LIFF 2015 Movie Review: ‘Tigers’

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Emraan Hashmi in 'Tigers'
Emraan Hashmi in ‘Tigers’

The amazing London Indian Film Festival is back for its 6th edition with some of the best off-beat and alternative cinema from the biggest film industry in the world. One of the most interesting names on the bill this year is ��Tigers�۪ (2014) starring Emraan Hashmi in a leading role and directed by Academy Award winning Bosnian director Danis Tanovic. Although the synopsis seams interesting, with an intense dramatic storyline the question of how Hashmi would fit in such a story is something to look forward to.

THE STORY

Told in a flashback recital format the film starts with him on a video call with a film production unit grilling him with details. Based in Pakistan, the film starts with school dropout Hashmi doing the rounds of local hospitals and chemists trying to sell local Pakistani drugs, which is a big challenge considering trust is always higher for the more expensive foreign drugs. Recently married Hashmi is pushed by his wife to try applying for an international brand which he does and gets through with his strong street knowledge. He is now exposed to the next level of sales techniques as he targets paediatricians to sell his range of baby foods. Using sweet talk and high level bribes he is now ahead of his game with young mothers using his products instead of breast milk.

It comes to him as a moral shock when he finds out that that children are dying thanks to his baby products from a company that cares a damn about the loss of life. He instantly quits and along with the support of his family and a doctor friend goes on a war with the company requesting them to withdraw their products. He is soon threatened for his life and gets the help of an international NGO who bring in a German channel to create a documentary on his story. He is taken from hiding to Germany to return as a hero when he exposes the whole game but some facts come forward on his past handlings which get the channel to pull the show. He now can�۪t return to Pakistan and takes refuge in Canada hoping a film to release bringing justice to him and unite him with his family. A day that doesn�۪t seem likely as no one is willing to take the legal risk of going on war against a giant like Nestle.

THE MOVIE

Think of every possible film you have seen Hashmi in and this is the extreme opposite of it with no glamour, no kisses, no songs but pure acting talent! He is just brilliant in his role and beyond belief for the precision in his performance. The supporting cast is filled with big international names including Danny Huston, Sam Reid, Supriya Pathak, Adil Hussain and Khalid Abdalla who are all perfect in their roles but take a side standing compared to Hashmi. Other amazing assets of this film are how well the story is directed and edited. The pace is perfect and at no one does it feel like a drag nor like a super intense drama. The facts and imagery are accurately projected true to its facts while even naming Nestle and then changing the name of the brand for the rest of the film. The focus on every character is perfectly balanced with each one of them cast to make just the right amount of contribution to the film. There is no flub or flash in this film and it is truly a work of art.

FINAL WORD

��Tigers�۪ is a brave piece of cinema which no wonder could not see the light of mainstream releases due to the facts it brings out in this true story of how multinational brands undervalue lives for financial profits. There is no attempt to make this film larger than what it really is which is the best thing about this film. The purity in script and the motive which is not to expose a corporation but simply to tell a story is refreshing. Hashmi is true force to reckon with here and is work is truly refreshing and showcases his true talent. Great job to the London Indian Film Festival for digging out this gem of a film and bringing it to the big screen in London.

BizAsia Showbiz Rating ��� 8.5/10

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