First Cow (2019): A tale of eternal friendship


Because the saying goes, “Pals are eternally”. Director Kelly Reichardt tailored the novel “The Half life” of writer Jonathan Raymond to carry earlier than us a story of two mates within the huge Previous West who held on to one another until loss of life did them half. “First Cow” stars John Magaro within the function of a chef named Otis “Cookie” Figowitz and Orion Lee as a Chinese language immigrant King-Lu. Their heart-touching story of cohesion and compassion is certain to make anybody emotional.

The story opens within the current day, the place a girl (Alia Shawkat) is proven strolling her canine by the riverside. Right here she discovers two skeletons mendacity aspect by aspect in a shallow grave.

The story of those two skeletons traces again to 1820 in Oregon Nation. It’s the story of two males, Otis “Cookie” Figowitz, a touring chef, and King-Lu, a Chinese language immigrant needed for murdering a Russian man. Throughout the nineteenth century, most People had been touring west to the Oregon territory to start out a brand new life. Cookie being one in every of them occurred to fulfill Lu. They determined to open a bakery enterprise collectively.

The 2 mates: John Magaro (proper) because the chef Otis “Cookie” Figowitz and Orion Lee (left) because the Chinese language immigrant King-Lu in First Cow

However the principle ingredient their bakery enterprise demanded was recent milk. Now their main concern was to by some means acquire that milk. Throughout that interval, a rich Englishman named Chief Issue (Toby Jones) was the one one that had a correct settlement in that area. What’s extra, he additionally owned the primary milk cow in that space!

Cookie acquired the concept of utilizing that cow’s milk for making his baked goodies. He narrated his thought to Lu they usually deliberate to steal the cow’s milk by creeping into Chief Issue’s property at night time. After this, they began commonly milking the cow throughout nighttime when nobody was there to see them. They began making scrumptious mouth-watering biscuits and goodies and even bought them to Chief Issue himself! Chief didn’t have the slightest concept that these goodies had been made out of the milk from his personal cow.

Toby Jones as Chief Consider First Cow

As time handed they usually made good income, Cookie needed to finish this bakery enterprise and transfer on with Lu. Nevertheless, Lu needed to promote only one extra batch of biscuits. So, they determined to take advantage of the cow for the final time.

But it surely was their unwell destiny that whereas doing so, this time they acquired noticed by one in every of Chief’s males. They ran off. Nevertheless, the information reached Chief Issue. Chief assumed them as a risk to his property and determined to trace them down and kill them.

Whereas they had been on the run, they practically acquired caught by Chief’s males on a number of events. On one event, Cookie fell down from a hill and sustained a head damage whereas Lu swam away. When the 2 reunited once more, Cookie together with his damage getting worse was too weak to maintain as much as Lu and escape together with him. So Lu determined to provide him firm and lay down beside him. He even consoled him that they are going to be secure. Nevertheless unknown to them, Chief’s gunman had tracked Cookie and was about to get his arms on them. The film ends leaving it for the viewers to interpret their destiny.

The “mooving” scene

First Cow trailer:

The Good:

Meet Chief Issue’s prized milk cow “Evie”

Immediately takes a success on the capitalist markets

I really feel that First Cow does take a direct hit on the capitalist markets in America in addition to the “American Dream”. You’ll come throughout the scene the place our heroes Cookie and Lu go to the lavish mansion of Chief Issue for supplying freshly baked clafoutis. Right here you’ll witness Chief lecturing his visitor (Scott Shepherd), a ship’s captain, about implementing corporal punishment for these laborers who’re unable to hold out their duties competently. I imagine this immediately signifies “class struggle” prevalent within the nineteenth century America. Such class struggle, which supported the discrimination between the wealthy and the poor, was the inspiration stone of capitalist markets.

I salute the befitting dialogue given by King-Lu to his buddy, “Males like us, Cookie- we’ve to make our personal manner. There aren’t any empires silhouette or colours du jour for us. We have now to take what we are able to when the taking is nice”. I really feel right here Lu did present the precise reply as to how the poor can survive within the class acutely aware capitalist state of affairs.

Lovely cinematography

Actually, I discover the cinematography by Christopher Blauvelt in First Cow to be superb. What a gorgeous depiction of the Previous West Oregon countryside! I personally have some dire fascination for such scenic farmland and nation landscapes. If this actually how the Previous West landscapes had been, I actually would favor to time journey to the 18th or nineteenth century and settle there. Jokes aside, sadly I reside in India and must journey to America first earlier than I pursue the time journey!

The Dangerous:

Cookie and Lu on the run

Sluggish-paced screenplay

I discover the screenplay in First Cow too sluggish. If you happen to occur to be that quick and energetic motion or thriller buff, this will not be the film for you! The plot proceeds leisurely to the purpose the place you could begin feeling a bit bored. However belief me, when you catch the idea of this film, you would possibly get engrossed in it for your entire 2 hours run length! That’s the spell First Cow casts on its audiences.

Additionally, I imagine that the movie’s setup has taken an pointless quantity of its run length. Reichardt might have thought of additional modifying and reducing off some parts as a way to scale back its runtime.

The beginning and ending scenes have an uncertainty related to them

You might need assumed that within the beginning scene when the woman together with her canine walks alongside the riverside and discovers two skeletons mendacity aspect by aspect, they’re of the 2 mates Cookie and King-Lu. However wait! The movie by no means talked about that the 2 skeletons are of Cookie and Lu. It has been assumed!

Reichardt makes the story totally unsure on the very finish the place Lu lies down alongside together with his buddy on the time of misery. It may be that they had been killed by Chief’s henchmen. Or it could have been the opposite manner the place the henchmen by no means acquired them. Cookie might need succumbed to his damage and Lu left after that. Then there would have been just one skeleton on the place. Nevertheless, it has been left for the viewers to presume that these two skeletons are their solely. Who is aware of?!

As loss of life nears, Lu offers Cookie firm

The Verdict:

Two skeletons found by the riverside, supposedly Cookie and Lu’s

If you happen to ask me, I really feel that this friendship story might have been given a extra appropriate title relatively than “First Cow”. I imagine this prized cow named Evie within the movie is greater than their companion. The cow had misplaced her mate in addition to her calf, each died throughout her journey to Oregon. This made her the one cow within the territory. Or shouldn’t have this film been named as “Final Cow” then?! Nevertheless, on a critical word I feel this film does discover the complicated relationship between animals and people. In spite of everything, the cow let the 2 strangers milk her!

On this present pandemic state of affairs when the worldwide financial system is crashing, I’m sure that “First Cow” as a film stands a very good match. And, why not? In spite of everything it showcases two males striving for his or her livelihood within the capitalist dominated world. If the current day financial degradation continues, I feel the worldwide financial system might degrade to the extent the place a number of folks might discover themselves within the place of Cookie and Lu very quickly.

General, I discover First Cow to be an attractive story about true friendship. Magaro and Lee have marvelously introduced their respective characters of Cookie and Lu. Their performances did contact my coronary heart. The final scene the place Lu lies down together with the injured Cookie to fulfill their destiny collectively is certain to make anybody sentimental. I guess you’ll not often come throughout such a real buddy like Lu. He might have very properly considered his personal security and left Cookie to die by the hands of the henchmen, however he didn’t! He supplied him firm even throughout the time of loss of life. I hail such genuine friendship. Reside collectively and die collectively. In keeping with me, that is the essence of true friendship!

  • Performing – 8.5/10
  • Cinematography – 9/10
  • Plot/Screenplay – 6.5/10
  • Setting/Theme – 8/10
  • Watchability – 7.5/10
  • Rewatchability – 6.5/10