Dir; Issa Lopez. Starring; Poala Lara, Juan Ramon Lopez, Ianis Guerro. Unrated. Color. 83 min.
I do not want to review this film story wise for readers because it is so uniquely beautiful that the story part is meaningless. “Tigers Are Not Afraid” is one of those rare cinematic experiences that everyone has to take away what they take away for themselves. In no way is “Tigers” completely WTF stuff like a “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Tree of Life”, yet it is an amazingly unique look at a bottomless pit situation. I will instead speak in general terms.
One can see why it took writer/director Issa Lopez more than two years to get this film to begin reaching audiences. A Mexican film and a woman at the helm, not the most popular thing in America right now unfortunately. Plus the budget is not the highest so some special effects and camera tricks are not perfect. That is not to say Lopez does not craft some beautiful imagery, it’s simply made on the cheap. But man is this film amazing conceptually. Picture “Pan’s Labyrinth” if they didn’t have a limitless budget. The main character being followed by blood, genuinely heartbreaking.
The Narco style drug cartels have plagued Central America for decades and this story is told through the eyes of children. Estrella (Paola Lara) and El Shine (Juan Ramon Lopez) are the audiences top focus. They live in a world surrounded by violence and death along with the rest of their little buddies. Lopez creates this bubble of chaos and views it through the even more chaotic minds of kids. None of the performers have any previous training or serious acting experience in real life which creates a very organic feel. Oh and I forgot, this is a horror movie too. You’ll get some pop scares but they are never cheap.
What makes “Tigers” so captivating is the raw violent atmosphere metaphorically that surrounds this world, which of course there are glimpses of physically, combined with a child like sensibility. That little animated stuffed tiger is my new favorite life mascot. Finding joy in goldfish while hiding in an abandoned structure. This is a mix of social commentary and majestic realism, and it sure as hell works. It is also a do you buy into it or not film. Either way, this is still a tail that will have you shedding a tear. Sometimes kids can teach us more about how to be better, and the kids in “Tigers” do just that.
Suck Factor: 1out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!