Tigertail (2020) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
From the creator of “Master of None”, comes an inspiring and emotional personal journey of Director and writer Alan Yang in an outstanding debut “Tigertail”. Released on Netflix, this production goes back to the Taiwanese roots of the 1950s and portray the journey of life sacrifices of family, love and everything to pursue the “American Dream”. The film shows real emotions from seasoned and veteran industry actors like the always wonderful Tzi Ma, the beautiful Joan Chen and Taiwanese actress Yang Kuei-mei. This is a beautifully deprived film that transcends the many stories of first generation Asian Americans and one that resonate with the audience intensely.
Tzi Ma is now officially the “go to dad” for Asian Americans in Hollywood and here he is given a hefty leading role to go thru the emotions of time and regret. His best scenes are with Joan Chen (long time former lover) and his daughter (played with grit and depth by Christine Ko). Lee Hong-Chi plays the younger version of Tzi Ma and perhaps most strikingly is how Lee is so flamboyant in Taiwan and the contrast of a subdued and dull person that he became when he decided to go with the arranged marriage in America. Christine Ko shines in her role as the stubborn professional that struggles to deal with lost, identity and relationships with people and her father. Yang Kuei-mei is natural as it comes as the typical hardworking Taiwanese mother working at the factory to meet ends.
All in all, “Tigertail” is a lovely little film about how one makes choices in life, that includes sacrifices and regrets. It is these moments of regrets and reflection that allows one’s life to take a pause to look back and rebuild those broken areas within their heart to truly move on and continue. For a debut feature length production, Yang more than passes the mark and produces a heart warming tale to resonate.
I rated it 8.5/10