This style of film should excite high-profile critics and also conduct relatively good box office in small arthouse cinemas however, the film may ultimately fail financially as the all-important mainstream audiences will steer away.
First Cow is set in 1820 and begins with two men meeting in the wilderness of the Oregon Country. Cookie is a baker and King-lu a Chinese immigrant on the run for killing a Russian.
These two men are searching for the all-important American dream, but their lives take a fatal downhill spiral when they steal milk from the first cow in the region owned by a rich Englishman. They bake and successfully sell ‘oily cakes’ to finance their future endeavours until their luck turns.
Filmed in the beautiful wilderness and masterful in all areas of production, audiences are transported to a bygone era when pioneering in the savagery of the frontier was regarded as searching for a better life in the rich land of opportunities.
The story has little substance and is an exhausting but strangely rewarding cinematic experience, with long drawn-out camera shots envisaged by an astute director whose passion for the project is obvious.
Students studying the art of filmmaking should be captivated by what may be considered by many as a minor gem but moviegoers who enjoy high-paced action-adventure films should stay away to avoid disappointment.