How far will a man’s love for his pig take him? Now viewers can find out thanks to Michael Sarnoski’s new thriller, Pig, starring the one and only Nicolas Cage. Non-selective in his choice of performances, Cage has already stared in the 2021 releases Prisoners of Ghostland and Willy’s Wonderland, and now appears in the leading role in a film quite simply sold as a tale about a man who has his truffle pig stolen and wants her back.
However, Pig really isn’t as simple as that. Divided into three chapters, the narrative follows a truffle hunter by the name of Robin (Cage), who lives a quiet and simple life, alone in the Oregonian wilderness with his pig. When, one fateful, night his home is raided and pig stolen, Robin must return to his forgotten past with the assistance of his business client Amir (Wolff) if he is to have any hope of rescuing any future he can envisage with his pig.
Following some beautifully shot opening sequences, Pig initially presents itself as a run-of-the-mill revenge-seeking expedition, but it may catch audiences by surprise when it turns into something a little more reserved. The piece has a whole lot of heart and floats with a poetic elegance, avoiding the grime-filled underworld it could have blown towards and instead becoming a multi-character study into the fragility of two very different men.
Cage plays a character with significant depth for the first time in a few years, and the well-crafted dialogue builds this movie into more than just the simple story the tin suggests. The questions ringing through the first act of what or who Robin really was before truffle hunting provide an eye-opening alternative and ultimately engrossing culinary theme, sweeping the viewer away on a journey quite unlike any experienced before. Wolff is at first a petulant, rich, self-serving brat, desperately trying to break out of the shadow of his powerful father, but he certainly grows into one of the more likeable cast members once the layers begin peeling back.
Director Sarnoski picks through every scene in minute detail with a fine-tooth comb, caressing each movement and providing some exceptional visionary experiences that leave both the on-screen characters and the audience open-hearted, feeling Robin and Amir’s pain together. Henry Mancini’s accompanying score, coupled with a running classical theme, also aids the film’s progress in building an emotional and tiring journey, rather than an all-out mindless action thriller.
For too long now Cage has dished up overrated, cult fan service, each film in recent years trying to top the next in jaw-droppingly wild performances, but with Pig it is clear to see there is still an outrageously talented performer to witness, should the material and character be right. The film will certainly prove to be one of Cage’s more memorable performances. The only fault to flag is that there isn’t enough screen time for Pig. Everyone wants more Pig.
Pig is released nationwide on 20th August 2021.
Watch the trailer for Pig here: