Deep in the heart of the Southeast Asian jungle in the early 20th century, two tigers are born, amidst the ruins of a forgotten temple. They grow up surrounded by moss-eaten statues, under the protective gaze of their mother, the Tigress, and their father, the Great Tiger. Uncontested heirs to the throne, the two brothers Kumal and Sangha are destined to one day rule this kingdom. Thousands of miles away, a passion for ancient treasures has swept the western world, creating an insatiable market for the statues that adorn the temples and bringing fortune hunters to the jungle, determined to loot these artifacts. One of these men is Aidan McRory (Guy Pearce), a romantic adventurer famous for writing books about his big game hunting prowess. Having assembled a local crew to assist him, Aidan unintentionally violates the tigers' sanctuary and is forced to kill the Great Tiger when it attacks a member of his party.
While Sangha manages to escape with his mother, Kumal is captured by Aidan, who takes an immediate liking to the cub. Their opportunity to bond is cut short when Aidan is imprisoned for looting statues, and Kumal is sold off to a circus. Motivated by his own ambitions, the regional governor Eugene Normandin (JEAN-CLAUDE DREYFUS) arranges for Aidan's release and then coerces him into leading a hunting party for the local Prince (OANH NYGUEN).
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