The Tiger Hunter


  • 14 Oct - 20 Oct, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Time Out

The movie is an affectionate drama about the so-called immigrant experience with sit-com-like humour that is more often distracting than amusing. At times, the movie works because of the honesty and openness of the screenplay, and an unaffected performance by actor Danny Pudi. When it doesn’t, it’s because it tries too hard to provoke laughter with clichéd jokes and subpar physical comedy.

The story is very much a love letter to the U.S. as a land of opportunity where anyone can become someone and pursue their American dream. The film is set in Chicago depicting the 70s and the screenplay, co-written by Sameer Asad Gardezi and director Lena Khan, offers something that is hopeful yet ambiguous.

Sami (Danny Pudi) is an engineer who comes to America seeking employment and is forced to accept work as a temporary draftsman in the basement of a company he was supposed to do a white collar job with. While there, he strikes up a friendship with Alex (Jon Heder), who happens to be the son of Frank Womack (Kevin Pollak), the company’s owner. After being mugged, Sami finds himself without money or a place to stay. Enter Babu (Rizwan Manji), a good-hearted Pakistani immigrant who offers a place in his apartment.

Sami’s purpose for relocating is to gain success and prestige. His father was a great tiger hunter, revered throughout the village, and Sami wants, more than anything, to live a life that would have made his father proud. He also wants to marry his childhood sweetheart, Ruby (Karen David), but her father is dubious about Sami’s prospects and wants to introduce his daughter to wealthy Indians living in the U.S.

As a feel good dramatic comedy, the film hits most of the right notes while only hitting a few sour ones.