The White Tiger is Netflix’s next big release, set to arrive on the 22nd of January. The film directed by Ramin Bahrani is based on the book of the same name, written by Aravind Adiga
What is the story about?
The White Tiger finds itself in the groove of Slumdog Millionaire, and the recent worldwide phenomenon in Parasite, as we are led to the story of Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav), an ambitious young man from a village who finds his way up by becoming a driver and then using mind games and the power of wit to escape from his current stance and get rich. On the way, Balram learns harsh truths on how the rich behave, use people for their situations, and the wide world of corruption which never plans to close.
The White Tiger follows a bullet-point narrative structure, and never misses out on highlighting the gaping gaps between the rich and the poor, assessing many themes such as globalization, class divide, individualism, and more. With so much in the frame at every point of time, it's exciting to watch Ramin Bahrani’s powerful shots at the way the system works, how it treats its people differently and how small things lead to big trouble. The film is also a spitting image of how the USA’s lifestyle adapts itself to an Indian undercurrent, and the mindsets of the people switching over from such lands are also perfectly knitted together here. The film does tend to get into a façade at times, misleading us into unwanted territories, but thankfully, it finds its way back to the center stage with ease and manages to surprise us at regular intervals. Built with strong scenes and scenarios of the backdrop that it adapts, The White Tiger is a smashing social commentary that is as entertaining as it is deep, relatable, and well-researched.
It is indeed a fantabulous performance from the relatively new Adarsh Gourav, who is pitch-perfect in the role of Balram. The character comes forward with a lot of vulnerability and a lot of shades that make him look both innocent and street smart, and he exhibits all of them with consummate ease. It’s a treat to watch him go from strength to strength in the film, as we begin to feel and root for the character after the halfway mark. Rajkummar Rao is the next best on the list, portraying a classy but canny role with a style of his own. There are a lot of sparks in his act which gain momentum little by little and do the job well. Priyanka Chopra, Mahesh Manjrekar, and the rest of the cast are good additions, making this an ensemble that scores big.
Music & Other Departments
The film’s technicalities are well loaded, be it the sublime cinematography that manages to make us uncomfortable just by the camera placements, or the ringing music that doesn’t break barriers but still creates an impact.
The performances of all the members of the cast along with the watertight narrative set by Ramin Bahrani are the biggest plus points.
The film does get lethargic in a few portions, especially when it backtracks the stories of the protagonist.
Did I enjoy it?
Yes I did. The White Tiger is a solid, sensible take on the Indian scene, making it a treat to watch despite its flaws.
Do I recommend it?
Yes. This is a film that deserves your time, attention and thought.