The Prodigal Son – A kidnapped pig.
United States of America. 15 years. Directed by Michael Sarnosky
With: Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin, David Neal
Robin Field (Nicolas Cage) became a hermit. He lives in a cabin in the woods outside of Portland, Oregon with only a truffle pig for company.
The only person Field sees regularly is Prince (Alex Wolff). He comes once a week to exchange the city’s black gold. Amir wears a suit and drives a yellow Camaro. An uproar of what we call civilization ages.
One night, Field and the Boar are attacked. Robin is beaten, and the pig is kidnapped. Paths lead primarily to someone methamphetamineHats off to living in a trailer, then to a restaurateur called the “King of Rare Ingredients” in Portland’s gourmet city.
Feld, who knows a thing or two about losing what he loves, decides to find the pig at any cost. He must have entered the city for the first time in at least ten years. Amir is driving.
It turns out that Feld, in the distant past, wasn’t just anyone. The man is a legend. Once, he was the chef, serving meals that guests will remember for years afterward. People still whisper his name with respect and awe. And now he’s back, like an angry and battered ghost in broad daylight.
What appears to be a movie about revenge in imitationare taken(2008) andJohn Wick(2014), after a while it becomes something completely different and more subtle. Michael Sarnosky’s film allows us to gradually get a feel for what caused Field to self-isolate in the wild, without ever saying it outright. The “pig” continues to peel onions until the last scene.
Along the way, he tackles the more annoying aspects of hip-food extremes: the chatter about “unpacking local ingredients,” the menus so pretentious that they often sound like quasi-religious statements, molecular gastronomy. The scene in which Field removes the chef’s self-portrait performed by David Knell is a very stressful one.
Sarnoski’s aversion to what he thinks is the hunt, and his enthusiasm for what he thinks is authentic, can certainly be viewed as populist by adventurous foodies. He clearly views crowding around the restaurant table as the silver of capitalism – as hard to defend as any other expensive luxury item.
‘Pig’ is well composed and confident, not least defining it, and allows itself a vague sequence that pulls it too far into surrealism – I think (keywords: «fight club»). Anyway, the movie’s greatest achievement is that it gives Nicolas Cage his best role since – oh, “Meteorologist – Meteorologist» (2005).
It can be said that Robinfield’s careers and cages have some similarities. Two decades ago, everyone agreed that Nicolas Cage was the main representative of his generation. Then it looked like something had exploded, after which Cage spent 20 years parodying his own talent in an unbelievable amount of spoiled films that made him stand up, scream, play absurdly and endlessly mock him. Memes and a YouTube montage (“Nicolas Cage loses his bullshit” would be a classic parade and always will be).
In “Pig”, the prodigal son returned, in a role that clearly depends on the biography of the actor and damages his professional reputation. Cage knows exactly what he needs to do, and provides Feld with an ingrained grief that feels painfully real. It’s powerful, yes definitely – intense is what Nicolas Cage does. But in a quiet way.
He’s back among the living, at least for a while.
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