This film is a must-watch for any fan of 48 Hours.
The relationship of the pig and goat is incredible . The way they physically interact with each other alone is enough to convey the hierarchy of the farm (goat is obviously higher class than pig). By giving the animals voices Fireworks humanises them and makes the audience feel genuine empathy and guilt when we see the first pig get shot. There is a terrific black comic moment where the pig starts listing off family members who have been killed by the "metal stick" and the goat just ignores him. Again the class structure is reinforced; goats don't get killed for slaughter and therefore doesn't have empathy for the pigs. It is a shame that this plot line is kind of abandoned and we never get to see how this complex relationship ends.
There are scenes in this movie that made me stop and think deeply about the definition of cinema. There is a medium shot from behind someone eating breakfast that seems to go on longer than the candle-scene of Andrei Rublev. During this scene I experienced an entire spectrum of emotions and opinions towards this film's existence. At first I was confused as to what the purpose of this shot was since it seemed that the subject of the shot (the bacon) was obscured from vision anyway. Then I started to laugh at how ridiculous this seemingly unnecessary shot seemed to be lasting. Once the laughter had passed (and the shot still continued) I had an epiphany; we (the entire audience), were at the mercy of these filmmakers, an entire audience was literally watching an unidentifiable person eat an invisible breakfast. After this realisation I started to see this scene in an entirely new light; the shot suddenly became so familiar that I started to take notice of the minor subtleties; movements of the character, the mise en scene of the kitchen and the sounds of the cutlery scraping against plate and/or bacon. My new-found attention to the shot's detail allowed me to visualise the bacon, the character and the motivation of the shot. Suddenly I understood the shot's purpose and exactly how this masked figure represented the evil of animal consumption.
The finale of the film is a phone conversation between the farmer and an unknown relative/friend; the visuals of the entire scene is a black screen. This scene actually completely ignores the plot of animal abuse and the talking animals established earlier in the film, instead introducing the farmer's search for a new apartment. This sudden change in narrative direction leads us to the bombshell punchline that I won't spoil in this review. Needless to say, jaws dropped. As a result of the black screen I again questioned what the definition of cinema really was; if there is no visuals is it still film? Does a black screen count as visuals? If the scene stood on its own would it still be considered a film? These unanswered questions stay with me even now.
Despite all this joking, I do actually love this movie. It is quite apparent that Team Fireworks had a lot of fun making it and that positive attitude translates to the audience. This film has the true spirit of 48 Hours; Fireworks has jumped in with low budget, low-quality tech and made a movie that is fun and feels like it was fun to make. I am giving this film full-stars despite the fact that I cannot defend the quality or understanding of cinematic language. However, the purpose of 48 Hours is to go out and have fun making a movie, that you probably never would have made otherwise. This is a truly special movie and it deserves your attention. Great job Team Fireworks! Never change.