A bumbling pig farmer, a feisty salon owner, a sensitive busboy, an expat architect and a disenchanted rich girl converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs float down the river towards a rapidly-modernizing Shanghai.
A bumbling pig farmer, a feisty salon owner, a sensitive busboy, an ambitious expat architect and a disenchanted rich girl converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs float down the river towards a rapidly modernizing Shanghai, China. Based on true events.
As a local Shanghainese, this film perhaps means a little more to me than others. Dead Pigs is more about the city than any characters, it is a biopsy on one of the fastest growing and changing cities in the World, and what it opens is a group of really interesting characters who represent each sectors of Shanghai society relatively well while also painting a picture of how the city affects these people both mentally and physically. Cathy Yan does a great job at constructing these societal issues into her film, but unfortunately while the formula is right, the ingredients feels forced. The biggest issue of all is the casting of Mason Lee who is very obviously an ABC and simply does not fit in the film. The film might work better for a Western oriented audience as it does feel disconnected from local culture (even though it does address societal issues very well, but feels very much through Western lenses), but at the same time Western audience would certainly have trouble understanding the nuisances which places the film in an awkward conundrum. Nevertheless, the film explores unique issues and documents a very unique period of city development of my hometown.
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