Tiger (2024) Movie Script

[birds chirping]
[narrator] The forests of India...
they can look
like beautiful seasonal forests anywhere.
But they're nothing like them.
[animals calling]
They have a magic that is all their own.
The soul of the Indian forest is embodied
by the most magnificent animal of all.
Like a spirit,
it's everywhere...
And nowhere.
Revered and feared in equal measure.
Alarm calls, warning of danger, ring out
whenever a tiger reveals itself.
Every other forest creature
is united against it.
[animals calling]
For Ambar, a 3-year-old tigress,
being feared must be a lonely existence.
But Ambar is not alone anymore.
[animals calling in distance]
Ambar has a secret.
[grumbles softly]
[cubs calling]
Tiny cubs, just a couple of weeks old.
[lively music playing]
No, three...
four cubs.
An unusually large litter,
especially for a first-time mother.
It's hard to believe
these cubs could ever rule a jungle.
[cub screeches]
Hidden in this dried riverbed,
Ambar will feed her cubs nothing but milk
for the next four months.
Her cubs weigh
just a couple of pounds each,
200 times less than she does,
which makes them vulnerable.
With enough milk,
they will grow fast and become strong,
even fearsome.
But she'll need to catch
twice as much prey as usual.
Ambar's hunger pangs have begun again.
Feeding for four is draining.
The chances of all her cubs
reaching adulthood are slim,
but Ambar will do
everything she can to beat the odds.
[cubs whining]
[cubs whining]
With Ambar away hunting,
the cubs are eager to explore.
Their eyes have only just opened.
Their coordination is still developing.
And their balance is...
not what it will be.
Their stripes are as unique as barcodes...
and so are their personalities,
which are already emerging.
[meowing loudly]
This one is Ivy.
Like the plant, she loves to climb.
Another seems unusually adventurous.
That's Ravi.
Easy, tiger.
The smallest cub is Charm.
She's more timid and prefers
being away from the rougher ones.
And that just leaves Golu.
He's a little clumsy
and better at coming down slopes
than climbing them.
[narrator chuckles softly]
There's always the one.
[cubs growling]
Their futures all depend on mom
and how successful she is
at keeping her milk flowing.
[birds singing]
Somewhere in the grass, Ambar is hunting.
She must stay hidden from her target,
but also go unnoticed
by every other animal
who might sound the alarm.
[slow suspenseful music playing]
The deer she stalks
are color-blind to orange.
And her stripes break up her outline.
Even in the open,
she can be almost invisible to her prey.
Almost invisible.
[alarm calls]
19 out of 20 hunts fail.
Now that her cover is blown,
she'll need to move on
before trying again,
which will take her further from her cubs.
[birds chirping]
In their riverbed sanctuary,
Ambar's cubs are doing
what young tigers do best...
cat-napping after playtime.
[narrator sighs]
An Indian python.
these snakes can reach 20 feet long.
They're the last thing
many tiger cubs ever see.
Unlike Ambar,
the python can go months without food.
This one is very hungry.
The cubs are a rare opportunity.
[cub coos]
[Foreboding sting]
The python has poor eyesight
but can smell Ambar's cubs
and sense their body heat.
This should be easy.
[suspenseful music playing]
[alarm calls]
Ravi's awake!
- [Ravi growls]
- He's not scared.
- [Ravi growls]
- [alarm calls]
[Suspenseful music continues playing]
For once, the forest warning system
is a tiger's friend.
- [Ambar growls]
- [Ravi roars]
Nice roar, Ravi.
They're all safe...
even Charm,
who slept through the whole thing.
To feed her cubs,
Ambar must leave them and go hunting.
It's the worst dilemma a mom could have.
And now that her cubs
have been discovered,
she must move them somewhere safer.
[distant roar]
A better hiding place
couldn't come soon enough.
[tense music playing]
Shankar is the new male ruler
of this area.
He recently banished
the father of Ambar's cubs
to become undisputed king of this jungle.
Male tigers are the largest cats
in the world.
And at 600 pounds,
he's far bigger than Ambar.
Shankar's new kingdom
covers 50 square miles
and contains the territories
of four females, including Ambar.
If he finds the cubs,
he'll know they can't be his.
He could kill them.
Ambar's new den is well hidden
and somewhere the cubs can hide
while she looks for prey.
Hunting has been less successful recently.
But Ambar still has a little milk
to offer her cubs.
A month old now, the cubs seem bolder.
Their eyes are wide open,
and they're a little more secure
on their feet.
[lively music playing]
Ivy still loves heights
and falls less often than she did.
And Charm,
definitely the loner of the group.
She's quieter than the rest.
[playful growling]
Ambar doesn't have favorites,
she loves them all,
even Ravi...
who gets into more trouble
than the rest of them put together.
At this stage, it's hard to know
which of their characters
will prove best suited
to a life in the forests of India.
Although Golu needs to find his feet soon
if he's going to thrive.
The cub's natural instincts
give them a solid start.
But there's plenty they need to learn
if they are to succeed
in the solitary life they're destined for.
Ambar decides they're ready
to take a tour of the local neighborhood.
Not far, just around the den.
It's the first day of jungle school.
You know they can see you, right?
You too.
[lively music continues]
Ravi leads the way.
That squirrel better watch out.
Well, maybe in a month or two.
A sloth bear is giving her young the tour.
One day, this cub will have
mom's killer claws and bad temper.
Avoiding sloth bears is jungle school 101.
For the cubs, everything is new.
And until they know better...
best watched from a distance.
Scaredy cats.
But there's one thing
they should be scared of.
Shankar is settling into his new kingdom.
[yawning growl]
He likes to take it easy
and not exert himself in the heat.
Big male tigers scare off other predators.
So, for some critters,
Shankar is a safe place to hang.
And he attracts food.
[tense music playing]
But creeping up on a tiger
should be done with care.
[water sloshing]
When the flies settle,
it's lunchtime for the frogs.
[flies buzzing]
[Sneaky music playing]
[Shankar grunts]
[Cheeky music playing]
The frog's hairy island
won't stay still forever.
Is there time for one last snack
before Shankar goes on patrol?
[suspenseful music intensifies]
Oops. Time to eject.
The open meadows are a challenging place
for Ambar to hunt.
It's hard to sneak up on prey here.
[warning call]
Curiously, the deer don't go far.
They're trying to keep Ambar in sight.
[deer calling]
As an ambush predator,
she's more dangerous when hidden.
The deer follow her every move.
She's found a new herd of deer
with their heads down.
They could be targets
if no other animal sees her
and sounds the alarm.
There are look-outs everywhere.
[soft growl]
Some with eyes
in the backs of their heads.
[bird chirping]
[Upbeat percussive music playing]
[deer calling]
She can't sustain her speed...
but she can hear something
hiding in the grass.
[deer grunting]
At last, a big male deer
that will feed her for a week.
She'll take her meal back to the den
to eat in peace.
She's ravenous.
It's hard to eat enough
when the cubs are demanding so much milk.
When her little ones start on solids,
life will get easier.
[Ambar grumbles softly]
Ambar's having a break...
from the cubs.
[soft playful music playing]
Oh, oh, hiccups.
[soft grunt]
There is no peace for a working mom.
[playful growl]
The cubs will learn,
"You can't catch a tiger by its tail."
No peace, but at least she can now eat
and keep her milk flowing.
He's been drawn to Ambar's den
by unusual smells.
Food or cubs?
He's not sure which,
but they're the same to him.
Ambar knows this could be dangerous.
She can't let him find the cubs.
He can't quite identify the smell.
But it's strong.
The cubs lie low...
a lesson they've already learned from mom.
Shankar sprays a message to others.
This area belongs to him.
Ambar knows where to lead him.
[suspenseful music playing]
He takes the bait.
The deer is valuable to Ambar.
But if Shankar's distracted by food,
he might not check
the other smells around the den...
the ones that would lead him
to her precious cubs.
[soft music playing]
Safe for now.
Ambar's quick thinking
wins them some time,
but Shankar has marked this area.
He will be back.
[birds calling]
Stolen food is Shankar's favorite kind.
The king prefers
to let his subjects do the hard work,
especially now
that the days are getting hotter.
He's drowsy from the heat
and a full belly
but getting comfortable
may prove a challenge.
[playful music playing]
[Shankar grumbles]
- [Shankar grumbles]
- [chitters]
What's the only animal
that could enter a tiger's cave
and come out alive?
A tiger.
Oh, someone didn't sleep well.
A month later
and jungle school hits the road.
Ambar thinks the cubs are ready
to explore her territory.
It's eight square miles
and after walking
and stalking it for years,
Ambar knows every inch.
There are beautiful woodlands,
full of prey
and some lesser predators,
who get out of their way.
[gentle music playing,
Thomas Newman "Nimish & Abhilash"]
There are places to ambush
unsuspecting animals.
An open meadows
where Ambar's cubs will graduate
to hunting nilgai.
And now, their final stop...
[alarm calls]
The forest pool.
Ravi joins his smaller sister, Charm,
at the water's edge.
Ivy and Golu are distracted.
[playful growl]
Is that drinkable?
Green soup?
As the cubs cool down,
their energy returns.
This would be a good moment
for Charm to take a time out.
[lively music playing]
Ravi really should pick
on someone his own size.
Poor Charm.
[lively music continues]
Who says cats don't like water?
Ambar enjoys a few moments of peace
before bath time.
The play got too rough for Charm,
but she'll be fine
after some mother's love.
Shankar is patrolling
the far reaches of his new kingdom,
essential for keeping rival males away.
With temperatures soaring
to over 100 degrees,
he travels mostly at night...
and spends the days
trying to keep his giant body cool.
[animals screeching]
A secluded cave, carved by monsoon rivers,
makes the perfect tiger hideaway.
[slow gentle music playing]
It's a rare glimpse
into the king's secret world,
a moment of solitude...
away from the gaze of the jungle.
Two months on, the den is barely used
as the cubs spend more time
watching Ambar hunt.
[exuberant music playing]
[animals calling]
[Music fades out]
She could kill the deer instantly,
but she has another use for it.
Her cubs need experience.
To prepare this food,
you need razor-sharp claws,
huge canine teeth,
and tongue with barbs on them.
But the rest is a blend
of instinct and practice.
Ambar's cubs don't have long
to master these lessons.
In about a year, they'll be leaving home.
[cubs growling]
They'll need to fight rival tigers
for a place to live
and catch their own food.
And hunting lessons
have not gotten off to a good start.
[playful music playing]
Not a lot of meat on that bird, Golu.
Tigers don't do vegetables, Charm.
Ambar has work to do with these two.
The clock is ticking.
What about Ivy?
A monkey's tail is as tempting
as a ball of string to a kitten.
Tigers often catch monkeys,
but when they're on the ground.
Grabbing langur monkeys in trees?
That's best left to the leopards.
This is ambitious.
The langur plays it safe by going higher
but doesn't bother with an alarm call,
which is pretty insulting.
The monkey's even coming
for a closer look.
[monkey barks]
[Ivy whines]
Experiment over.
It's clear, none of the cubs
are anywhere near ready to go it alone.
[slow gentle music playing]
Six months later,
and Ambar's cubs are much larger...
big enough to accompany her to the lake
at the far edge of her territory.
The waterholes in the forest have dried up
and Ambar knows
the lake is where the prey will be.
But tigers do not rule this domain.
[suspenseful music playing]
To reach the hunting ground,
they need to tread carefully.
Tigers are masters of the land.
But in the water,
mugger crocodiles can turn the tables.
[cubs growling]
Cold-blooded crocs are faster
when warmed by the sun.
Ambar's cubs are
still reliant on her for food.
If she's taken by a croc,
they will starve.
The coast seems clear.
But Ambar knows
that giant muggers can hide
in the shallowest of water.
The pondweed blooms in the heat,
drawing dozens of sambar deer.
Ambar was right.
The lake is a paradise for her prey.
It's an unbearable dilemma.
[low snarling]
[Tense music playing]
That settles it.
She'll wait for the deer to come out.
Or... maybe grab one
before it reaches the water.
[upbeat music playing]
She keeps going.
[music stops]
It's so tempting to go deeper,
but her experience holds her back.
[Suspenseful music playing]
[alarm call]
Ambar could have made a grave error.
A valuable lesson for the cubs.
[Playful music playing]
The sloth bear mother is showing her cubs
a safer way to find food.
Digging for termites
shouldn't be dangerous.
But if you steal mom's grubs
[both growling]
you can expect a smack.
[bear cub whines]
It doesn't take much
to entertain a young bear.
A branch will do it.
Hey, careful where you point that thing.
[playful music continues]
Across the forest,
jungle school is in recess.
The tiger cubs have the strength
to tackle most creatures now,
except bears.
But they still need
to practice their moves,
which they can do on the playing field.
[upbeat bright music playing]
[playful growl]
[cubs grumbling]
Even Charm is coming out of her shell
and becoming a lot more sociable.
Ambar is waiting for her cubs.
They've been distracted
by the scent of another tiger.
It's not from their mother.
And it's very powerful.
[tiger roaring in distance]
Shankar is too far ahead
to see the family,
but Ambar recognizes his call.
She must reach him
before he sees her cubs.
Charm is away from the others
and stays hidden
as Ambar tries to head off Shankar.
[suspenseful music playing]
Shankar senses Ambar is hiding something.
Shankar could kill Ambar
but that's not his intention.
He wants cubs with her
and will not stop trying.
Ambar can't keep him at bay any longer.
She needs to act...
and quickly.
Although the cubs are growing up fast,
they're still in grave danger.
But Ambar has a plan.
She finds Shankar's scent
and leaves an invitation for him.
Her cubs are still being reared,
so Ambar isn't fertile,
but Shankar doesn't know that.
Now that he's been invited to mate,
he'll assume Ambar wants cubs with him
and doesn't have any of her own.
It's a move that could keep her cubs safe
until they're ready to leave home.
If Ambar's plan is to work,
Shankar must believe she's alone.
[gentle music playing]
To complete the deception,
Ambar must be with Shankar,
and away from her cubs for several days.
It's a rare chance for companionship.
Ambar returns to her cubs
as soon as she can.
She finds Ravi first.
Ivy is there, too,
but Golu and Charm are nowhere to be seen.
It's a vast and dangerous forest
for the cubs to be lost in.
[Ambar calling]
[Ambar calling]
With no idea
which direction the cubs went,
Ambar has a lot of ground to cover.
[mellow music playing]
She checks everywhere
she has ever been with them.
[Ambar calling]
Finally, she reaches the ridge
that has a view over her whole territory.
[Ambar calling]
The last thing she wanted to see
with two young ones missing.
[low growl]
[vultures grunting, hissing]
[Somber music playing]
She's a mother of just two cubs now.
[somber music continues playing]
Raising two cubs will be easier,
but Ambar wasn't looking for an easy life.
[faint rumbling]
in a call-out for mates.
And the jungle airwaves
fill with unfamiliar sounds
as a new shift of animals stir.
[animals calling]
[Tranquil music playing]
Charm, lost and alone but alive.
She didn't suffer the same fate as Golu.
[bats screeching]
The Indian night
is a dangerous place for a young tiger,
she must take care.
[tranquil music continues]
[Tranquil music intensifies]
[birds chirping]
All alone and far from home.
This is unchartered territory for Charm
in every sense.
She'll need to dig deep
and draw on everything
she's learned from Ambar
if she's to survive.
But the worst time
to be away from family is approaching.
[faint rumbling]
[thunder rumbling]
Every year, when moist winds are blocked
by the Himalayan mountains,
monsoon clouds start to gather
across India.
[thunder rumbling]
Most of India's rain falls
in less than three months.
With the arrival of a new season,
it's time for Ambar
and her remaining cubs to move on...
and to let go of Golu and Charm.
Within a few days,
the landscape flushes green
and the dry riverbeds
become uncrossable torrents
that prevent tigers from traveling.
[dramatic music playing]
[Music fades out]
The wetter, the better for frogs.
It's now that they begin
their courtship rituals.
[playful music playing]
Here, the power of your attraction
is determined
by the loudness of your croak.
But defeating your rival suitors
has more to do
with the power of your legs.
A quick limber-up...
scope the competition...
and let the games begin.
[upbeat music playing]
It seems there are no rules.
[playful music continues]
Finally, the waters drop enough
for Charm to start traveling again.
Somehow, she survived her time alone,
perhaps by catching smaller prey
or scavenging.
[light music playing]
After several days,
familiar landmarks start to appear.
[birds calling]
And in a corner of the lake,
she finds what she's been searching for...
[upbeat music playing,
Thomas Newman "Scorpions"]
Charm's become stronger while away
and almost as big as the others.
She's far more confident too.
[growling softly]
There's no cowering from Ravi now.
[upbeat music continues]
[growling softly]
[Mellow music playing]
For Ambar, the return of Charm
has re-awakened a deep bond
she'd been forced to suppress.
Her daughter has more to learn
and Ambar has a second chance
to prepare her.
After the reunion,
jungle school is back in session.
The cubs are practicing
their hunting daily.
[light music playing]
[alarm call]
Not this time, Charm.
Ambar's encouraged though.
Ivy's turn.
The cubs are... getting there.
[tiger growls in distance]
Shankar is on patrol
and sees Ambar's cubs
in plain sight for the first time.
He's focused on Ravi.
As the largest male cub,
he's the biggest threat.
From above, Ambar watches Shankar
heading towards her son.
Ambar drops down
to lure Shankar away from Ravi.
Shankar's attention has switched to Ambar.
But Ravi's roar draws him back.
He should back down.
[suspenseful music playing]
[both growling]
Ambar's right there.
[Ambar growls]
She draws Shankar away from Ravi
and takes on the huge male herself.
Ambar lowers the temperature.
She needs to protect her cubs,
but also start building an alliance
with Shankar.
He could rule this land for many years.
One thing is now certain...
Ambar's cubs are no longer a secret.
Ravi's roar was nearly the end of him.
Ambar will no longer be able
to keep her cubs safe.
It's time for a change of plan.
[animals calling]
[langurs screeching]
On the cliffs above Ambar's territory,
the langurs have a spring in their step.
[light music playing]
They're strengthening the bonds
that hold their families together.
But bonds are being tested
in the tiger family.
The time for change has arrived.
Ravi and Ivy think
this is just another day
and approach Ambar,
expecting a share of her deer.
[Ambar growls]
But what they're about to learn
will be life-changing.
It's now that they discover
a mother must be cruel to be kind.
For this lesson to work,
they must believe
that Ambar will kill them
if they get too close.
Charm is the first
to realize it is futile.
For the first time in their lives,
their mother will not give them food.
It's a glimpse of the solitary life
they have in store.
This action goes against
every bone in Ambar's body,
but she knows forcing them to leave
is the only way to keep them safe
from Shankar.
[Ambar growling]
At first, they don't get the message.
[Ambar growling]
[Somber music playing]
But Ambar leaves Ravi in no doubt.
She has no more lessons left to give.
Charm is the first
to make the move away from Ambar.
She's a year and a half old now.
She can hunt on her own
and is no longer getting any food
from her mother.
Charm was the smallest
and most timid of Ambar's cubs
but found her resilience
while lost during the monsoon.
As she prepares to step into the unknown,
her siblings do the same.
Ravi, with Ivy following...
and Charm out in front.
Who'd have thought?
Ambar's little one leading the way.
Mom's first cubs
are graduating jungle school.
But what's next for her?
The cubs' departure opens
a new chapter for Ambar.
Never one to sit back,
she's out to shape her own future.
She sees Shankar
patrolling the lake's edge.
He's following another huge male.
A sloth bear.
[suspenseful music playing]
The bear is fearless,
as sloth bears have the right to be.
But Shankar is fearless too.
He seems to be thinking the unthinkable.
[sloth bear puffing]
[Foreboding music playing]
[Shankar growls]
Bear claws can slice open a tiger,
making sloth bears one of the most
dangerous animals in India.
But Shankar is scared of nothing.
He drags his giant prize
to a place he can eat undisturbed.
[low grumble]
Ambar saw everything
and doesn't shy away from the bear slayer.
Once she would have hidden
with Shankar so close,
now she approaches him.
Instead of running from the king,
Ambar confidently settles down.
Shankar seems ready to defend his meal.
But Ambar drops her guard entirely.
[light music playing]
And Shankar does something extraordinary.
He brings his bear to Ambar.
His hard-won prize,
the most dangerous creature
he could have tackled,
and he leaves it for her.
There is another side
to the king of this jungle.
Ambar has spent half her life
avoiding Shankar,
but now, she joins him.
She has a very different motive
for this liaison.
She's ready to have his cubs
and start a new family.
Shankar will protect these cubs and Ambar,
for as long as he reigns.
[pensive music playing]
Two years pass...
monsoons come and go...
and Ravi is thriving.
[action music playing]
[alarm call]
Ravi has a lake paradise of his own.
Not near Ambar of course,
Shankar wouldn't allow it.
He's forging his way in a new kingdom.
Ivy is in her element...
halfway up a tree.
She's better at hunting in them now.
Those monkeys had better watch out.
And Charm, well, her life has changed too.
[light music playing]
Her first cub...
born just a month ago.
[cub whining]
And this little boy...
has a sister.
[cub whining]
These new jungle school recruits
have Charm as their teacher.
She will pass on
all she learned from Ambar.
[uplifting music playing]
The new cubs have a lot to learn
about the magical forests of India,
from avoiding pythons, crocodiles,
and marauding male tigers...
to learning how to catch prey in a forest
that will be united against them.
But being from Ambar's line,
they have every chance
of earning their stripes
and having families of their own.
[cub whines]
[Upbeat music playing]
[Uplifting music playing,
Nitin Sawhney "Mausam"]