Danny Pudi gained a following after his memorable character Abed on the hit TV series Community from 2009-2015, but he actually has a large and diverse resume to his credit including small roles in Star Trek: Beyond and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But a new film available now, The Tiger Hunter, finally gives Pudi a lead role and he runs with it proving he is capable of much more than small supporting roles.
Pudi plays Sami Malik, a young man in India in the 1970’s who decides to relocate to Chicago to take an engineering job for two big reasons. First to impress the girl of his dreams and win her over, and second to live up to the legendary reputation of his late father, a much-revered Tiger Hunter who was loved by everyone in his community back home. But once he arrives in Chicago the position he hoped for falls through and he is forced to take a job as a draftsman until he can convince his boss he has what it takes to be a full-time engineer.
The Tiger Hunter is a beautifully simple and sweet story of a man trying to live up to his father’s image. Pudi plays the character effortlessly with a tenderness and lovability that made his Abed on Community so great. But he takes it beyond the comedy and makes Sami more relatable and authentic. He tried so hard to impress everyone not knowing that he holds everyone up on a pedestal and that he is already a great man in their eyes. But as his journey progresses he learns more about life, about himself and about the man his father really was. There is no great tragedy in The Tiger Hunter, no fights, no violence, no scandal. It is just a gentle, funny, touching love letter to finding one’s path in life. And it works brilliantly. Let’s home someone takes notice and starts to give Pudi more roles in more films. We need more like him.