The White Tiger, an adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s Booker prize-winning novel by the same name is now streaming on Netflix and has surely created a worldwide hype for its satirical narrative and a unique take on India! Adapted to the screen by Ramin Bahrani, Netflix’s The White Tiger stars Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao, Adarsh Goutam and Mahesh Manjrekar in the lead roles and captures a roller-coaster ride of a poor Indian driver to becoming an entrepreneurial success! A unique rags-to-riches tale with its spotlight on an Indian servant’s story is not the only thing that makes it a worth-watch but a slick narrative, jaw-dropping twists and its dark comedic vibes will surely blow your mind!
Here are the top 10 reasons why you should definitely watch Netflix’s The White Tiger adapted from Aravind Adiga’s prize-winning novel!
‘Are You a Man or a Demon?’ Neither, I say.
More than often in movies and books, there is a clear demarcation between the protagonist and the antagonist. In Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger, you will see a blurring of those boundaries as the main protagonist swims crosses the fine line between the good and the bad. You will be caught between villainizing Balram for the path he takes to climb out of poverty and simultaneously sympathise with him, knowing that this was his only escape. And this is the beauty of The White Tiger, you would want a resolution different from what the film offers you but you will only end up with the realisation that this was the only possible one i.e, “eat or be eaten up”.
“Goodness exists only where it’s demanded.”
The White Tiger’s premise itself exists in the harsh reality of this quote by the German playwright Bertolt Brecht. The movie starkly depicts the life of a servant in an Indian family and the background of these servants, touching upon the issue of how the lower, working-class population is always expected to be loyal to their masters. But, in turn, the rich class never takes up the accountability to work for the good of the poor. Ramin Bahrani’s screenplay and Aravind Adiga’s novel provides space for this theme to expand and reach the audience’s mind leaving them with many questions!
Look Out for Arvind Adiga’s “Rooster Coop” Metaphor!
“Do we loathe our masters behind a facade of love – or do we love them behind a facade of loathing?
“We are made mysteries to ourselves by the Rooster Coop we are locked in.”
The brilliance of Arvind Adiga’s The White Tiger is its use of metaphors which invoke the reality of the lower working class which remains hidden behind the dazzle of our modern cities. One such metaphor is that of the “chicken coop”. Like chickens caught in a coop, with being butchered the only destiny that awaits them, India’s poor undergo a similar situation. But, in White Tiger you will see Balram climbing out of that coop and replacing his master. Balram’s fierce climb from rags to riches is what makes this movie a must-watch!
The Super-Talented Star-Studded Cast
In this adaptation of Arvind Adiga’s The White Tiger, you will see Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra and Rajkumar Rao playing the central characters. The brilliance brought to the silver screen by award-winning actors Priyanka Chopra and Rajkumar Rao is thrilling and refreshing but Adarsh Gourav as the protagonist Balram Halwai steals the show! You will see the dilemmas and subsequent transitions that Balram goes through which has been marvellously portrayed by Goutam. The cast seems to have gotten into the skin of its characters and therefore seems to be capable of taking you directly into a world which exists in front of us but is left unnoticed.
Call for A Reality Check
“…the future of the world lies with the yellow man and the brown man now that our erstwhile master, the white-skinned man, has wasted himself through buggery, cell phone usage, and drug abuse.”
Like in Arvind Adiga’s book, the movie adaptation precisely presents a microcosm of everything that is wrong with India as a nation. The poverty, oppression, corruption, materialism, the rural-urban divide, the stark contrast between the haves and have-nots, you will find all that in the movie. What’s interesting is that you would want to believe that this is not the country you know, that this is not the entire reality of India but the story is left without any loopholes. You will keep trying to find a loose end from where to fit in an ideal version of India and contradict the narrative but you will constantly fail to do so. And this is the challenge that you will face as the audience which will make you question how we have idealised our country in ways we shouldn’t.
The Parallel between White Tiger and Parasite
Bong Joon Ho’s oscar-winning movie Parasite wonderfully portrayed the themes of class-divide and was widely acclaimed around the world. If you have read Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger, you might already be familiar with the parallels between this story and Parasite’s narrative. The master-servant dynamic which comes at the crux of these two and results in the servant eventually indulging in ensures a spine-chilling experience for the audience. And it’s such an experience that Ramin Bahrani’s White Tiger promises to the audience. It would be interesting to see if White Tiger is able to create the same cinematic brilliance that Parasite was able to!
The Adaptation Stays Faithful to Adiga’s White Tiger!
It’s always interesting to see the cinematic representation of a text the way a reader would have imagined it. Ramin Bahrani’s screenplay stays true to Aravind Adiga’s intricately woven narrative thus make sure that the story is adapted as closely to the book itself. Don’t worry we won’t spoil the surprise for you but make sure to trace those differences when you watch the film!
Challenging the Position of Servants in Indian Families
Have you ever thought about the well-manufactured master-servant relationship portrayed in Indian cinema? Take any Bollywood film and you will have a loyal servant doing the shady work for their master! Even if treated well or otherwise, he remains the ideal loyal servant. But in White Tiger, this established narrative is broken down and that too very systematically, it makes us rethink the boundaries that exist between the master and the slave. When you will see the film you will know it’s not about a servant’s revolt against the master but a servant’s revolt against a society that has configured this rich-poor relationship in its roots!
“A White Tiger keeps no friends. It’s too dangerous.”
A refreshingly satirical take on the ever-idealistic India we have grown up watching, The White Tiger is truly a must-watch and will surely be a global success for its dark comedic narrative and essential themes portrayed! These are all the reasons you need to watch Aravind Adiga’s newly adapted novel, The White Tiger! Whenever you do watch it, make sure to give us your movie review in the comments below! Stay tuned to Leverage Edu for more such interesting content and go follow us at Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, Quora, and Facebook!