Blu Ray Review: Broken Tail: A Tiger’s Last Journey

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MSRP 24.99
RATED Not Rated
• Additional Scenes

The Pitch

One of the world’s leading tiger cameramen travels through India on a personal pilgrimage, piecing together the extraordinary journey of Broken Tail – one of the planet’s most famous wild tigers.

These guys are looking for an expert on Tigers, as there isn’t one in this documentary.

The Humans

Colin Stafford Johnson (Narrator, Cinematographer, Writer)

The Nutshell

A story about the path a dead tiger took that is supposed to make you want to save tigers.

The Lowdown

Catching some sleep instead of working. It shows in the final product.

I was spoiled this week with compelling documentaries about species that are being wiped out and the attempts of some big hearted people to help save them. I started by watching Sharkwater and followed with the great IMAX Blu-Ray Born to be WIld. When I put this Blu in, I was worried it would suffer the same way the IMAX one did, by just being too short, but when it was done, it was 52 minutes too long for me.

When I watch a documentary, I don’t need the person talking to be the world’s greatest expert on the subject, but I do expect some factual information, some well thought research and a lot of footage on the main focus. This documentary was not worth my time or yours. The narrator is an Irishman that does a nice job maintaining the interest of the audience, but not necessarily about knowing the topics. Not even 5 minutes into the movie, he says his producer sent him untrained to find some tigers and film them. He also said he had no experience with Tigers previously and attempted to get an untrained local to help him out.

Within 10 minutes, the main tiger, who is nicknamed “Broken Tail” (who has a sibling named “Slanted Ear” for highly original and thoughtful names) is hit by a train and dies. There is no compassion felt for this animal that we have not shared any time with. We then attempt to randomly, without an exact knowledge, travel a route 150 miles across India that led from where the tiger was born to where he got hit by the train.

Some tigers, one is Broken Tail and the other is slant ear. Your guess is as good as mine.

There are many locations where they talk to locals, and make assumptions that he passed there, or got lucky there, but it is all conjecture. At the end, they talk to a lady who saw the tiger on his last day. She is the only person who confirmed seeing the tiger the whole journey.

I really wanted to like this more, but I definitely feel it was nowhere close to the standards that were set earlier in the week. It comes off as poor execution and a dismal attempt at motivating us humans to stop killing tigers. I wholeheartedly agree with the moral message of the movie, and one hundred percent think we need to save our planet and all the life on it. We need to help preserve the tigers we currently have and help their numbers grow. This movie did nothing to get me to that point and couldn’t even give me a warm fuzzy feeling for even caring.

Watch the previously mentioned documentaries if you want a documentary that will motivate you to become involved. PBS may not have the funds that were put into the IMAX feature, but they should be able to get a lot more out of a similar budget. I also don’t have a single clue how this is nominated for 2 Emmys???

The Package

They added some additional scenes to try to lengthen the horrible viewing experience. The cover art is sad and the menus are very disappointing. The entire presentation screams the generic of Blu releases, including the movie itself.

Their next collaboration will be about horses and why they shouldn’t be ridden 150 miles in search of a lost tiger.


Out of a Possible 5 Stars

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