Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
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The Tiger Hunter
There really hasn’t been a shortage of films documentary the desire of immigrants to make a better life for themselves in America. Everyone from Eddie Murphy comedies to full on dramas starring Leonardo Dicaprio have gifted us with tales of hope and optimism in becoming something greater than they were on across the pond. However, they have slowly faded over the years, leaving us with gangster stories, tales of failure and oppression, and no more light hearted tales of hope. Lena Khan has vowed to bring back that feeling of hope and excitement with her latest directorial and writing debut in The Tiger Hunter. A movie that just exudes charm and optimism, while dancing very heavily with the well worn comedic and dramatic tropes that have been the staple of these types of films for generations.
Community’s Danny Pudi is Sami Malick, a brilliant engineer who wants to make something more of himself. His father was a legendary tiger hunter in India, but gave up his gun, his possessions, and everything that “made him a legend” to give his son a fantastic education in the best British schools. However, Sami’s talents are sorely wasted in a small Indian village, where the best he can hope for is fixing televisions and old radios for next to nothing. The only thing that gives him hope is his lifelong crush, Ruby (Karen David). Deciding to strike out and make a name for himself in America, Sami heads off to Chicago where he has an engineering job waiting for him. Only thing is, by the time he flies 8,000+ miles to his destination, the job has evaporated due to budget cuts. This leaves the young man with a 6 month work visa, and no way of earning money so that he can continue his stay here in the land of the free.
With that hanging over his head, Sami takes a low level, mediocre, job as a drafter at the same place where he was SUPPOSED to be hired as an engineer, and slogs through his days figuring out how he can attain his dreams. While he doesn’t have a high paying job, he DOES get a place to stay thanks to a Pakistani immigrant named Babu (Rizwan Manji), who allows him to stay at his apartment with 10 other highly trained engineers who are ALL trying to get something better than the blue collar jobs they are forced to do. When Sami realizes that Ruby’s military father is coming to America with her to seek out possible suitors, Sami and Babu hatch a bit of a hair brained plan to snow Ruby and her dad into thinking that he is a successful engineer and win the love of his life.
With all the ups and downs, and genre cliches, The Tiger Hunter actually plays out rather well. The good old “hope and dreams” of the film may feel a bit outdated with the bitter outlook most have had upon the economy in general, but Lena Khan and Sameer Gardizi (of Modern Family fame) have so much enthusiasm for the subject matter that you just can’t help but get sucked into the cute little dramedy. Combined with some stellar performances across the board, The Tiger Hunter is a charming little film that has just the right amount of heart to make it sweet, and just the right amount of humor to have you chuckling.
Not Rated by the MPAA
• Original Theatrical Trailer
The Tiger Hunter follows a well worn path, but its constant exuberance and optimism allows it to rise about the genre tropes that it wallows in, creating a surprisingly entertaining dramedy. Danny Pudi is fantastic as the lead in the film, and even Jon Heder does rather well as the straight man, for once. The movie just exudes charm and simple excitement, and the extra featurette included on the disc show just how much fun Lena Khan had making the movie as well. Shout Factory once again gives us very good technical specs for the film, with my ONLY complaint being so few extras for being a Shout Factory Select movie. Recommended as a solid watch.
Starring: Danny Pudi, Rizwan Manji, Jon Heder
Directed by: Lena Khan
Written by: Sameer Asad Gardezi, Lena Khan
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Studio: Shout Factory
Runtime: 94 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: January 9th, 2018
Recommendation: Solid Watch