The Tiger's Tail

  • Film
  • Drama
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John Boorman writes and directs this oddity, one that’s unlikely to bag him that elusive Oscar. Dublin property developer Liam O’Leary (Brendan Gleeson) is busy ripping people off and neglecting his wife and son when he spots his exact double (also Gleeson) in the street. As he starts ranting about his doppelgänger, Liam’s family suspect he’s going mad. But worse problems are in store when the lookalike locks Liam out of his house and pretends to be him both at home and at work. Furious and homeless, Liam finds himself mistaken for the very man who’s robbed him of his identity, and has to convince everyone that he’s the original, not the crazed thief.

It’s an interesting idea: lookalike plots are full of dramatic possibilities, and this exploits one or two when Liam’s life is stolen. Will his wife recognise the man as an imposter? Who exactly is he, anyway? Such questions keep the film ticking over. But the execution is so clumsy and the tone so confused that this becomes puzzling for the wrong reasons. Much of the dialogue is mannered and blatantly didactic, especially in the case of Liam’s left-wing son (Gleeson’s real-life son Briain). Liam’s preening, posing wife is an equally lifeless character, with Kim Cattrall’s dodgy Irish accent serving to highlight her miscasting. The actors can’t be blamed entirely: even the able Gleeson comes out of this looking faintly ridiculous. ‘The Tiger’s Tail’ has curiosity value, but something went missing between script and screen, leaving it flailing around in a middle ground between black comedy, sci-fi thriller, moral fable and political drama.

Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday June 8 2007
Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Boorman
Screenwriter: John Boorman
Cast: Brendan Gleeson
Kim Cattrall
Sinead Cusack
Ciaran Hinds
Sean McGinley
Cathy Belton
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