Jan. 17, 2013 - Issue #900: The ongoing musical evolution of Hannah Georgas
The Year of the TigerSun, Jan 20 (3 pm)
The Year of the Tiger
Directed by Sebastian Lelio
Metro Cinema at the Garneau
Based on the one-two combo of earthquake and tsunami that battered Chile in 2011, The Year of the Tiger latches onto Manuel (Luis Dubo), an inmate who escapes his prison as it collapses and finds himself wandering a shattered countryside. His attempts to survive, evade capture and find any family who might still be alive are played out in long stretches of wordless solitude. There's a pretty obvious allegory involving a tiger freed from a cage that plays out, and Manuel eventually finds himself in the company of a solitary farmer, but the bulk of it his him shuffling through the countryside. A growing, quiet desperation hangs over it all, I suppose, but director Sebastian Lelio's approach is muted to a fault: sure, you can make an engrossing movie where not much happens, but little simmer comes through as Manuel makes his way through the empty landscape. Dubo admirably shoulders its 80ish-minute runtime, but there's only so much for him to do.
Somewhere in its frames, The Year of The Tiger has some resonant ideas at play, about what happens when you're freed into a world you aren't prepared for, and the cruel, enormous strength of nature's extremes and the aftermath they leave. But for all its internal devastation, Lelio doesn't invite you into that world, nor make it appealing enough for you to seek out your own connections. Like its protagonist, The Year of the Tiger simply wanders a world quelled by disaster.
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