After rocking the festival of the Alpe d’huez (Winner of the Grand Prize, Audience Award and Prize for Interpretation), there is no doubt that THE COW is left to raise the enthusiasm of the whole of France. Carried out with intelligence by Mohamed Hamidi and wonderfully interpreted by judge Fatsah Bouyahmed, it exactly meets the expectations of the majority of the public, of all generations : it entertains, makes you laugh, moves and wins. In the lineage of the Ch’tis , orUntouchables, no offense to some, this film is full of good feelings and puts the balm to the heart.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not a remake of The cow and the prisoner (Henri Verneuil, 1959), even if some allusions are made openly. THE COW is the story of Fatah, a peasant Algerian who, after many requests, is finally invited to come and present his cow worshipped (Jacqueline) at the Salon of agriculture. We often talk about the american dream, but there is indeed a ” French dream “, particularly in the countries of North Africa, and it is this dream that Fatah will attempt to carry out while crossing France on foot with Jacqueline, from Marseilles to Paris. Naturally, in the course of his journey, Fatah is going to do meetings (including Philippe, played by Lambert Wilson) and to sow his good mood, winning the hearts of these people thanks to his candor, his humility and his sincerity. In front of him, of the French hospital, good living, solidarity and equity ! It’s also going to realize that not everything is as rosy as what they imagined discovering such events and depression. But it remains residual, the film is resolutely positive.
What is pleasant in this road-movie is that it shows France at its most beautiful : its land, its values, its people, its diversity. It was one of the clichés of a people chauvinistic, racist or unprepossessing. Of course this is a bias not to show the good side of things but it is this which is good. For once, no evil, no hatred or rejection of immigrants. There is an aspect a little political, a willingness to acknowledge the strengths of our country through a sort of fable, to say that, beyond the differences of culture, religion or social background, there are things to share. On the other side, Mohamed Hamidi portrayed with tenderness and humor ” life in the corn “, the reports, the couple, along with modesty, the mutual support within the community but also to the side a little proud or macho men, their discussions at coffee, etc…
Therefore, the situation is relatively simple, but very effective because asset-backed other elements equally successful : the dialogues are smart, funny and full of humanity. If they sound as good, it is because they have been co-written by the main actor himself, Fatsah Bouyahmed. The latter has been able to adapt them to its own sensibility and its inclinations to be humorous. The result is a fluency that makes her interpretation incredibly fair and natural. It covers, quite literally, the film convinces us effortlessly and elicits empathy, because through his performance we can guess the experiences, the inspirations of family, sincerity, and the pleasure which enabled him to compose as well.
“Feel good movie par excellence, this human adventure, footprint of humour, optimism, sensitivity and a certain poetry, is a small happiness.”
For the second role, they are just as endearing, worked and heterogeneous : Lambert Wilson is just perfect in aristo broke and depressed, finesse, takes a taste for life. Jamel Debbouze has only a small role but his presence is enough to promote a good dynamic, raising the crossing a few questions about assimilation… Working together for several years on The Jamel Comedy Club, Marrakech du rire, Jamel, Mohamed , and Fatsah share a real complicity that has clearly served the film both at the level of the writing in the game. As for the cow, it is surprising to find it beautiful with its rope that looks like a tiara placed on the forehead. Such a mascot, it inspires sympathy and tenderness to all those who cross its path.
Finally, the soul of the movie is also its music. Composed and orchestrated by the talented Ibrahim Maalouf, the soundtrack gives actually to THE COW in a tone familiar, accessible, and almost nostalgic. To the tunes of brass band, the warmth of the brass warms up (if need be) the atmosphere of the film. Feel-good movie par excellence, this human adventure, footprint of humour, optimism, sensitivity and a certain poetry is a small happiness. However, to appreciate it, it is still necessary to have the urge to get carried away by a whirlwind of positive energy.
AGREE ? NOT AGREE ?
• Achievement: Mohamed Hamidi
• Scenario: Mohamed Hamidi, Fatsah Bouyamed & Alain-Michel Blanc
• Main actors : judge Fatsah Bouyamed, Jamel Debbouze, Lambert Wilson • Original Music : Ibrahim Maalouf • Genre : Comedy
• Country of origin : French, Moroccan
• Released : 17 February 2016
• Duration : 1h 31
• Distributor : Pathé Distribution
• Synopsis : Fatah, small peasant algeria only has eyes for his cow Jacqueline, that his dream is to take her to Paris, at the salon of Agriculture. When he receives an important invitation in front of his whole village in astonishment, he who has never left his campaign, takes the boat towards Marseille to cross the whole of France on foot, in the direction of Porte de Versailles. The opportunity for Fatah and Jacqueline to go to meetings, surprises and live a human adventure made of great moments in self-help and laughs. An unexpected journey and full of tenderness in the France of today.