films. Classic Asian cinema, excluding the versatility of Japan, which has a long celluloid trajectory that dates back since the times of the silent era, put a lot of emphasis on either rural life, human relationships, or both, most of the times packaged with symbolic folklore representative of the country's culture filling the empty lines of what was left unspoken. South Korea, Turkey and Egypt are the most important examples, as their testaments remain being seen today. Iran was added to the list in 1969, and the elements are basically the same. <i>Gaav</i> tells the story of a village's cow and the relationship that his owner had with it. When the cow is found dead in a barn one morning, the entire village is turned upside down when the owner does not react humanly. Gradually, the owner starts to become the cow himself. This is the most important plot point because, regardless of the multiple interpretations it can be subject to, the interpretation will most probably work best if held within the boundaries of the Iranian society, or a "comparable" rural lifestyle. This type of rural life has gone unchanged for thousands of years. Maybe the film is a comment on the strong inertia that a lifestyle might face by its people in the presence of invading enemies disturbing the peace of an isolated, small environment, or the one that might rise when social or technological modernities demand that ancient lifestyle to be changed. Here, there is a denial of death, a fundamentalist ideal of conservatism. Nevertheless, this is the most inappropriate way to evolve. The film even seems to make a comment regarding how, if this inertia subsists, this system might perish. Then again, there is another very exquisite interpretation stating that the cow is meant to symbolize Iranian cinema, in the danger of its death, and with its death, it would be saddening for its followers as they would be, once again, deprived of an alternate means of expression, like cancelling a new window that has the capacity to show several facets of life itself, and ideas that we would never have thought of. With its historical importance being almost matched by its quality, <i>Gaav</i> contains a message personalized for the viewer, regardless of the age, gender, country, beliefs and generation, with a very unusual plot that demands suspension of disbelief in order to feel rather than to think of a rationalized interpretation in a futile attempt to come up with a logical sense of things. 94/100

    Six years after Farrokhzad's love letter to the beauty of humanity and the fortitude of the human spirit, Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui directed <i>Gaav</i>, which is claimed to be the beginning of the Iranian New Wave in feature films. Classic Asian cinema, excluding the versatility of Japan, which has a long celluloid trajectory that dates back since the times of the silent era, put a lot of emphasis on either rural life, human relationships, or both, most of the times packaged with symbolic folklore representative of the country's culture filling the empty lines of what was left unspoken. South Korea, Turkey and Egypt are the most important examples, as their testaments remain being seen today. Iran was added to the list in 1969, and the elements are basically the same. <i>Gaav</i> tells the story of a village's cow and the relationship that his owner had with it. When the cow is found dead in a barn one morning, the entire village is turned upside down when the owner does not react humanly. Gradually, the owner starts to become the cow himself. This is the most important plot point because, regardless of the multiple interpretations it can be subject to, the interpretation will most probably work best if held within the boundaries of the Iranian society, or a "comparable" rural lifestyle. This type of rural life has gone unchanged for thousands of years. Maybe the film is a comment on the strong inertia that a lifestyle might face by its people in the presence of invading enemies disturbing the peace of an isolated, small environment, or the one that might rise when social or technological modernities demand that ancient lifestyle to be changed. Here, there is a denial of death, a fundamentalist ideal of conservatism. Nevertheless, this is the most inappropriate way to evolve. The film even seems to make a comment regarding how, if this inertia subsists, this system might perish. Then again, there is another very exquisite interpretation stating that the cow is meant to symbolize Iranian cinema, in the danger of its death, and with its death, it would be saddening for its followers as they would be, once again, deprived of an alternate means of expression, like cancelling a new window that has the capacity to show several facets of life itself, and ideas that we would never have thought of. With its historical importance being almost matched by its quality, <i>Gaav</i> contains a message personalized for the viewer, regardless of the age, gender, country, beliefs and generation, with a very unusual plot that demands suspension of disbelief in order to feel rather than to think of a rationalized interpretation in a futile attempt to come up with a logical sense of things. 94/100

  • Jul 14, 2013

    An interesting & slight film that really put Iran on the map cinematically & the film did good business. The story of an Iranian Peasant who owns a Cow that he loves dearer than his wife. One day he heads to the city & his Cow is killed by local bandits. Townspeople terrified claim the cow ran away. The man returns & quickly falls into despair & descents slowly into madness & believes he is the Cow. A simple story but filled with cultural references & terrific performances.

    An interesting & slight film that really put Iran on the map cinematically & the film did good business. The story of an Iranian Peasant who owns a Cow that he loves dearer than his wife. One day he heads to the city & his Cow is killed by local bandits. Townspeople terrified claim the cow ran away. The man returns & quickly falls into despair & descents slowly into madness & believes he is the Cow. A simple story but filled with cultural references & terrific performances.

  • Feb 11, 2012

    About as far away from Hollywood as you can get.. downright masterpiece.. I'm doing the Iranian new wave thing.

    About as far away from Hollywood as you can get.. downright masterpiece.. I'm doing the Iranian new wave thing.

  • Dec 21, 2011

    Director Mehrjui offers a fundamentally visual portrait of an Iranian village. Each of the primary villagers are full-fledged human beings in all their complexities. Paradoxically, their flaws only seem to make them more compelling, while the camera creates both a sense of community and tension with frequent cuts between villagers. Mehrjui's camera spares no one, each villager a part of the tragedy that unfolds with increasing severity as the film draws to a close.

    Director Mehrjui offers a fundamentally visual portrait of an Iranian village. Each of the primary villagers are full-fledged human beings in all their complexities. Paradoxically, their flaws only seem to make them more compelling, while the camera creates both a sense of community and tension with frequent cuts between villagers. Mehrjui's camera spares no one, each villager a part of the tragedy that unfolds with increasing severity as the film draws to a close.

  • Aug 06, 2011

    Pretty weird, I'm pretty sure Hassan loves the cow more than his own wife. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN (I mean he has sex with the cow. This is pure speculation.)

    Pretty weird, I'm pretty sure Hassan loves the cow more than his own wife. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN (I mean he has sex with the cow. This is pure speculation.)

  • Jul 12, 2011

    Dariush Mehrhui's The Cow is the first persian movie that gained international fame among critics and spread the way for a bunch of other Iranian filmmakers. The Cow takes place in a village where we follow a farmer named Masht Hassan who own one cow (the only cow in the whole village) that he really loves and worship above all. But one night three bandits sneaks into the barn takes it outside and kills the cow. All this happens when Hassan is out of the village that night, and when he comes back, the people of the village decides to tell him that the cow did away. Hassan's whole worlds falls apart and does nothing but mourn and says that his cow whould never runaway from him. The next day Hassan is found eating hay that the cow used to eat, making cow noises. He have become his own cow. What shall the other village people do? The Cow is for me a good film, with alot of the interresting people one usualy find in a small village, such as the villiage idiot. It's a vell made picture with good great character and a moral plot. Thumbs up.

    Dariush Mehrhui's The Cow is the first persian movie that gained international fame among critics and spread the way for a bunch of other Iranian filmmakers. The Cow takes place in a village where we follow a farmer named Masht Hassan who own one cow (the only cow in the whole village) that he really loves and worship above all. But one night three bandits sneaks into the barn takes it outside and kills the cow. All this happens when Hassan is out of the village that night, and when he comes back, the people of the village decides to tell him that the cow did away. Hassan's whole worlds falls apart and does nothing but mourn and says that his cow whould never runaway from him. The next day Hassan is found eating hay that the cow used to eat, making cow noises. He have become his own cow. What shall the other village people do? The Cow is for me a good film, with alot of the interresting people one usualy find in a small village, such as the villiage idiot. It's a vell made picture with good great character and a moral plot. Thumbs up.

  • Dec 12, 2010

    A landmark in Iranian cinema.It was certainly the first Iranian film to grab the attention of Western critics and inspired a new era in Iranian film-making. A remarkably mature piece of work directed by a then 28 year old Dariush Mehrjui,his second film. Heavily influenced by the Italian neo-realists who themselves received the film warmly at the 1971 Venice Film Festival after it was smuggled out of the country,where it went to win prizes,even without subtitles, and also a prize at the Berlin International Film Festival,becoming very popular and a source of pride to the Iranian people. It's a very visual,very simple,very moving film. The story is set in a remote Iranian village,where owning a cow for subsistence is a sign of prosperity. The cow dies,and Hassan,the owner,breakdown,becoming a man who no longer knows who he is. Play by Ezzatolah Entezami in an astonishing performance(he received best actor at the Chicago Film Festival for it),he has a face that vividly captures his physical and emotional change he suffer when he becomes(he believes himself)the cow. Mehrjui uses actors with "compelling faces" as key elements in the cinematography,as did the Italian Neo-realist. This movie is about as far as one can get from Hollywood blockbusters. Scaling new heights in the bonding between human and animals,in this case not a dog,a cat,a horse,but a cow. The film stuns you.Forget Iran,forget the cow.Replace the scenario with any person close to his earthly possessions and what happens when that person is suddenly deprived of them and you will get inside the characters as Fellini,De Sica or Mehrjui demonstrated in their films.

    A landmark in Iranian cinema.It was certainly the first Iranian film to grab the attention of Western critics and inspired a new era in Iranian film-making. A remarkably mature piece of work directed by a then 28 year old Dariush Mehrjui,his second film. Heavily influenced by the Italian neo-realists who themselves received the film warmly at the 1971 Venice Film Festival after it was smuggled out of the country,where it went to win prizes,even without subtitles, and also a prize at the Berlin International Film Festival,becoming very popular and a source of pride to the Iranian people. It's a very visual,very simple,very moving film. The story is set in a remote Iranian village,where owning a cow for subsistence is a sign of prosperity. The cow dies,and Hassan,the owner,breakdown,becoming a man who no longer knows who he is. Play by Ezzatolah Entezami in an astonishing performance(he received best actor at the Chicago Film Festival for it),he has a face that vividly captures his physical and emotional change he suffer when he becomes(he believes himself)the cow. Mehrjui uses actors with "compelling faces" as key elements in the cinematography,as did the Italian Neo-realist. This movie is about as far as one can get from Hollywood blockbusters. Scaling new heights in the bonding between human and animals,in this case not a dog,a cat,a horse,but a cow. The film stuns you.Forget Iran,forget the cow.Replace the scenario with any person close to his earthly possessions and what happens when that person is suddenly deprived of them and you will get inside the characters as Fellini,De Sica or Mehrjui demonstrated in their films.