The initial idea of this film is similar to the starting point of ‘John Wick’ – a guy is looking for his pet that somebody stole from him and he does everything that he can to get this pet back.
In this case this guy is Rob. He is also forced to use his old forgotten, long unused skills and finds out he can still do what he was so good at in the past. But what follows is drastically different. This film is not about a violent macho killer, but about a chef who remembers every person he has ever met and every meal he has ever prepared. He doesn’t talk much but when he does, he says only what is needed and important. And he sees people for who they really are – just human beings, with their dreams, hopes and weaknesses.
The tiled pig is his truffle pig. She has truffles for lunch. They are very expensive in the nearby Portland restaurants but they are free in the woods where they live. Rob makes himself a rustic mushroom tart and shares it with his pig. In Rob’s life there is no money involved. There’s an exchange of information, an exchange of different kinds of goods and food but not money. Human connections are based on more important values here, such as respect and friendship. His life is basic and simple, filled only with things that are worth caring about.
Rob goes through hell to get his pig back. He is badly beaten up, twice, but he never gives up. He is accompanied by Amir with whom he bonds over time and becomes like a father figure to him. Amir brings him to his real father Darius with whom he has a complicated love-hate relationship. Rob and Amir prepare a meal for Darius together. Apparently ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’ but they make it hot. And it works even better this way.
We expect Rob to explode any minute but he surprises us all the time. He doesn’t wash his face until the end. Only when his journey is fulfilled he washes the pain away in a stream. It’s a symbolic kind of catharsis. We suspect him of the worst things from the very beginning almost to the end but we soon realize that we are as wrong about him as Amir. We start to understand his real attachment to his pig, we see him compassionately talking to a little boy or Amir and others. And with time we also start to look at him differently.
‘Pig’ is a foodie film but unlike most of them, does not use food porn to glamorize the meals. It does however show food prepared with love, bringing feelings back and helping both Rob and Darius to come to terms with their grief and gives them a sense of redemption.