Borrowing from equal parts The Revenant, First Reformed, and Taken, 2021’s PIG offers a subversive portrait of an acclaimed chef who chooses to abandon it all to live in the wild with his beloved truffle pig.
And yet, while PIG could be the cousins to these films, it’s a unique breed in and of itself. Nicholas Cage doesn’t play Rob the chef in the style of camp, rather, he plays the role earneslty while the ensemble cast reacts around him. One might suspect Cage engaged in some method acting to get into the role of the hermit chef.
Rob (Nicholas Cage) discovers a corrupt underground racketeering ring that looks to steal his pig as collateral. Whereas Rob has begun to see his truffle hunting pig as a companion, his former business associates continue to see his beloved pig as a product. As Rob, Cage expresses his abject horror at the continued abuse of mammals as stock in a capitalist scheme.
Elements of David Lynch absorb itself into the film with a hint of Sofia Coppola. Portland, Oregon is highlighted in stunning landscape shots but don’t linger, rather, they cut away to an acerbic and fast-paced moments that boldly underlines the soul of the film. Yes, there is a protagonist who is myopically centered on his journey, but Cage plays the role in such a way that he blossoms into the rhythms of his cast. This is a film that begs you to mock it, but you instead walk away with a further understanding of a Zen concept of life.
The film itself is broadly set around the decaying planet. Cage’s protagonist does not seek the wasted potential of late-stage capitalist fame, but rather a symbiotic relationship with the region he’s in (Portland, Oregon) and the rapidly declining earth that surrounds him.
PIG is available to stream on Hulu.