The Tiger Hunter: Discovering and Defining Greatness

The Tiger Hunter follows Sami Malik’s (Danny Pudi) efforts to live up to his father’s success, who is known as the village’s greatest tiger hunter. Growing up in India, Sami observes the village people’s admiration for his father and it becomes his dream to someday be just as great. Now having earned a master’s degree in engineering, Sami receives his chance when he is offered an engineering position at a company in the US. However, everything falls through and he finds himself unemployed and living with 13 other highly skilled immigrants who are stuck doing menial jobs.

As Sami struggles to pursue the American dream in order to become his own “tiger hunter,” his late father repeatedly appears in his thoughts as a mentor, giving Sami sagely advice on how he can succeed in his journey. Adding more pressure on his shoulders, Sami finds out his childhood crush Ruby (Karen David) is traveling across the US with her father in search for a successful husband. With the help of his friends, over eager Babu (Rizwan Manji), easygoing Alex (Jon Heder) and his many roommates, Sami embarks on a journey to become a “professional American.”

Taking place in the 1970s, the film delightfully displays a colorful array of costuming which takes viewers back in time. Additionally, the light humor helps keep the film entertaining, while not distracting viewers from the film’s focus. What helps Sami understand what’s important on his quest to greatness are his friends, yet the film quickly touches upon their interactions, when a further emphasis on their relationships could have strengthened the viewer’s bond to the characters. Asserting that greatness isn’t defined by only one measure, but by each individual person’s values and goals, The Tiger Hunter is a pleasant watch about an underdog immigrant’s pursuit of greatness in the American dream.

Mai Nguyen

Editor-in-Chief at Asia Pacific Arts.
Feel free to send me a note on Twitter to @hellomailee.

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