The White Tiger Review: Ramin Bahrani's film gives Slumdog Millionaire a reality check; Adarsh Gourav shines
The White Tiger Movie Review: The Ramin Bahrani directorial stars Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao in the lead. Before watching the Netflix movie, read the review.
Movie Name: The White Tiger
The White Tiger Cast: Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao and Mahesh Manjrekar.
The White Tiger Director: Ramin Bahrani
The White Tiger Ratings: 3/5
One of the most anticipated movies of the year has finally hit Netflix. The White Tiger starring Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao and Mahesh Manjrekar has had everyone's attention since it was announced. The trailer amplified the anticipation. Now that the movie has released, does it sail through? To an extent, yes. The White Tiger revolves around Balram, played by Adarsh Gourav, who is born in a small town, in rural India. His hope, as a child, was to study and he was also offered a scholarship. However, the shackles of poverty and a humongous family to feed chains his opportunity to fly. Balram compares himself with a rooster stuck in "the rooster coop."
Nevertheless, the unusual village tiger waited for the right time to find his prey that would set him free from the poor village life. He meets Ashok, played by Rajkummar Rao, who is the son of his rich landlord in the village and is convinced that he would be his driver. As events unfold, Balram lands the job and dedicates his life of service to Ashok. As he grows closer to the family, he meets Pinky, played by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who is married to Ashok against the family's will and isn't conservative like Ashok's family.
The modern-day couple treats Balram better than Ashok's father and his elder brother, whom Balram referred to as Stork and Mongoose. In his greed to be in the top of the chain, even if it were among the drivers and other servants in the house, leads him to do some unforgivable acts. He finally manages to reach the closest one could get with the couple when the trio is involved in a hit and run case. The second half of the movie unfolds the change in dynamics, the reality that slaps hard on Balram's face, leading to his shift in loyalty and his growing greed which results in a horrendous crime unfolding. And these events are narrated by Balram himself.
The White Tiger intertwines the class and caste divide, adding a scope of brilliant performances and a generous cup of satire to deliver a memorable movie. Director Ramin Bahrani incorporates the colours, the landscape and the magic of New Delhi in ways that it would remind you of the Oscar-winning South Korean movie Parasite. He uses cinematic poetry to narrate his tale while poking fun with impressive one-liners and comparisons. Lines like, "The days of the White man are over. It is now the time of the Brown man and the Yellow man," referring to the paradigm shift, "The Indian entrepreneur has to be straight and crooked, mocking and believing, sly and sincere, all at the same time," while describing the country's entrepreneur, and many more leave you smirking. While these elements keep the movie in shape, unfortunately, The White Tiger is stuck in 2008, in the same year that the book was released.
The idea of Bangalore being the next big thing and the ideas of Start-Ups are bygones today, trapping the film into a space long-forgotten. The White Tiger is uneven as well. While it has moments where one cannot take their eyes off the screen, there are others which weigh the movie down.
However, Adarsh Gourav holds the steering wheel with ease through the movie. The actor delivers an outstanding performance that lingers long after the movie has ended. Rajkummar Rao and Priyanka Chopra Jonas have supported Adarsh in his act. Rajkummar as the US-returned upper class leaves the spotlight for Adarsh. Meanwhile, Priyanka makes Pinky a tad more relatable, fighting to bring about a difference in the caste system, even if it is at home. Owing to the limited screentime, Priyanka's character felt underdeveloped. It is understandable that viewers were seeing Pinky through the eyes of Balram, however, it felt like the dish wasn't fully served.
Bottom Line: Despite the flaws, The White Tiger keeps you invested and deserves your attention.
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