'The White Tiger' review: Adarsh Gourav shines in absorbing tale
The White Tiger brings you: A mesmerizing tale, Priyanka Chopra's first notable acting performance in years, and a young star's brilliant breakthrough performance. Directed by Ramin Bahrani and adapted from Aravind Adiga's acclaimed novel, the movie is inspiring and absorbing, but only to a certain extent. Its impact is evident, but inconsistently so. Here is our review.
A loyal servant, a rich couple, one fateful night
Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav) - a confectioner by "caste," vows to break free from the shackles of poverty and backwardness by becoming the servant of a rich couple - Ashok and Pinky (Rajkummar Rao and Priyanka Chopra Jonas respectively). But his life takes a dramatic U-turn after his indisputable loyalty leads him to one fateful night.
A biting take on our many issues
Without a doubt, The White Tiger is a piece of art. It is a biting take on this country's ingrained issues of caste discrimination, class differences and anti-women sentiments. In a brutal reminder and sharp rebuttal to Danny Boyle's 2008 drama Slumdog Millionaire, it tells us why a television game show is not enough to change the lives of the Indian poor.
Meticulous and engrossing
This film is engrossing to the core. With support from a taut screenplay, The White Tiger has been meticulously directed and masterfully narrated. Further, its precise editing makes it difficult for one to lose attention. However, even as the commentary partly adds to its charm, it might sound preachy at some point taking away the overall impact of the film.
Adarsh Gourav delivers a strikingly memorable performance
Adarsh Gourav brings justice to a role that is evidently hard to pull off. His portrayal of the conflicted Balram is innocent, scintillating, and phenomenal, all at once. It is a delight to witness his talents bloom in a film that complements his abilities. Even in frames carrying other top actors, the young star ends up overshadowing them.
To watch or not to watch?
Rags-to-riches stories often have ugly secrets underneath, and The White Tiger is testimony to that fact. The film is realistic, inspiring and captivating. Its loyalty to the source material, sharp writing, and spellbinding performances keep you gripped throughout its run. This movie is a must-watch. You can catch it on Netflix. Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars.