The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale
(Park Hoon-jung, 2015)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: Beautifully staged, rich in history and generously spread across nearly two and a half hours, The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale wavers between deep thought and visceral thrills
"Ready? Hold your breath. Don't blink. One, two, three " That's the opening line in Park Hoon-jung's The Tiger as a father teaches his son how to hunt in the wild. And it's one that could serve as advice to the viewer as well. You should prepare yourself to be immersed in this quest and not take your eye off the prize. It makes for a brutal reward.
The film tracks a grieving, injured and revered hunter Man-duk ( Choi Min-sik, Oldboy, Lucy) whose quiet life raising his son in the mountains of Korea is upended by the harsh Japanese occupation of his nation. The Japanese are obsessed, as if drunk on their power and determination to obliterate their pathways, to claim a rare breed of tiger - perhaps the last before extinction.
Man-duk is ripped away from his home to be the man tasked with bringing that tiger to the military forces. Set amid a backdrop of natural beauty and ugly war, The Tiger is a blistering comment on evolution and conflict. While the tiger is presented as a beast to be feared by man, Hoon-jung positions the humans as the blots on his landscapes or the flies in his ointment.
Beautifully staged, rich in history and generously spread across nearly two and a half hours, The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale wavers between deep thought and visceral thrills.
Eureka's Blu-ray is slim on features, save:
• 5.1 audio
• Optional English subtitles
• Theatrical trailers