Archive for the ‘Ramin Bahrani’ Category

A Poor Man in a Free Democracy

The White Tiger

Director: Ramin Bahrani

Cast: Adash Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Verdent Sinha, Kamlesh Gill

Film Rating 8 out of 10

This film is only available on Netflix

When Aravind Adiga wrote the novel, The White Tiger, which went on to win the Man Booker Prize in 2008, his brilliant and bustling novel about contemporary India, he dedicated his work to the American film director and producer of Man Push Cart Ramin Bahrani.

So it was only apt, that Bahrani adapted the acclaimed novel for the screen and directed it, scoring him a 2021 Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay for the film version of The White Tiger, but losing out to the masterful adaptation of Florian Zeller’s play The Father by Zeller and Christopher Hampton.

In the flurry of fine films released in the first half of 2021, The White Tiger slipped under the radar and never braved a flourishing theatrical release, only to be quietly released on Netflix on the 22nd January 2021.

The White Tiger is an exuberant tale about an impoverished man Balram that escapes the clutches of his rural poverty stricken Indian village to find a job working as a driver for a wealthy family in Delhi at the peak of India’s re-emergence on the world economic stage at the height of the country’s IT boom in 2008.

Director Ramin Bahrani’s film version could have been edited, but features capable performances by Adarsh Gourav as Balram, Rajkummar Rao as his master Ashkok and the Priyanka Chopra Jonas as Pinky Madam.

Mumbai born actor Adarsh Gourav deservedly received a 2021 Bafta nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of the ambitious Balram who realizes that one wrong move, could lead to the death of his entire family back in the countryside, where his extended family live in abject poverty ruled by a his grandmother played by Kamlesh Gill.

Balram’s fascinating journey takes him to the plush Delhi high rises where he goes from serving and idolizing Ashkok in a subtle homoerotic way to taking advantage of this wealthy man who bribes influential politicians with impunity and is poised to take advantage of the IT boom that happened in Bangalore, whereby Western tech companies used the Indian city as a call centre hub as the Tech giants outsourced their customer support capabilities to an emerging economy with an abundant supply of cheap labour, which modern India so readily provided.

The White Tiger is a vibrant, brutal tale of how a poor man in the world’s largest free democracy becomes the master of his own destiny.

Highly recommended viewing, especially for those that have read the novel, The White Tiger gets a film rating of 8 out of 10 and is available to watch on Netflix.

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