BluRay/DVD Reviews

PIG (Kino Lorber)

By • Mar 3rd, 2014 •

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Amnesia is a convenient yet risky trope in movies. We’ve seen it a lot, especially these days, so we expect certain cliches to come with it. Characters suffering from it display similar behavior patterns, such as wandering around aimlessly and pushing away people who are trying to help. And boy does our hero flaunt these tropes like a new pair of jeans. Still, I can’t help but be intrigued at the in-depth mystery PIG has set up for us. This is definitely a thinking movie.

We begin this adventure seeing our hero waking up in the middle of the desert with his hands tied behind his back. We see him wander around a bit before he’s discovered by a woman named Isabel (Heather Ankenny). He realizes that he has no idea where he is or who he is, with the only clue to his past being a piece of paper in his pocket that reads “Manny Elder”. So he goes on a quest to find out who he is, unearthing tons of clues along the way.

Now I’m going to have to say SPOILER ALERT, because this entire film is fueled by it’s ending. The last 15 minutes explain everything you’ve seen so far, and in a very SIXTH SENSE fashion. So if you want to find out all these things for yourself, then stop right here… Okay, you brave souls, let’s continue.

As it turns out, our hero is part of a test that’s being run by every other character we meet in the film. They’re testing the properties of amnesia and the subject’s desire to find out who he/she is. Throughout the film our test subject finds himself back in the desert where he started. Turns out, that’s the test being “reset” after something went wrong, such as chance meetings with old friends that aren’t part of the test. This keeps going until eventually the test subject ignores the opportunities to find out about his/her past, and prefers the new life given to them. The film ends with our hero settling down with Isabel, who was an actress all along, and abandoning the “Manny Elder” paper all together.

I’ll admit, up until everything was explained I was shouting out loud “what on earth is going on?” Anyone seeing this film will be expected to put their thinking caps on and to try, with the protagonist, to put the pieces together. I’d be impressed if anyone could figure it out before the end. I watched the whole thing again, knowing the ending, and found a ton of clues I missed the first time. The special features include many Q&As at different film festivals, which is nice as it answers a lot of questions I had after watching.

If you like INCEPTION or MEMENTO, then this film is defiantly for you. PIG is a mind boggling, twisty-turny sci-fi amnesia film that keeps you wondering what’s going to happen next. At 90 minutes, it’s the perfect length, not overstaying it’s welcome, and giving you just enough to make you want more.

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