Another in a long line of films about put-upon filmmakers, Mani Haghighi’s Pig attempts to mix up the formula with wild tonal shifts and surreal comedy with varying levels of success. Pig‘s focus is Hasan, a blacklisted filmmaker with a penchant for dad-rock band t-shirts who’s fast fading from relevance. He’s pining for his one-time muse, actress Shiva Mohajer, all the while dealing with the antics of his distant wife, his daughter and his overprotective mother. The hook is that directors are being methodically hunted down and executed, with their heads put on display by the killer but Hasan, vain as he is, is mad that he’s not yet been targeted.

The film zig-zags so much throughout its running time that it feels clumsily cobbled together, as surprising and funny as it can be. His vanity and narcissism leads to hijinks, which lead to more hijinks, but it isn’t all that compelling as we’re lurched from one strange sequence to the next. That said, the film still has its moments – while it’s nothing that hasn’t been seen before, Hasan’s overly protective mother and her penchant for weapons gets reliable laughs.

Pig takes some big swings, but while some of the more outlandish moments provide some laughs the moments of sincerity in between feel clunky, despite lead actor Hasan Majuni’s best efforts to make them land. Despite this, Kalari’s often striking photography lends the film some punch, even as it veers from a narrative about a vain, self indulgent sad-sack has-been artist to a bemusing commentary on trial by social media.

For better and for worse, Pig is an unpredictable and surreal exploration of an artist’s vanity that completely loses itself in the third act, leading towards a conclusion that’s as dark as it is unearned and out of place.



CAST: Hasan Majuni, Leila Hatam, Leili Rashidi, Parinaz Izadyar, Mina Jafarzadeh , Aynaz Azarhoosh, Ali Bagheri, Siamak Ansari, Ali Mosaffa 

DIRECTOR: Mani Haghighi

WRITER: Mani Haghighi

SYNOPSIS: A blacklisted director struggles with being ignored by a killer beheading filmmakers in Tehran.