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Darin and Sinead have been friends since birth, giving each other the nicknames of “Pig” and “Runt” and constructing an imaginary world together. But as they near adulthood concerned parents and teachers consider separating the two, sending Pig on a violent downward spiral as Runt’s eyes are opened to the possibility of a world without him.
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The debut feature length film by director Kirsten Sheridan, daughter of Jim, is an adaptation of Enda Walsh’s play of the same name. A dark coming of age tale, it focuses on a pair of social misfits who call each other Pig (Murphy) and Runt (Cassidy.) Born on the same day and growing up in houses next door to each other, they develop a powerful bond, going so far as to break a hole in the wall between their homes so they can sleep holding hands.
At first this seems like a rather common tale, of two young people who don’t fit in anywhere except with each other. But this is no quirky indie comedy about how a relationship changes as people grow older. To everyone else, the bond between Pig and Runt is clearly a dangerous one. They push each other on to cause mischief, but these acts reveal far more than they might imagine - one such occasion, a catalyst of sorts, is when a teacher shows their parents a class picture defaced by the teenage pair. She mentions that, when asked to write about what they wanted to be when they left school, Pig answered “King” and Runt answered “Queen.” So separated are they by the rest of the world that they have little time for its general morals and etiquette; it does not take a doctor to see the psychological ramifications of such behaviour.
Kirstan Sheridan’s direction is workmanlike but adequate. Having cut her teeth on short films, she has a knack for directing the film’s funnier moments and utilises some astonishing sequences, such as the opening scene in which we watch Sinead being born and her very first meeting with fellow newborn Darin. The screenplay from Enda Walsh, based on his own play, features some wonderful moments of interaction between the two main characters, as well as their dealings with others. Pig and Runt speak to each other in strangely constructed sentences. The moment when their dreamlike worldview comes crashing headlong into reality is shocking and ultimately moving.
Darin and Sinead, Pig and Runt, have enough realism about them to make their story sadly plausible. Disco Pigs does an admirable job of showing us the great love that can exist between two people utterly devoted to each other, and the dangers of that love overshadowing everything else in their lives.