The White tiger
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Occupation: Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao and Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Streaming on: Netflix
The white tiger, the animal, is a rare phenomenon that only occurs once in a generation. The film The White Tiger, based on Aravind Adiga’s book of the same name, is also a rare phenomenon. I didn’t read the novel and went straight to the film, which was written for the big screen and directed by Ramin Bahrani. and was blown away by it. It’s a withering look at the class. It is set in India, where the population is still divided into class and caste and powerful people use it for their personal and political gains. It’s a story from rags to riches. But not the usual where the hero is a moralistic, just man. Here the protagonist murders his way to riches.
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Balram (Adarsh Gourav), a boy from a rural village in the Indian heartland, describes his position in society, the servants, as “the cockpit”. He describes the ruling man of the village as the stork (Mahesh Manjrekar) and his son and henchman as the mongoose (Vijay Maurya). Balram is entitled to bondage and finds his master in Storch’s second son Ashok, whom he says is called the Lamb. Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and his wife Pinky (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) return to the USA. They don’t believe in the feudal system that rules Ashok’s father.
These two are well intentioned to Balram, who finds a job as a secondary driver at The Stork’s House. So begins Balram’s story from rags to riches. The film is a letter that Balram wrote in 2010 to the then Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who played Balram’s voice-over of the flashback in Balram’s childhood.
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Adarsh Gourav as Balram is doing a great job and showing great potential to become a star of his kind. What is remarkable is his body language from a strapless, smiling servant to an angry and successful entrepreneur. The film doesn’t quite show what’s going on inside him, except for a couple of instances of him talking to himself in the damp, mosquito-filled layered arrangement for servants and drivers in the basement of the skyscrapers.
He is deftly supported by Rajkummar Rao and Priyanka Chopra Jonas as a benevolent but confused and spineless US return. The only thing that a large part of the Indian audience may consider a hurdle is that this film is in English where a village boy speaks English almost fluently. However, this should not affect the overall effect the film has on you. It’s a suspenseful crime drama led by fantastic writing and a giant cast like The White Tiger. Have to watch.