When I reached that scene, I almost stopped watching. It just seemed too over the top. It’s early in them movie so there’s no need for a spoiler alert. Nicolas Cage is trying to get some information where his Pig is and in order to do that, he must participate in a secret, underground fight club of restaurant workers.
Then again, I write about aliens, so who am I to scoff? But there had to be a reason for it. I’ve read reviews where people say the actual scenes weren’t important, it was the overall theme that was important. But writers don’t just do scenes for no reason. At least they shouldn’t. If one thing writing for a living for three decades has taught me it’s that every scene must serve a purpose. Actually, it should serve two: arc character and move the plot forward.
So what this scene of Cage putting his hands behind his back and getting pummeled while on the clock?
Because, besides moving the plot in terms of getting the next clue to where his pig is, it’s representative of grief. That grief is accepting pain and not fighting back. Of absorbing every horrible blow that is thrown at you and not battling it, but accepting, because that is the only way we can actually move forward in life. Cage suffered terrible grief, but while it beat him down, he persevered. Thus the scene actually makes great sense, despite stretching the bounds of credulity.
The fight scene in Pig shows that Robin Feld’s name is still worth something. The man pays to beat the shit out of Robin. I suspect the man worked for Robin at some point. Instead of taking the money Robin takes information from Edgar.
I think it shows how morally bankrupt the restaurant industry is. The workers are abused and this abuse needs an outlet.
What I can’t really understand is who usually gets beaten… Rob says that « if your name means something they’ll bid high »… also what even is there to bid against ? Dennis lasts 10 seconds and gets $500… The rules are really unclear.
The person who bids the highest gets to do the punching.
Great insight. Thank you
Obviously Rob did something to the guy back in the day like fire him for “Overcooking the noodles” like the guy who should’ve owned his own pub. So this is payback
I’m not clever enough to fully analyze most films, but I’m guessing this one may have been some broad commentary on the restaurant industry.
In the fight club, the food service workers earn their money by taking as long a beating as possible without fighting back.
Arguably that’s just a more literal version of their entire work experience.
I think what the directors are saying is he knows he has to endure this procedure (fight club) to get the respect needed to receive the information he needs to find his pig. Going forward, I’d even suggest this “pig” represents the love he had for his late wife. He never dealed with her passing, and when the realization of his beloved pig had died, all of the loss and grief he’d been carrying was released. Great movie.
All these replies are really interesting, but I think this one is closest to the mark. When Robin subjected himself to this beating, he was prostrating himself in front of the creepy guy who was running the fight who had earlier refused to give him the information. But the film also definitely suggests that Robin left Portland not only because of the grief he felt for his wife but because of the direction that industry was heading–now manifesting itself in this totally degrading fight club, the waitress’s absurdly pretentious introduction to the “deconstructed scallops,” and the cynical evil of Amir’s father whose profit-driven world it had become since Robin left it. A wonderful movie with a very satisfying ending–even though, of course, we all mourn the loss of that wonderful pig.
Please add in to your article there are spoilers in the comments. I don’t know why I searched this out after seeing this fight scene but I had definitely not watched the ending yet. I felt safe after seeing your note of no spoilers. But the comments ruined the movie for me.
110% this. I agree with idiot. These comments are full of unexpected spoilers and now i am sad.
You’ll get over it
This is the dumbest movie I have ever seen 😂
How about watching a movie all the way through before turning to websites to explain a scene. This is on you
Wild idea. Like for all they know, this could have been explained later in the movie. But no, straight to google. Stupid.
Someone just ruined the movie for me. I looked up the fight club scene just to see if I’d missed something obvious.
Then someone says “when he finds out….”
Lesson learned: don’t do that next time. Wait until the end of the movie to search for answers about scenes.
(It sucks, and I know, because I’ve made this mistake before.)
This is the dumbest movie I have ever seen 😂
Admittedly, I was confused and found this garbage heap of comments after the scene. It never ceases to amaze me that people are so angry with their lives that they have to complain online. Apparently the pig dies? I deserved that spoiler for watching an art film, and expecting someone else to interpret it for me. I’ll still watch the rest.. the movie is about loss, and holding onto something you love. If your reading this don’t comment anymore, go do something authentic with your life that makes you happy.
Who was the actor who pummeled Cage in the “fight club” scene?
I was sure it was Michael J. Fox – but he’s not found in the credits (on IMDB), and I didn’t catch the character’s name, so if it wasn’t Fox, I couldn’t identify the actor.
It definitely wasn’t even a little bit Michael J Fox. I’ll comment again if I remember tonwatch the credits and find out.
Fantastic film. Very existential and subjective if that’s your thing. I don’t know why people keep calling it a “fight club” as the fighting is really only one-sided. Looks like the highest bidder who gets off on this violence pays poor, down and out people to take a beating. There was a similar book/movie about destitute people being hunted of which I forget the name. I thought the most poignant line in the movie was when Cage says he doesn’t need the pig to find truffles. The trees tell you where the truffles are. From a Buddhist view the pig would be the material thing(s) in life we cling to (spouse, kids, fancy car, etc.) that make us “happy” but will ultimately vanish and lead to suffering which is why we have to look beyond these things (within ourselves, nature, perhaps God) for lasting happiness.
Ok so the fight scene seems pretty far out right? Well truth be told the real Portland Pig fight was just as dramatic https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/2010/05/portland_pig_cook-off_followed.html
Was the real Pig Fight the inspiration for the movie?
How did he know about it, and most importantly, did he participate when he was a chef