) is a 2004 adventure family film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. It is about two tigers who are separated as cubs and then reunited years later. Set in 1920s French Indochina, two tigers are separated as cubs after the ancient temple where they live is disturbed by Aidan McRory (Guy Pearce), who intends to steal and sell the ancient statues.
McRory is an unscrupulous explorer, big-game hunter and temple looter. He discovers Kumal and befriends him, but McRory is arrested for stealing from the ancient temple and Kumal is kept by the chief in the Cambodian village where McRory had been staying. The chief then sells Kumal to a circus where he is to be the star attraction.
Sangha remains in the jungle with his mother, but both are soon trapped by McRory as game for a vain Khmer prince to hunt. The mother is shot in the ear and thought to be dead before she jumps up and runs off with a hole in her ear. Sangha is discovered by young Raoul, son of the French administrator, Normandin, and becomes the child's pet.
This film provides examples of:
- A Boy and His Tiger
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Subverted.
- The Amazon: The jungles of Cambodia.
- Ancient Tomb: More temple than tomb, actually, and more realistic than the average horror series setting, without any booby traps and undead.
- Androcles' Lion: Or tiger, as the case may be. Actually, the two tigers become an Androcles' Lion for each other when they are forced to fight each other, and after a minute or so of serious fighting they realize they are siblings. They then change to play fighting instead.
- Anti-Villain: McRory pre-Heel Realization and Raoul's parents.
- Bash Brothers: The titular characters, especially during their escape post-Time Skip.
- Big Fancy House: The house of Normandin, and even more so the palace of His Excellency, a Khmer prince.
- Chekhov's Skill: Kumal's Training from Hell in the circus will be important during his and Sangha's escape.
- Cute Kitten: Tiger cubs, in this case.
- The French Colonial Empire: The movie is set in French Indochina, with both a French administrator and local leaders running things.
- Friend to All Living Things: Raoul.
- Gladiator Games: Not with humans, but with tigers
- Great White Hunter: Aidan McRory plays this straight in how he portrays himself in his books, but his actual character is closer to a deconstruction of the trope.
- Green Aesop
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Arguably, since hunted tigers are the protagonists of the film. The only sympathetic and likable human characters are Raoul, McRory and arguably The Chief's Daughter.
- Karma Houdini: All the antagonists.
- Intergenerational Friendship: McRory and Raoul arguably.
- I Will Fight No More Forever: McRory promises Raoul that Kumal and Sangha will be the last creatures he hunts.
- Noble Demon: McRory.
- No Name Given: His Excelllency, a local aristocrat.
- The Obi-Wan: "Bloody" Caesar to Kumal in the circus.
- Panthera Awesome
- Pet Baby, Wild Animal: Sangha to Raoul and Kumal to McRory. Unlike many examples, they explicitly mention the fact that if the tigers go back into the wild, they will not be able to hunt for themselves, and may even end up preying on humans.
- Red Baron: Caesar, the old tiger in the circus Kumal was bought was called "Bloody". After he is slaughtered, Kumal earns the monicker "Man Eater".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sangha and Kumal respectively.
- Sailor Fuku: Raoul wears a period male version
- Shoot the Tiger: McRory kills the father of Kumal and Sangha after it attacks and fatally wounds one of his men, who in turn was about to shoot one of the cubs. McRory latter goes hunting for Kumal and Sangha because he believes that having been raised by humans will turn them into man-eaters after they escape to the wild.
- Sibling Team
- Sleazy Politician: Both the headman of the Cambodian village and Normandin, the French administrator.
- Time Skip: The movie jumps one year in the middle part.
- Took a Level in Badass: The titular characters after the Time Skip.
- Training from Hell: Kumal during his time in the circus.
- Tropey Come Home: Both played straight and inverted, depending on your point of view. From the point of view of Raoul and McRory, they let their tigers go instead of getting them back. From the point of view of the tigers' mother, she gets her offspring back.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Raoul's parents.