Dead Pigs Review
The year before, everyone wanted to be aware of what Cathy Yan was. In the DC Extended Universe had just received a bold revamp by Harley Quinn's solo movie Birds Of Prey, and Yan was the director to be thanked. She's only made one film before, the sly social satire Dead Pigs. The lucky ones who saw it at this year's Sundance Film Festival — the place where it debuted before it was released in China — shouldn't be surprised by the impressive performance that was Birds Of Prey. What about us, the rest of us? What if watching Dead Pigs in 2021, due to a delayed streaming release, is like stepping back into the future. The novel is not new, but we've already seen how wonderful Yan's personal journey will be.
The filmmaker focuses her attention on an odd event from 2013, where more than 16,000 dead pigs were floating across the Shanghai's Huangpu River. However, Yan doesn't care about an answer to the mystery — the animals here are the reason to throw a society into chaos. We observe through the eyes of five people who are key to the story.
It's packed with shrewd ideas on making and secure the ideal world for yourself.
The salon owner, the farmer the waiter, the architect, and the rich girl are all victims of the capitalist world and are bound by the social and economic crisis resulted from these mysterious deaths. The death of these pigs places the farmer who raises pigs Old Wang (Haoyu Yang) in financial troubles. The son of Old Wang, Wang Zhen (Mason Lee, the son of Ang) is a hard-working waiter, risks his life to attempt to pay additional cash. The sister of the farmer, who is apathetic but smart owner of a beauty parlour Candy Wang (Vivian Wu) refuses to let them let their home be sold to give him more money. Her home is the only structure standing against American designer Sean Landry's (David Rysdahl) plan to raze the countryside of Shanghai to build a brand new apartment complex which seems to be the reason why it will be re-creating Barcelona's most iconic places to be. Then there's the rich woman Xia Xia (Meng Li) after forming an acquaintance with Wang Zhen, quickly realises that money cannot purchase happiness (who did they think?) and is attempting to cope with the anxiety and guilt.
The intricate narrative of the network may run out of steam with less care however Yan is able to keep things fresh with a sharp script along with a lively aesthetic style that helped define Birds Of Prey. The nifty sound cues and the spontaneous musical tracks are lively, and never boring; bars that are soaked in magenta as well as a shabby house with turquoise paint look like Yan's personal colors of warpaint.
Dead Pigs appeals to all struggling to keep up with an ever-changing world that's always looking for the next trend. The story is about a city that's torn between modernity and tradition and where an aspiring youthful Chinese woman who is obsessed with the Step Up, the 2006 Channing Tatum dance film Step Up needs to find her worth just as an unsecure American architect who's been asked to construct an entirely new Sagrada Familia situated in the countryside. It's packed with smart ideas about striving to create and preserve the ideal world for yourself. As history has shown, Yan is far more than capable of rising to the occasion. Yan only asks that we continue to improve.