PIG (KHOOK) (2018)
Starring Hasan Majuni, Leila Hatami, Leili Rashidi, Parinaz Izadyar, Mina Jafarzadeh, Aynaz Azarhoosh, Ali Bagheri, Siamak Ansari and Ali Mosaffa.
Screenplay by Mani Haghighi.
Directed by Mani Haghighi.
Distributed by Daricheh Cinema. 108 minutes. Not Rated.
Screened for The 1st Iranian Film Festival New York.
Absurdist parodies of pretentious show biz types know no cultural or geopolitical boundaries.
This Iranian black comedy has been turning heads on the festival circuit, with a film that is globally recognizable as well as specific to its homeland.
Hassan (Hasan Majuni) is an unbelievably self-obsessed film director who has hit hard times and can only obsess about his quickly ebbing celebrity. He walks around, shabbily dressed in old-school classic rock t-shirts (including AC/DC, Black Sabbath and KISS), acting and feeling superior to other filmmakers who are working when he is not.
He has been blacklisted from filmmaking for some vague reason – obviously political, but writer/director Haghighi is subtle enough to not make a big point of the politics of the matter. Hassan seems way too self-centered to be worried about politics. In the meantime, he has been reduced to making exceedingly arty television commercials for bug spray.
Therefore, he spends his time berating his former co-workers and even his leading lady mistress for taking jobs with other filmmakers. He can’t understand how anyone would put their needs above his.
This is all happening in the background of a serial killer, who is beheading famous Iranian directors, including his best friend. In yet another show of his shallowness, Hassan is less upset about the deaths than the fact that the killer doesn’t find his work worthy of killing him, too.
We spend a few days with Hassan, his family, his mistress, his best friend and his stalker. The humor is broad and the storyline fantastical, but it’s also often very funny. It has some trenchant things to say about art, the ubiquity of social media and the fragility of the human ego.
Things get away from Haghighi towards the end, but for most of its run Pig is a surprisingly clever and incisive parody.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2019 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 13, 2019.