Tigertail ★½

‘A man’s story about his early life in Taiwan and then deciding to uproot that life by moving to America, dealing with the struggles that accompany that, and then ultimately having to come to grips with how that literal and internal journey has effected him and his daughter’ sounds like a great narrative. Unfortunately, the movie lacks nuance that would help ground it. 

The characters feel like archetypes. The movie doesn’t take its time to characterize the people we follow so we’re left with referring to characters as “the daughter” or “the mom” because most of them really seem to only display one stagnant character trait. 

Creative decisions like shooting the flashbacks on film and the present day scenes on digital lend to the idea that there was some sort of care and direction behind it. The film is very lively when in Taiwan and much more stale as it transitions to scenes in the US. It illustrates plainly the main character’s point of view. It’s just that these attentions to detail don’t justify the lack of detail we are getting from the people in frame.

For me, it’s a very average movie with an interesting premise that could’ve been a lot better.