Director : Kieron Hawkes
Stars : Ed Skrein, Paul Anderson, Martin Compston
Joe, a mild mannered young man, is bored of his life.When his beloved brother is murdered, Joe finds solace in Piggy, one of his brother’s old friends.Piggy helps Joe to cope with grief, intent on saving him and helping him get justice for his brother’s killing. As their friendship grows, Joe finds himself in an increasingly dangerous and murky world of violence and revenge. As Joe’s life collapses around him, he starts to question who Piggy really is and how honest he’s really been with him.
That’s right, this is another of those gritty, violenty, gangsterery films set in London. I have to say I’m pretty tired of this genre now after such appalling recent efforts like “St George’s Day”, so I never really held much hope for “Piggy” going into it. However, I’d never heard of the director before as this is his first, and at this time only film directed (he also directed “The Mimic”, a sitcom for channel 4), so you know, new blood on the scene, maybe I was about to see a fresh approach to the genre such as Ben Wheatley’s with the impressive “Kill List”. Well within seconds I realised that wasn’t the case as the cliched cockney narration kicked straight in.
Really the opening character developing narration scene just felt like filler. We watched our protagonist, Joe (Compston) walk around from place to place in slow motion as he drawled the script out, this happens at many points during the film and for me it had the impact of a commercial break. Just be a little more subtle, I don’t need a run down of what’s been going on every ten minutes, I think I can work out what’s going on and remember it from scene to scene without these slow motion, walking through a graveyard type narration scenes, Stop reminding me I’m watching a film.
Anyway, those scenes were the second biggest problem I had with this film. After the initial “Hi, I’m Joe” scene I did find myself getting into it as Joe’s brother, John (Neil Maskell), makes his entrance. As the star of the aforementioned “Kill List”, Maskell’s performance gained him much praise and a much deserved award nomination. He’s an actor I enjoy watching at work and thought maybe he was going to drag this film from below average to above, he was sure stealing the show in the scenes he was in, until, well if you’ve read the synopsis you know what happens and unfortunately it’s about fifteen minutes into the film.
So then Piggy (Anderson) shows up. Now, I’m not sure exactly how to describe Paul Anderson’s performance in detail, I’ll just say that in my opinion, he went slightly over the top. The whole scene where he shows up at Joe’s door is almost surreal in it’s over dramatic feel. I mean, it’s basically a man knocking on a door that’s made to look and feel something like a Japanese ghost story, blue tint and all. So yeah, Piggy comes in, chews a bit of scenery and the film goes down hill.
Right, so my biggest problem with the film is “The main female character”. Does she have a name? Hang on… Oh yeah, Claire. Claire is played by Louise Dylan. Now, I’ve not seen much of her work, so I’m not going to judge her as an actress from this, I mean, I can’t, she’s got absolutely nothing to work with. It’s really poor when you’re watching a film and actually noticing how shockingly underwritten a character is. If you thought Bella Swan was undeveloped, well Claire makes her look like Scarlett O’Hara. She’s just there because, well, doesn’t every film have to have a female character somewhere? I guess so. Louise Dylan is pretty, she’ll do.
So Claire is introduced to Joe by John early on and it’s apparent by the way she touches him that she fancies him. Why she fancies him, we don’t know. Then we see her next at John’s deathbed as to comfort Joe. Then Joe visits her a few times and yeah, she has a boyfriend who’s a total cock, why she’s with him, we don’t know.Well it doesn’t take a genius to know how that story line is going to turn out. But who is Claire? There’s one scene where she’s literally following Joe around London because he’s trailing one of his brother’s murderers. They’re supposed to be on like a friend date or something, and he’s acting all erratic and changing his direction and she’s just like, “But Joe, I thought you said… Oh okay”. There’s one bit in this scene where she says something about wanting to go to college, but this dialogue is only there to kind of show how distracted Joe is and that he’s totally ignoring her. I wonder if she ever did go to college. I hope so.
There you go. I did not enjoy “Piggy”. But that’s me. I didn’t like “Snatch”. You probably did. You’ll probably like “Piggy”. All I’ll say is I think it’s slow, not good slow like a Michael Haneke film, bad slow like a health and safety video you have to sit through in work, one of the less funny ones, has astonishingly under developed characters, cliched, and you’ll see the ending coming a mile off. Otherwise it’s a violent masterpiece!!!