The White Tiger Movie Review: Priyanka Chopra's movie is rags to riches drama sans fairytale!

The White Tiger breaks free, roaring into the Anti-Slumdog Millionaire's Realm!

One of the best Netflix movies, The White Tiger stars Adarsh Gaurav, Rajkumar Rao and Priyanka Chopra Jonas in leading roles.

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Rating: 4/5

Helmed by Iranian-American filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart99 Homes, Fahrenheit 451) The White Tiger is a stinging satire on socio-economic inequality in India.

The movie offers an intriguing peek into the mind of the one who "comes along only once in a generation" to witness his metamorphosis into a beast (not literally). He transcends all barriers and makes it to the other side but not before passing the dark alley of crime. How he unshackles and breaks free of the cage of poverty? Read on!

An adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s 2008 Man Booker Prize-winning eponymous novel, the movie has been nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category in the Oscars 2021.

The White Tiger Movie Review: Story of a Rooster who escaped the coop

Adiga's story exposes the stark reality of our society, weaving it into a thrilling piece of fiction.
The two-hour film unfolds the struggle of a  backward caste lad Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gaurav) for freedom from the poverty-stricken life. The narrative follows his journey and manipulative ways to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

The movie paints a grim picture of the social fabric of India, depicting the yawning gap between the haves and have-nots.

The story portrays the master-servant relationship between Balram, born in an underprivileged family and Ashok (Raj Kumar Rao), born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

The gripping narrative not only exposes how servants face abuse at the hands of their masters but it also dissects the issues of poverty, politics, corruption, casteism, religion and the flawed system.

Narrated by Balram in the form of an email that he writes to the visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, he recounts how he dared to break the shackles of servitude.

His father, a rickshaw-puller, was deeply in debt to the landlord. After he died of tuberculosis, his grandmother Kusum (Kamlesh Gill) pulled him out of the school.

A bright student who was to get a scholarship to study in a school in Delhi had to drop out and work at a tea stall in their village Laxmangarh.

Looking at Ashok for the first time, Balram knew that he was the "master" for him.

The US-educated Ashok is the youngest son of Stork (Mahesh Manjhrekar), a rich, greedy landlord who steals coal from government mines and escapes taxes.

Ashok has returned to India with his American-Indian wife Pinky (Priyanka Chopra Jonas).
Balram jumps on the opportunity, takes driving lessons and lands a job as the driver for the couple.

And from there, the narrative steers through Dhanbad on the road to Delhi, embarking on a journey that halts at Bengaluru where Balram is shown leading a lavish life as the owner of a taxi service company - the White Tiger Drivers!

Watch TWT, one of the best Netflix movies to know how a servant escaped the "rooster coop" and became the master!

Latest Priyanka Chopra's movie is drama-packed

It's one of the latest Priyanka Chopra movies that you must watch. She is also the executive producer of the Oscar-nominated film that is trending on Twitter.

Priyanka's Pinky is believable as the US-born Indian who is sweet and rebellious. Her acting and accent were on point, though it's not a meaty role for her compared to her earlier outings.

Rajkummar Rao seems to be an apt choice for playing Ashok who is kind and gentle or should we say the "lamb"! But it's the lead actor Adarsh Gaurav who steals the show. You witness his acting prowess as he portrays various shades of his character with effortless ease.

From being a loyal servant to turning a rebel, from a ruthless crime executioner to a devious entrepreneur, his nuanced portrayal of anti-hero is worth watching.

Mahesh Manjhrekar and Vijay Maurya (his elder son, the mongoose) played wicked, abusive upper-caste masters with ease.

Swaroop Sampat (The Great Socialist) leaves a mark with her impressive performance as a powerful corrupt politician. With minimal screen time, she made an impact. Her transformation from a honey-tongued to a foul-mouthed politician in the blink of an eye is remarkable.

Nalneesh Neel (Vitiligo) essays the role of Balram's fellow driver in Delhi, who lived in the basement along with other drivers. The Emmy-nominated prosthetics/special make-up effects designer Matthew Smith was roped in to create the skin condition and make his character look real and authentic.

Nalneesh has recently won the Best Actor In Negative Role award for his movie Bhor at the 2020 Caleidoscope Indian Film Festival, Boston. The movie was trending on Twitter.

"I should warn you my story gets much darker from here."

Deftly written screenplay by Bahrani is gripping, though, toward the end, it looked a little rushed.

As soon as the movie opens, you embark on a thrilling ride with the trio - Balram, Ashok and Pinky Madam. Punjabi pop song blares from the stereo as drunk Pinky recklessly steers the XUV through the Delhi streets before hitting a kid. The camera cut to Balram's childhood and the narrative flashes back in time.

The film has some witty dialogues that help you to delve into Balram's psyche.

The White Tiger Movie: Quotable Dialogues make it one of the best Netflix movies

"Do we loathe our masters behind a façade of love, or do we love them behind a façade of loathing?"

"The Indian entrepreneur has to be straight and crooked, mocking and believing, sly and sincere, all at the same time."

"Road is a jungle."

"There are just two castes, men with big bellies or men with small bellies and there are only two destinies eat or get eaten up."

"A successful entrepreneur should always find his competitor's secrets."

"Entrepreneurs create opportunity. That's how I got my own startup. White Tiger drivers."

"The desire to be a servant had been bred into me, poured into my blood, hammered into my skull."

"I should warn you my story gets much darker from here."

"I have switched sides. I have made it. I have broken out of the coop."

"I was trapped in the rooster coop and don't believe for a second there's a million-rupee game show you can win to get out of it."

This dialogue establishes the movie as anti-Slumdog Millionaire

Where to watch: Streaming on Netflix

Will there be a sequel to The White Tiger Movie?

There are high chances that the character of the young boy (a son of a Balram's relative) had been added by the writer deliberately with a sequel in mind.

The young boy who stays with Balram in Bangaluru could grow up and become his alter ego. He could be yet another White Tiger in the making!

Do you think producers will release its sequel? Do you think the young boy will be shown stepping in his shoes if its sequel is made? Mention your thoughts in the comment section below.

The White Tiger Cast & Crew

Director: Ramin Bahrani
Adarsh Gaurav - Balram
Rajkumar Rao - Ashok
Priyanka Chopra Jonas - Pinky Madam (also Executive Producer)
Mahesh Manjhrekar - The Stork
Vijay Maurya - Mukesh 'The Mongoose'
Swaroop Sampat - The Great Socialist
Nalneesh Neel - Vitiligo
Kamlesh Gill - Grandmother
Screenplay - Ramin Bahrani
Music - Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans
Cinematography - Paolo Carnera
Editing - Ramin Bahrani, Tim Streeto
Casting - Tess Joseph