When i saw that The White Tiger was nominated for an Academy Award (Adapted Screenplay), I wasn’t sure what to expect. But It is a well-acted and beautifully made movie that transforms its source material into a grimly compelling drama while manages to also feels very contemporary.
If you didn’t know, the movie is adapted from a 2008 novel of the same name (PS: I didn’t know that). The leading role is to my surprise for a new Indian actor (Adarsh Gourav) while the most known face in this cast, Priyanka Chopra, takes the role of supporting actress as well as executive producer.
So, what is the movie about? Adarsh plays Balram, an ambitious poor Indian turned driver for a rich family. He quickly discovers the cruelty and corruption of rich India. So, he uses his wit and cunning to escape from poverty and rise to the top.
Sadly, any hope or salvation offered is laced with a drop of arsenic, and there are certainly no Bollywood dance numbers to lift your spirits. The path to “freedom from the coop” is a cunning one. From learning that his masters are paying bribes to avoid taxes, and then framing him for an accident, to turning against his masters and committing a crime.
In fact, you could draw a direct through-line from old Hollywood gangster movies to this one. Yes, the movie could be tighter and cleaner. But I was invested in Balram straight away even as I started hating him towards the end. There’s just something about him
Should you watch it?
The White Tiger is a sad, scathing, cynical crime saga set in contemporary India. While It is very beautifully made, it takes you thru the pain of the poor and what it takes to make it. Not likely to win the Oscar nomination but a must watch.
Where can I watch it?
You can stream The White Tiger worldwide exclusively on Netflix.