Banned from making films, Hasan is doubly frustrated that his muse, the actress Shiva, is working with other directors. His home life is faring no better. There are disagreements with his wife, and his aged mother is getting more and more detached from reality. But most galling of all, a serial killer is going about beheading Iran's finest filmmakers, yet Hasan remains unscathed. Why, when he is one of the greatest, is he being completely ignored? The hilarity and hi jinks that follow are quite unlike anything we've seen in Iranian cinema.Written by
Normally I don't really mind it when a director imitates the style of another director. If you liked the original, why complain about a copy? However, Mani Haghini's 2018 film "The Pig" is highly derivative of the Cohen Brother's satires, in a way that really makes you appreciate the craft of the brothers as filmmakers. Mani seems to have watched "The Big Lebowski" 40 times, then set out to make a self-indulgent movie about being a film director in Iran.
The other filmmaker make Mani seems to have been cribbing notes from is Woody Allen, in that both men often insist on starring and directing themselves in their own movies. Much as with Allen, Mani is a wildly unattractive man, who, when writing himself into his own fictional world has decided that a number of beautiful women are obsessed with him. His former leading lady, and mistress stops an movie scene she's starring in just because he's in the audience watching it be filmed. He even picks up a young, attractive stocker, who follows him around secretly filming him. Mani seems to think he has the sexual charisma of the rock stars that adorn the tacky graphic t-shirts he wears throughout the film.
Having said all this, Haghini does have some skill as a visual stylist. It's just unfortunate that for every striking image that Haghini conjures up, they get buried in all the elements of the film that aren't working, most notably the choppy editing. In the end I think this is a film that is worth skipping.
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