Saturday, July 17, 2021

Movie with Abe: Pig

Directed by Michael Sarnoski
Released July 16, 2021

There are people who prefer to live away from society, and because much of civilization stays within such close proximity to others, that manner of existence can be seen as unusual, and to some, objectionable. Anyone accustomed to being around others at all times may find it difficult if not impossible to understand how someone who hasn’t had that experience might not want or be prepared for it, even if circumstances force it to be the case. Any immersion back into a life long left behind can be trying and full of conflict.

Rob (Nicolas Cage) spends his time hunting for truffles with his loyal pig by his side, content to interact only with those he absolutely must, which is mainly Amir (Alex Wolff), the man who purchases what he’s selling. Rob’s peaceful routine is brutally disrupted when his pig is stolen, prompting him to pursue every possible avenue to find it. His search brings him back into the culinary world, a more polished and urban environment that he’s used to given his wilderness lifestyle. Rob has no desire to reacquaint himself with his past but wants nothing more than to find his beloved pig.

Cage is an actor known for over-the-top performances in action and genre movies, but he has a history of truly quality roles scattered in between the showier paycheck roles. The Oscar winner for “Leaving Las Vegas” and nominee for “Adaptation” delivers a grounded turn as Rob, a man whose patience for other people is minimal and who has deliberately chosen the way he wants to live, only to be drawn back in because he wasn’t left alone. It’s most reminiscent of his focused portrayal of anger in the extremely underrated “Joe,” absent of much happiness and probing the motivations and emotions of a man living on the fringes of society.

Cage is the only actor with a good deal of screen time, though Wolff and Adam Arkin do turn in fine work as his most frequent associates. This film’s title is indicative of what Rob cares about, and as a result there’s not too much else which is featured over the course of the film’s ninety-minute runtime. Like an acclaimed film from last year, “First Cow,” this film explores the bond between men and animals in a way that’s far more intellectually expressive than actually full of watchable or invigorating content.


No comments: