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Hackensack United States of America
Watch it for the Tigers
Jun 24, 2015 07:45 PM 13790 Views
(Updated Jun 25, 2015 07:46 PM)





First of all I must offer my humble appreciations to director Kamal Sadanah and Producer Abis Rizvi for picking up the cause of Tigers and getting their cameras into the Sunderbans.

The tiger is an astonishing animal; it is powerful, brave, clever and a very territorial animal. Tigers were found pretty much throughout Asia.

From Siberia to Sumatra; tigers roamed freely and ruled the jungles. The situation is quite different now, they are critically endangered, some sub species are extinct and Sunderbans in India is still the last biggest natural refuge with an estimated 500 tigers calling it home.

I watch a lot of documentaries of nature and I must have seen half a dozen on the Sunderbans mangrove forest and the deadly tigers that are known to attack and kill human beings in the most diabolical way.

Yesterday while browsing, I came to know about a movie “Roar: Tigers of the Sunderbans” which released in India in late 2014 and decided to watch it. It is set in the Sunderbans where a wildlife photographer rescues a white tiger cub and brings it to his cabin to the dismay of his assistant and the villagers.

The Cub is taken away by forest officials citing that it is illegal to meddle with the tigers. The photographer is very disappointed but that is the least of his worries as the cub’s mother has followed him from the jungle to his cabin.

She kills two people outside his cabin, then enters his cabin and kills him as well. The story now starts with the brother of the photographer arriving at the Sunderbans to get his dead body to perform last rights. When he is told by the forest official that the body was dragged into the forest by the tigress and all attempts to recover it was futile, he takes it upon himself to kill the tigress and avenge his brother’s death.

The Cast

Abhinav Shukla: Pundit

Himarsha Venkatsamy: Jhumpa

Achint Kaur: Forest Warden

Subrat Dutta: Bheera

Nora Fatehi: CJ

Ali Quli Mirza: Hero

Aadil Chahal: Kashmiri

Varinder Singh Ghuman: Cheena

Aaran Chaudhary: Sufi

Pranay Dixit: Madhu

Pulkit Jawahar: Uday

Our hero – Pundit calls in his team of soldier friends who hire a local guide to take them into the jungles of the mangrove forest in the pretext of filming the tigers. However they set up traps and start shooting at the animals from the moment they get their first chance. One by one, each member of the team is either killed by a tiger or by other perils of the jungle until only the hero and heroine remain. Who could have guessed this plot?

The Bad: I have to say that the movie seemed like a medley of a fairly edited nature documentary and a B-grade Hindi movie(the one that usually plays as morning shows) making an attempt at becoming a Hollywood monster thriller where the monster has a heart of gold but still kills people. I never felt scared at any point, nor did I feel any realism in the plot. There were many muscular men, and scantily clad voluptuous women. There were many guns and lot of people got killed every so often and then there was an annoying background musical score that filled up most of the movie instead of dialogues. Camera work was great at some points and a disappointment at others. I have heard of a filming method called gorilla cam, where the camera moves around very quickly from one subject to the other. I guess while filming this movie they hired an actual gorilla to do the gorilla cam shots.  At one point in the movie, the men are in one boat and the three tigers on the other. The two boats are no further than a hundred yards from each other. The men heavily armed and the tigers at their mercy, yet they cannot not even hit a single tiger with their huge guns. This scene led me to believe that either the men were as blind as bats or their guns were made in China.

The Good: The aerial shots showing the Sunderbans are done brilliantly. There has been a good amount of research into making this movie. It is true that there are many widows in the villages around the Sunderbans, especially the wives of men who were Honey Collectors. Many men enter the jungle and never return even today. The tigers have become so clever that they swim underwater and attack fishermen on their boats. People who enter the jungle also wear masks at the back of their heads to deceive the tiger and prevent an attack from the rear. These small details have been stitched into the script rather well. The part of the movie that featured the invisible people was done exceptionally well. I just hope they had a more significant role in the film. One of the scenes involving a battalion of snakes chasing the survivors was done quite well too. Towards the end, the movie did have a very tiny amount of oomph, and when the credits rolled, they showed how the filming took place with trained tigers against a green screen. There is no doubt that it must have been exceptionally hard to make this movie considering the sweat-box location and animals that are not exactly poodles. Actors have done a decent job, and the special effects are rather good for an Indian movie.

Finally, it will be added to my list of guilty pleasures. I will never openly admit that it is a good movie because isn’t one; however I would watch it for the kicks, the scantily clothed women(just kidding!) and of course the tigers. Folks who have seen a few Hollywood movies of the same genre will agree with me that this movie has taken cues from “The Anaconda” and “The Grey”.  It is a movie which is stepping on the line of “it is so bad that it is good” but still pulling itself back from time to time but it is movies like these, that in the long run become cult classics. I would not be surprised if I find my son watching this movie 10 years from now when his friends show up for a sleepover.

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Roar Tigers Of The Sunderbans