Harry (Jack Lemmon) wakes up in bed from what seems to be a nasty dream. He pours water on his face and conducts his daily routine, having a shower and sharing chit-chat with his wife. During this conversation, we learn that Harry is stressed out. While Harry feels he has everything under control, his wife urges him to seek professional help.
As Harry goes to work, we understand more about his world, including that Harry is a war veteran and currently maintains a fashion company. Throughout his morning, we also find that his business has lost money, and he is forced to make tough choices. To keep things moving forward, Harry is willing to take massive risks against the rules and completely against the law to stay on top of his game. He soon decides to get involved in an insurance scam on one of his company’s buildings, which will work in his favour extensively. The question is, will Harry get caught or will his personal feelings begin to get in the way?
Save the Tiger is best described as a drama film. We get to learn details about our leading man Harry quickly. I loved watching his morning routine and the fact we get to understand the stress, pressure and challenges he is currently facing, as well as his past in the war. Jack Lemmon as Harry is excellent, and he creates a character who is evidently on the edge with everything coming at him from all directions. His performance is compelling, and he leaves no details missed. While we know about Harry’s stress, we also know he lacks joy and will often have brief moments of escapism by replaying baseball games out loud.
While performances are pretty strong, the pacing could have been faster, even more so in the third act, which consists of extended scenes and lengthy monologues that overstay their welcome. The finale is unpredictable, touching and successfully leaves a powerful message strong enough to linger with a profound impact.
Overall, this is a touching, well-made drama focusing on one man dealing with extreme anxiety levels in all areas of his life. Jack Lemmon as Harry is outstanding, and audiences will appreciate the detail and depth on display even during the opening scene. While viewers may disagree with Harry’s choices, you still hope that he finds peace and some form of joy by the end credits. It’s a slow burn, and sadly, the third act drags on and feels slightly uncomfortable, given some of the lengthy scenes and extended dialogue that is exchanged. That being said, the finale is highly impacting, deeply touching, unpredictable, and pleasing.