Tigertail Movie Review

Writer-director Alan Yang's "Tigertail" feels like the filmmaker let us into his deepest memories, trusting his audience with some of the most personal stories of his life. You must respect when a writer or director trusts their audience with something that feels so personal because, like any piece of art, a film is susceptible to scrutiny. "Tigertail" is very much a first film - rambling, messy, and filled with big ideas - but at some turns, it feels like that was precisely Yang's point.

"Tigertail" flows at a languid pace, traveling back and forth in time. The pacing of the movie is akin to Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma," though certainly not as polished or stately, and takes its time unfolding and drawing you in ("Tigertail" is only 90 minutes long but feels a bit longer).
The movie opens with young Pin-Jui, who lost his father at a very young age. Pin-Jui lives with his mother and when he gets older (played by Hong-Chi Lee), he goes to work with her at a factory. As a young man, Pin-Jui feels protective of his mother, ensuring she is kept safe in the workplace. He feels it's his duty but he can't help but to yearn for more out of his life. He goes out on a few dates with Yuan (Yo-Hsing), who he becomes quite infatuated with, even as his desire to leave Taiwan continues to grow. There's a tender connection between Pin-Jui and Yuan but he leaves for America with Zhenzhen (Kunjue Li), in an arranged coupling of sorts, and heads to New York City.

As young Pin-Jui sets up life in New York, "Tigertail" cuts back-and-forth in time, introducing us to present day Pin-Jui (the great Tzi Ma), now going by the Americanized name Grover, who narrates the film. The once hopeful Pin-Jui seems to have disappeared as time went on. Present day Pin-Jui is more removed from the world, which causes friction with his only daughter Angela (Christine Ko). The cutting creates a bit of a haphazard structure at times but the reasoning is clear: Yang wants to show life then and life now for Pin-Jui and document the character's immigration story. Life in America is the goal for young Pin-Jui, but Ma's quiet but forceful performance as the present-day Pin-Jui juxtaposes the character's desire and reality.

Yang shoots parts of "Tigertail" in 16mm, which gives the scenes from the past a textured feel and emphasizes the film's transition into memory from reality. It's a beautiful device to show shifts in time and character reflection, but "Tigertail" could have benefited from tighter editing to create a more impactful emotional wallop - not to say it isn't an affecting picture.

"Tigertail" is now available on Netflix - not to be confused with the other "Tiger" thing they are now showing.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Tigertail Movie Review Tigertail Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on April 28, 2020 Rating: 5


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