Review: Tiger (San Diego Film Festival)


Title: Tiger
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Alister Grierson
Starring: Prem Singh, Michael Pugliese, Mickey Rourke
Runtime: 1 hr 40 mins
What It Is: Based on the true story of Sikh boxer Pardeep Nagra and his fight in the ring, and out of the ring just to earn the right to compete.

What We Think: Tiger transcends the Rocky Balboa image that is embedded in the American mindset to bring us the needed tale of what happens when being a national athlete is not enough. The film delves beyond the fighters need to overcome personal issues and shows us the other battle some face. Prem Singh embodies Pardeep’s frustration as he finds himself talented in his new sport of choice, but not wanted. He chooses to battle despite years of accepted exclusionary rules set in place and wielded against him out of prejudicial views. Frank (Mickey Rourke) reaches out to the boxer in an attempt to keep him focused on his path, while local attorney Charlotte (Janel Parrish) joins him on the legal battlefield as he tries to win the opportunity just to rank.

For all the rage that Pardeep must swallow in the face of barriers, such as his menacing rival Brian (Michael Pugliese) we are reminded that All American Dream isn’t given freely to all. Pardeep Nagra proved himself a boxing talent, only to find himself fighting more outside of the ring than within the ropes.

Our Grade: B-, The film takes an interesting story and translates it well to screen, but I found myself wanting more emotion from its main characters. Mickey Rourke as a former boxing legend with a secret and Michael Pugliese’s stereotypical angry male both played well in the film, neither overplaying their part. I held higher expectations for Prem Singh, playing the lead character, and was somewhat disappointed by what I found to be a steady stream of outright anger, versus more of the emotional depth I wanted from a not often seen representation. The film does brush on the courtroom drama, but it almost seems that it would have benefitted from more focus on the legal battles so the audience could have felt the true weight of what he overcame. Overall the film deserves a wider audience, just as Pardeep deserved a better opportunity.

Check out the interview by our very own Dan Berry below.


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