A rags to riches story is one of my favorite tropes. The White Tiger, a film by based on the 2008 book by Aravind Adiga, sparked my interest because it was executively produced by Ava DuVernay. I am convinced that everything she touches turns to gold. Together with director Ramin Bahrani, I knew that checking out this film was a no brainer. I just didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did!
Balram (Adarsh Gourav) knows that he is destined for greatness. When he gets a job as a driver for a wealthy Indian family, his life begins to change. But then Balram starts to see flaws in the system. He thought that working for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra) would be good for him, that they actually care about him and his wellbeing. Realizing that that couldn’t be further from the truth, Balram must use his wits to break free even if it means losing himself in the process.
This is not a light-hearted tale. It may start off on a hopeful note, complete with colorful visuals and lively music, however it slowly turns more dark as the film goes on. I thought this was also perfectly conveyed through the acting of the leads. The performances were all off the charts and I am excited to see what Adarsh Gourav does in the future. He put so many different emotions into his role and I was rooting for him the entire time.
I loved how the movie gave me major Parasite vibes in that the main character knows they are better than what society says they are. The caste system in India is just as thriving today than it was in the past and in some ways, it seems almost backwards for the 21st century. I appreciated how we as the audience had the opportunity to see this depicted because it helped make the movie more realistic.
The White Tiger was a joy to watch and I know it will stick with me for years to come. I’m sure it will have the same effect on you too.