Nicolas Cage has become his own genre. His legacy proceeds him with each film he appears in. You never really know what to expect. Whether it will be an action thriller with blood, guts and gore; or if the film will turn back again to the strong silent character actor routes. His unpredictability is what draws us to the screen to watch him in whatever he does next. His latest film may be called Pig, but this is most definitely a Nicolas Cage opus.
Once again Cage portrays the lead enigmatic character, with a mysterious past and an unexpected set of skills. All he has to do is stare at someone long enough and they completely crumple at his feet. Here, Cage is portraying the former famed ‘Chef Robin’ whose reputation hasn’t been forgotten despite being absent from the culinary world for years. With the prize pig missing, there is another mystery to be solved through the film: why did Chef Robin disappear all those years ago? Although the ‘pig’ subplot is slightly concerning for those worried about potential depicted animal cruelty, the actual central story is really all about Robin’s journey of self-acceptance.
Though Cage is front and centre, Alex Wolff as Amir is very close behind as an inexperienced and ambitious buyer, trying to prove his worth to his father. Amir is our way into finding out who Cage’s character really is, and we get to see his journey just as much as Robin’s. As well as being a mystery and revenge thriller — to an extent — the film also touches upon themes regarding grief and isolation, giving the main characters enough weight to prove themselves more than just the stereotypical one-dimensional characters you might expect at the start of the film. In the end, Pig is an unexpected character piece with depth and moments of pure tranquil bliss, mixed in with enough grit and blood that would usually make a casual appearance in a modern Nicolas Cage film.
Pig screened at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival as part of the ‘Galas’ strand.