Looking at the DVD box for Pig, there is absolutely nothing to make an audience want to pick it up. The imaginative poster it had at its original screenings? Gone, replaced by generic action frame. A generic action tag line. A box blurb that mentions a character with amnesia. None of these things make the movie sound even remotely out of the ordinary. But Pig is a mind-blowing movie that requires the constant attention of the audience, and is a beautifully crafted labour of love from the director.
The Man (Martin) wakes up in a desert with a black bag over his head, with amnesia and the only clue to his existence being a note with the name “Manny Elder” written on it. He stumbles hopelessly until he is found and aided by Isobel (Ankeny) and eventually nursed back to health. From there, it’s the journey of this nameless man struggling to uncover whatever he can of his past.
The real strength of Pig is that it doesn’t just have one huge plot twist at the end like a lazier film might, but instead each revelation (of which there are many) brings the next set of questions that expand from them, and the audience is pulled along by that most irrepressible of desires: “I must know what happens!” To understand the plot of Pig by the end requires constant attention from the start, as many small aspects of the film become important. The script is also surprisingly solid, and some of the cinematography is very well focused and conceived.
Pig is a journey and an experience, which is what a great movie should be. It might be a bit obtuse at times, but at the very least you can feel as though the people who made it had a clear idea of what they wanted and cared about their movie.