Nicholas Cage is Rob, a talented Chef turned recluse after losing his wife. His only companion is a truffle-hunting pig that is taken from him. Rob will stop at nothing until the pig is recovered. If you are expecting Taken meets Mandy, you are in for a disappointment! Michael Sarnoski makes his feature-length directorial debut in a film exploring loss with a slow-burning journey through the seedy culinary underground of Portland Oregon.
Nicholas Cage is a very talented actor with a lot of depth. This film is one of his more subtle performances, an odd statement to say about Cage. Rob was at the peak of the Portland food scene when his wife passed, and he left professional cooking behind. She was his partner in all things and he retreated into the woods to avoid dealing with his grief. He still has a passion for cooking as the mason jars lining his cabin demonstrate. He prepares wonderful meals for himself and the pig that would fit right into any New American high-end restaurant. When the pig is taken, he must confront his grief.
As we journey to find the pig, we come across Darius and his son Amir. They had a falling out after their wife/mother took ill. Struggling to deal with their grief, a rift formed, and they no longer speak regularly despite being in the same line of work. A magical meal prepared by Rob binds everyone together, including the wives. The film explores grief through several masculine lenses and allows the viewer to map their life experiences into the story.
The first time you hear about this film or my opening few sentences, it will set you up with the wrong expectations. This is not Taken, this is not John Wick, this is not Mandy. I would love to see a Nicholas cage version of that surrounding a truffle pig, but this is not that film. Instead, this is a surprising exploration of grief that is well-acted. The storyline has twists and turns, and you are always guessing where it will lead next. There are plenty of surprises in store for the viewer once you accept what this film is not.