Tyger Tyger is the 2021 psychedelic thriller film starring Sam Quartin and Dylan Sprouse. This is something of a road movie about people traveling during a pandemic to distribute stolen medication. Written and directed by Kerry Mondragon, Tyger Tyger is a psychedelic trip of an experimental film that marks a strong directorial debut.
The premise. After robbing a pharmacy, Blake (played by Sam Quartin) and her mute friend kidnap a drug addict, Luke (Dylan Sprouse.) Blake and Luke, have very different relationships with the drugs they distribute. They hit the road, exploring a foreign and post-apocalyptic-esque desert landscape to distribute the stolen "life-saving" medication. They soon find themselves completely engulfed by the lawless city. This movie takes place during a pandemic, but Tyger Tyger has nothing to do with the current Covid-19 pandemic. Production completed back in 2019 — a bit of serendipity is involved in the timing of this film.
The acting. Dylan Sprouse and Sam Quartin, two professional actors, lead the film. Most of the other cast members are residents of Slab City, California, where most of the film was filmed. Tyger Tyger takes place in their world and asks them to remain themselves instead of becoming caricatures. As a result, all performances in the film are believable. Tyger Tyger was shot with consideration for the non-professional actors by capturing everything in only a few takes. The result is believable performances that preserve the narrative’s authenticity.
The visuals and story. The visual language of this film is unconventional. Resembling a feature-length music video more than a narrative film, Tyger Tyger almost entirely utilizes handheld shots. The camera is in constant motion giving the movie a gritty, documentary-style, adding to the realism of the film’s world. This odd psychedelic look at the world of Tyger Tyger takes precedence over the story. Despite having such a strong premise, Tyger Tyger chooses not to explore it and instead becomes an experience for the viewer. This approach is likely to leave a lot of viewers lost as there doesn’t seem to be much of a rhyme or reason for much of the film. Without clear plot points to inform the flow, it feels like nothing is happening for much of the runtime. The result is, unfortunately, a boring movie. Though a well-directed film, the script seems to have needed more work.