It should surprise no one the baggage we carry as children from the little things our parents say sticks with us into adulthood. An agoraphobic still carries his mother’s small white lie in writer-director James Abrams’ short film, A Tiger in the Subway.
Sid (Al Nazemian) is an agoraphobic painter with real problems at hand. As a child, his mother told him not to go outside because the animals at the zoo escaped, including a tiger in the subway. Today, when Sid leaves his apartment, he wears a reflective vest for safety. He’s aware of every move by strangers along the way. With every step, Sid’s senses betray him into believing every shadow and blurry figure is an animal ready to pounce. His brother Gary (Jeff Smith) tries to be a source of comfort but doesn’t understand his sibling’s fears. It would be easy for Gary to give up, but he keeps coming back to help. But one day, Sid goes missing.
“…his mother told him not to go outside because the animals at the zoo escaped, including a tiger in the subway.”
Running nine minutes, filmmaker James Abrams puts us directly in the shoes of our protagonist. Abrams takes his time to tell Sid’s story with every step, paranoid glance, and frustration from a brother who doesn’t understand. The filmmaker uses the camera brilliantly to get us to feel Sid’s anxiety and each painstaking step he takes outside his apartment doors. Sid’s feelings are depicted masterfully in Al Nazemian’s facial expressions.
Storywise, A Tiger in the Subway ends with a secret revealed. A secret from his childhood and the secret feelings he’s been harboring expressed in a painting. It all leads to a surprising final resolution.
For screening information about A Tiger in the Subway, visit the Caramel Hippo Studios’ official website.
"…depicted masterfully in Al Nazemian's facial expressions."