The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale

Sanai Pictures

Action History Thriller
139 min     7.6     2015     South Korea


In 1925 Korea, Japanese rulers demand the last remaining tiger be killed. The tiger easily defeats his pursuers until a legendary hunter takes him on.


Reno wrote:
**The standoff between the man and the last beast.** After the stunning performance in the 'The Admiral: Roaring Currents', the Korean superstar Choi Min-Sik is back for another unique film. This time he donned in a hunter's avatar and his role was pretty inspiring. From the director of 'New World' and second time working with the same actor. Reading this kind of story might work well because of we individually visualise them as what we want. But turning them into a film is a tough task because they're one man's vision and not everybody share the same perspective, hence the disagreement surface. So I think the director did his best with the kind of screenplay he had, I would say the whole team effort was good. During the Japanese rule of Korea in the 1925, a fine hunter who lives with his son in the forest near a village has given up hunting since his wife's death. But when the Japanese army chief obsessed with one particular magnificent tiger that lives in the mountains of Jirisan, summons all the hunters to get it. All the attempts go in vain, until the Japanese soldiers and Korean hunters team up and go after that last living tiger. The battle between the man and the beast only brings the bloody war that's going to change forever whoever involved in it. I was excited to watch it after learning about the plot, because the Korean experimental films are quite fascinating as they are made in the most realistic way. Take an example of 'Mr. Go', the same visual effects team behind this film as well. They did pretty awesomely, but it was a much harder job than the big ape they had created earlier. Though, in a few shots it was below par, at a time very much comparable quality to the recent CGI tigers such as Richard Parker and Shere Khan from 'Life of Pi' and 'The Jungle Book' respectively. "Respect the mountain and take what it gives you." The film was kind of mix of reality and fiction. From the human perspective, all the narration was quite rational and historically matches. Like humans hunt animals for pleasure and its skin, teeth, nails et cetera. As from the tiger's perspective, it turned out to be a little fiction, because of the animal showing same or equal emotions as the humans. Animals do show emotions, but not in the human way as it was shown in the film. That makes it a bit unrealistic and out of proportion. That would work in a pure fantasy film where this one comes under thriller that was targeted for adults with strong blood and gore. Otherwise, it would have made a great anime. Apart from those disappointments, I find the film was much better if not as what I anticipated. The actors did their part so well and so the crew members behind the camera. The cinematography was good, captured some beautiful landscapes, but I don't know some of those shots might be digital creation. The length a bit long, due to engaging screenplay you won't feel you're forced to sit for that long. For the action sequence fans, this film offers a good entertainment, but depends who you're cheering for. As for the conclusion, I did not get it properly, because it was an understanding term rather giving a full explanation. So viewers can have a different opinion and everything might make sense. (Be careful, this following line might contain spoilers.) For my understanding the tiger and the hunter decide what they should have done years ago should be done now. I might have mentioned it somewhere the film is suitable for grown ups. Even for an adult like me, knowing it just a fake and graphics felt a bit too much brutality. There is a scene where a boy was eaten alive by a pack wolves. I don't know what the filmmakers were thinking, what kind of audience they're targeting. The overall writing should have been improved, making more realistic way like how the natural world animals behave. It might work for some people with a minimum guaranteed entertainment, but little children should stay away from it. From my side, I go for 50-50, neither I suggest it nor encourage to skip it. 6/10