A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped.
The loose synopsis of ‘Pig’ centres on a truffle hunter who lives off the grid, who is drawn back into city life to hunt down the people who kidnapped his prized truffle pig. From this description you may be expecting something akin to ‘John Wick’, especially with the casting of Nicolas Cage in the leading role, but I was surprised to find that ‘Pig’ is a film that is more interested in marching to the beat of its own drum. Cage is an actor who is often derided these days, mainly on account of the sheer volume of movies he appears in on a yearly basis, many of which are not particularly good, but there are some gems in there that go alongside some of his finest performances from the 80s and 90s. ‘Pig’ belongs right up there with the best of them.
Cage stars as Rob, who we meet leading an isolated life out in the Oregon wilderness with his truffle pig who helps him search for the highly prized and valuable food item in the nearby forests. We learn that he used to be a renowned chef, and his isolation is partially a response to the tragic death of his wife years earlier. Cage’s performance is soulful, grief ridden and highly compelling and its one of his finest performances in years. After his pig is stolen, he returns to Portland with the help of Amir (Alex Wolff), a supplier who has been buying truffles from Rob for the past few years. This takes Rob and Amir on a journey through Rob’s past as a chef with some interesting diversions, ultimately taking Rob back to the restaurant where he used to work.
It could be described as a revenge thriller but that would do a disservice to a film that is much more thoughtful and interested in the effects of grief on a man, and Cage is genuinely brilliant. As much as anything it’s about a man rediscovering himself and on that path I thought there were moments of genuine warmth and great beauty. ‘Pig’ is one of those rare movies, a movie that can constantly challenge and surprise you, subverting expectations of what you thought it would be. I thought it was an excellent movie and well worth seeking out.
Directed By: Michael Sarnoski
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff and Adam Arkin