PIG Review – Captivating, Gripping, A Must See

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PIG, from Neon, presents the story of separation, attachment, love, and discovering the sensory combination that bridges the distance of time with the intimacy of cuisine, enticing buried memories, those which transcend boundaries and dissolve barriers, to surface.

The film opens with drone footage panning the lush forests outside of Portland, Oregon, and a very weathered Rob, played by Nicolas Cage, is foraging through the dirt with his pig, on the search for the smoky, earthen delectable addition that earns raves from culinary kings who are willing to pay top dollar for the delicacy.

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Weighing out the fungi globes, we see Rob, worn and rough begin to demonstrate culinary competency. Slowly he creates and even with the primitive kitchen, as he has apparently dropped out of mainstream society, we see he possesses a mastery of gastronomic skills.

The disconnected is unnerving. Breaking the sounds of the forest, the silence of tranquility, a loud, bright sunshine yellow mustang pulls into a cleared path and a clearly out of place barely out of his teens slicked up urban millennial, Amir, played by Alex Wolff, steps out of the car and the pig, who has spent his days rooting in the mud and dirt rushes to greet our uncomfortable guest.

Bearing a basket of supplies, the two briefly greet, weigh out the truffles, settle up and confirm the next drop date and with that Amir is blasting down the highway.

Preparing another skillful gourmet dish, we understand there is loss in his life and his new life, the one that emerged from the tragedy has brought him to the forest, to the friendship with his pig and a place where he can create culinary masterpieces without the hassle of memories creeping in to remind him of what once was the future.

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The idea of predators seemed unusual given all appearances of any of the homeless drug addicts, or others who lost hope and chose to hide outside of the prying eyes of triplicate paperwork that made up the encampment community.

Hearing noises, Rob gets up and as he reaches for the door an explosion, and he is hit, hard, and we hear the squealing of the pig as the screen fades to black. Sometime later, Rob wakes and as his face sticks to the blood on the floor, we understand he has been knocked out for hours.

Once he is able to think, he is on the move, trying to find his pig. Although he seems to know where he is going, the audience doesn’t and sees someone, who in confusion or disorientation, try every way to out of the forest. Finally, he walks, face bloody, clothes filthy, hair, nails, all resemble someone who has been out on the streets and lost the will to care.

He makes it to the diner down the road and calls Amir, our millennial, who begrudgingly drives out to the edge of civilization, all the way murmuring, how this is not his problem. This sets up the second act.

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PIG, the directorial debut from Michael Sarnoski, is a compelling work of art. Throughout, the film surprises as Sarnoski, who along with his producing partner Vanessa Block, also wrote the screenplay, drives the mission of the two characters, who are now forced to confront the debilitating past, in order to heal.

Stunning performances from the ensemble cast electrify this gripping contemporary drama. PIG is captivating, compelling, poetic. A must see. In limited release, look for PIG in theaters.

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Country: USA.

Language: English.

Year: 2021.

Director: Michael Sarnoski.

Writer: Vanessa Block, Michel Snaroski.

Producer: Nicolas Cage, David Carrico, Adam Paulsen, Steve Tisch.

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin, Cassandra Violet, Julia Bray, Elijah Ungvary, Beth Harper, Brain Sutherland.

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