Pig: Film Review

Pig

Altitude

After starring in wild balls-out movies in recent years, Pig certainly marks a change of pace for Nicolas Cage, who gives his best performance in quite some time.

Michael Sarnoski‘s directorial debut tells the story of Robin ‘Rob’ Feld, a former chef-turned-truffle hunter who has lived alone in a cabin in the middle of the Oregon woods for 15 years. He is forced to revisit his past life in Portland and track down his old connections after his beloved foraging pig is stolen.

This sounds like a really simple film about a man hunting for his pig – and while that is the overarching storyline that guides the movie, there is so much more to it than that. It is also a slow, meditative study of grief and isolation and the power of food. It is best to go into this film as cold as possible, but even if you think you know what will happen, you’d probably be wrong. I assumed Robin would go around beating up his rivals to track down his pig but it’s not like that at all – it doesn’t take the obvious, expected route and is much quieter and more contemplative than that.

I enjoyed learning more about Robin, who he is, what his life looked like before he became a recluse and why he ended up in that cabin. We aren’t given those answers immediately, especially as Rob is a gruff monosyllabic man who doesn’t offer up much information about himself, but slowly Amir (Alex Wolff), who sells his truffles, helps us peel back the layers of Robin and find out who he really is as they work together to track down the pig.

Cage takes on a role that is so different to what we’ve come to expect from him and it’s such a pleasant surprise. It’s a full 180 flip from the wacky and out-there films he’s been doing of late and it’s a welcome change of pace. His depiction of this insular, reticent and mumbling man is nuanced and raw and more moving than you would expect.

Wolff doesn’t let the side down either. When you first met Amir, he turns up in the woods in a fancy sports car and wears designer clothing and you just think he’s this rich douchebag – but you get to learn much more about him too. I enjoyed watching these two extremely different people working together to achieve a common goal.

I can assure you that Pig is so much more than you think it is – and I bet you’ll come away pleasantly surprised.

In cinemas Friday 20th August

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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