Disco Pigs is an Irish film released in 2001. It is the story of Runt (Elaine Cassidy, The Others, The Bay of Love and Sorrows) and Pig (Cillian Murphy, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 28 Days Later, Cold Mountain), two kids who might as well have been siblings.
Born within minutes of each other, they share a very special bond, which is explored gradually in this movie. It is best described as a romantic psychological thriller - thereby creating much of its own genre. Directed by 23-year-old Kirsten Sheridan, it is an unoriginal story coming vividly - and surprisingly - to life.
Runt's extreme naive beauty and the very boyish-rebellious looking Pig are the outward beauty of what is a very serious and gripping film.
The two main characters are true little terrors - extorting their peers for petty amounts of cash at first, but further developing into more sinister motives, slowly revealing a pattern of anti-social behaviour, psychopathic tendencies and acts of downright evil.
Superficially, this film is a story about love and ultimate sacrifice, it is also a movie portraying some of the more intricate parts of human behaviour.
When the two characters are separated from each other, their lives are tried to a level beyond what either of them have ever experienced before. As the two rank opposites who have spent the first 16 years of their lives balancing each other out, they have to learn how to go their separate paths - out of necessity, more than anything.
Production-wise, Disco Pigs is thorough and stylistically sound. A conscious use of colours, shapes, textures and moods. The sound track strongly contributes to setting and pushing the moods from phase to phase.
This film isn't for everybody: it is strange - maybe even weird - and the strong irish accents may well throw off audiences who are not used to it. Overall, however, it is a film that shows fragments of human life that are not normally explored on the silver screen: The story of two people who are so intrinsically linked that - when separated - they cease to function on a normal level, and slowly descend into a permanent state of obsession, confusion and frustration.
Disco Pigs is Trainspotting in a clever conversation with Milan Kundera. Romeo and Juliet flirting with Primo Levi. Jane Austen discussing the ideas of true and heart-felt love with Sebastian Faulks over a slice of hot apple pie, with Richard Kelly eagerly taking notes. A honest mixture of genres and exploration of the human mind, captured beautifully on 35mm strips of cellulite.
Warmly recommended, if you manage to give it a fair chance.