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Tigers Are Not Afraid Blu-ray Steelbook Review

Tigers

“Tigers Are Not Afraid” is heart wrenching, but important. 

After a nearby shooting cancels school, Estrella returns home to find her mom is gone and presumed dead. With nowhere else to go, Estrella turns to a tribe of orphan street children led by Shine (whose past is similar to Estrella’s). Together, they try to survive the rough streets, but they soon find themselves in trouble with local criminals. 

With “Tigers Are Not Afraid,” writer/director Issa Lopez doesn’t shy away from difficult subject matters which, in the case of this film, involves children orphaned by drug warfare in Mexico. While that is certainly a challenging and upsetting topic to have to watch on screen, Lopez boldly tackles these ideas rarely explored in cinema in a very emotional and surprising fashion as ‘Tigers’ unfolds as a mix of fantasy, horror (real or otherwise), and realism. The lines between the three are constantly blurred which is very much on purpose so the viewer is left using their own imagination. Without spoiling too much, I will say that it’s clear this film is very much influenced by “Pan’s Labyrinth” as this film similarly addresses the horrors of reality through a fantastical lense ala Estrella seeing ghosts and supernatural things. 

The mixture of genres isn’t the only thing going on in ‘Tigers’ as the film delicately explores themes of fear, death, and strength while also diving into metaphors including the titular tiger itself. It all makes for a very deep cinematic experience.

I couldn’t end this review without acknowledging the 2 actors who play Estrella (Paola Lara) and Shine (Juan Ramon Lopez). Basing a movie around child characters is always a risky prospect, but these talented actors manage to give heartfelt performances that elevate the film. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? Expect a nice crisp hi-def transfer.

Audio Track: Spanish 5.1 and English 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? Skip the weak English dub and stick with the original Spanish language track. 

Extras:
* DVD Copy
* 30 day free trial for Shudder
* Concept art, graffiti art and behind the scenes photo galleries
* 7 ½ minutes of deleted scenes
* “The Making Of Tigers Are Not Afraid”- A 43 minute featurette that contains interviews, film clips, discussions about the project, behind-the-scenes footage, a look at the production and post-production, etc.
* An involving 63 minute conversation between Guillermo del Toro and Issa Lopez at the Toronto International Film Festival
* 4 minutes of casting sessions.
* An informative commentary by Issa Lopez. 

May 18, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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