THE WHITE TIGER is a new Netflix thriller-mystery from India. Most of the dialogue is in English and the story is mesmerizing. A sort of Life of Pi but so much darker and set in brutal realism. This is definitely one to watch. Read our full The White Tiger movie review and find it on Netflix!
THE WHITE TIGER is a new Netflix movie from India that blends thriller, drama, crime, and mystery. The story has a realistic and real backdrop that makes for a very interesting watch. In fact, this would be a good movie to watch for the whole family – if the kids are old enough to follow other crime or thriller stories.
Also, most of the dialogue is in English, so while this is a Netflix movie produced in India, the language barrier is minimal.
Continue reading our The White Tiger movie review below and check it out on Netflix.
Rags to riches done right
At first, the plot of The White Tiger did remind me a bit of Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning Life of Pi (2012). However, this is only in the sense that we follow a young boy from India, who has to go through quite a lot to emerge on the other side.
In fact, the backdrop of this new Netflix movie never features a happy childhood. The main protagonist is a smart kid who is given an opportunity to study at a good school. Essentially, this gives him the chance for a better life. However, instead, the elders in the family pull him out of school and force him to work in the family business.
This alone is probably all too realistic, which makes the setting a dark and brutal one.
Being a smart kid, the young Balram (Adarsh Gourav) decides that he will do whatever he can to make a better life for himself. Surprisingly – for many with a Western upbringing – his wishes and desires are remarkably small. However, all of this begins to change when he realizes that he can choose to fight for more in life.
He just has to take what he wants, because no one will give it to him!
Adarsh Gourav is The White Tiger
The evolution of the Balram character and his inner workings and conflicts make for one of the best rags to riches stories I’ve seen in a long time. Since the entire movie is a flashback, we know he will succeed in some sense. We see him telling his own story while clearly being in a place of more prosperity than he ever anticipated.
How he acts, when he does manage to achieve a better life for himself, is what really makes this movie for me!
Balram is portrayed by Adarsh Gourav (the Netflix series Leila), who does an excellent job. Seeing him as both the young man from a rural village and as the man who has made it, is a truly mesmerizing transformation. Also, the definition of “making it” matches my own worldview pretty damn well, so obviously, this makes me like him a whole lot more!
In another key role, we see Priyanka Chopra (Quantico) who is once again also producing just as she did with the Amazon Original movie Evil Eye (2020). Later this year, we’ll be seeing her in The Matrix 4 which I am definitely looking forward to! Another producer on this new Netflix movie is Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th), which should tell you that this story has a lot going for it!
Watch The White Tiger on Netflix!
Ramin Bahrani is the writer and director of The White Tiger. The movie is based on a book by Aravind Adiga (a 2008 Booker Prize-winning debut novel), so we’re talking about an adapted screenplay. I haven’t read the book, but after watching this Netflix movie, I am definitely putting it on my reading list.
Previously, Ramin Bahrani (who was actually born in North Carolina, USA) has directed feature films, short films, music videos, and documentary shorts. He has also produced several of these. His previous feature films include the sci-fi thriller Fahrenheit 451 (2018) starring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon.
Much of the story in The White Tiger takes place at the beginning of this new millennium, which makes for an interesting watch now. Especially when listening to predictions and expectations for the future of China and India in the world economy, which has largely come true since then. Overall though, you should watch this movie because it’s a life-affirming story about right and wrong!
The White Tiger is out on Netflix worldwide from January 22, 2021.
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Writers: Aravind Adiga, Ramin Bahrani
Stars: Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao, Swaroop Sampat, Vijay Maurya, Nalneesh Neel, Mahesh Manjrekar, Kamlesh Gill, Vedant Sinha
Balram Halwai narrates his epic and darkly humorous rise from poor villager to successful entrepreneur in modern India. Cunning and ambitious, our young hero jockeys his way into becoming a driver for Ashok and Pinky, who have just returned from America. Society has trained Balram to be one thing — a servant — so he makes himself indispensable to his rich masters. But after a night of betrayal, he realizes the corrupt lengths they will go to trap him and save themselves. On the verge of losing everything, Balram rebels against a rigged and unequal system to rise up and become a new kind of master.