Film Review: Piggy

A British independent film, Piggy is a thriller with a mean streak. But for all its posturing, the film comes up short.

Joe is a socially uncomfortable young man who lives a routine lifestyle. Joe’s older brother John acts very much as a protector. After one tragic night, Joe finds solace in Piggy. With Piggy guiding him, Joe is led down a dangerous path of revenge…

The most crucial defect of Piggy is that it becomes boring. The set up is fine, but the narrative becomes repetitive. The same type of scene is repeated over and over, with little breaking up this monotony. Piggy does not really go anywhere, despite having numerous options to take. The dialogue is also unfortunate, at times feeling inauthentic or jarring.

Writer-director Kieron Hawkes sets Piggy up as an ambivalent character. Presumably the audience is meant to ponder over the nature of this character. The problem with this is that from the very first scene it is obvious that the existence of this character is in question. There are definite allusions to Fight Club, although Piggy does not work nearly as well as David Fincher’s film.

Piggy is a violent film, but one that shows little actual gore. Hawkes maximises the use of sound effects, rather than relying on strong images. The sound is very effective in making the audience imagine the very graphic action that is not depicted visually. Art direction in Piggy is also good. The dankness of surroundings is effectively conveyed, with some of the locations appearing particularly grim.

Martin Compston offers an uneven performance as protagonist Joe. For the most part he is fine, but occasionally he does not emit the emotion expected. Neil Maskell is believable in a small role, while Paul Anderson is well cast as Piggy. Anderson is hindered by the script, however.

Most viewers are likely to find Piggy repetitive and dull. It is a shame that Hawkes’ film did not offer something more.

Piggy is released in cinemas on Friday 4th May, and available on DVD from 21st May 2012.