Pig ★★★★


What Pig demonstrates is both a subversion of the revenge sub-genre and a deceptive layer of modern indie tropes. The first act is pure noxious set-up for our dismantled expectations in the remaining hour. Beginning as a blank slate for our preconceptions of what Rob (Nicolas Cage) is capable of, and the violence he might or should inflict, the film instead offers connection and empathy as ammunition rather than bloodshed. Our protagonist is just asking to be understood. For a film that keeps everything so close to the vest, the final thirty minutes are emotionally overwhelming. Scene after scene of puzzle pieces finding their place, the story gaining momentum in scale and detail. A simple conversation set in a bakery drove me to tears. Nicolas Cage is a powerhouse, not in his usual register and yet it carries a low hum of an electric charge. This is a performance that renders trauma and grief in a very physical way. Not only is much of it unspoken, but Rob as a character feels uniquely lived in. It's quite a feat to observe, and so is this movie.

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