The White Tiger Netflix Review: A rambling mess
The White Tiger is an American Indian film released in 2021. This film is the reworking of Arvind Adiga’s 2008 Novel. This tale is about a guy named Balram, who is from a poor Indian village. He was compelled to drop out of school immediately when he started learning.
But Balram always had a dream to come out of poverty, to unlearn slavery. He uses his intelligence to come out of poverty and rise to the top. The White Tiger was premiered on January 6th, 2021 in Las Vegas. Later it was screened in a limited number of theatres because of covid 19. On the 22nd of January 2021, this film was released globally through the streaming platform, Netflix.
About The White Tiger
Direction: Ramin Bahrani
Production: Mukul Deora, Ramin Bahrani, Priyanka Chopra
Featuring: Raj Kummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra, Adarsh Gourav
Based on: Arvind Adiga’s: The White Tiger
Music: Saunder Jurriaans, Danny Bensi
Streaming and Distribution: Netflix
Running Time: 125 minutes
Languages: Hindi, English
The book compared to film
The greatest compliment for any novel comes from the unique and proper area of its competence. That it can’t be filmed because it is so unique in itself. And when the film cannot do justice to the book. Such novels create various unique characters that we accept on their own terms. Adapting a book to make a film is a mixture of stress between the reader and the watcher. Between visualizing and noticing.
Such frictions mark the adaptation of The White tiger. A novel is written by Arvind Adiga. Which is now a Netflix film. This film centers on Balram who is a poor guy from a village who had a dream to come out of it. So he travels to Dhanbad and finally, he ends living in Delhi and Banglore. He became a standout model of capitalist India: an entrepreneur.
One of the most exceptional things about Arvind Adigas’s novel is his timing. Bahrani’s film like Arvind Adiga’s book opens with Balram who is addressing Wen Jiabao, who is coming to Banglore to meet some Indian entrepreneurs. The characters especially at the start lack originality, striking particularities. Balram’s smooth voice sounds divergent over the visuals of a Poverty-stricken Bihar village. Counting on tired vicarial visuals- buffaloes, children running behind cars, and riverbanks, the whole setting feels unswayed.
Acting and The narrative
The acting is below the required standard. Especially by the character named Granny. The diction is quintessential: Many of the Hindi words are suffixed with the term ‘VA’ similar to that of some of the Bad Bollywood films imagining Bihar. Most of the English Dialogues are a crock. Rahim Bahrani’s screenplay tries to validate the choice – Balram is semi-illiterate, his boss and his wife pinky have recently moved from the US. But it still feels questionable and unconvincing.
A big question to an imaginary tale comes at the beginning. Where we are constrained to ask ‘Can I just trust this narrative?”. This film gives us rare proof. When Ashok family members are speaking to each other in the comfort of their homes. They usually slip into English that rings with definite mendacity.
This kind of unevenness is deep-rooted to an English novel because of its very medium. Despite Adiga’s book being exalted prose, it did face some bogus. But I gave it space, automatically doing the imagination. But however, a film is an audiovisual experience so one has to overcome all these limitations while making a film. Moreover, particularly in countries like India. Where language and diction change across areas and regions. Presenting our characters speak flat dialogues fetors of mediocre ignorance.
The main complication with the film is not that it diverges from the source material, but the content is upright- too ardent and sincere to itself. A good adaptation means taking the soul of its piece and creating it in its own language. This film exalts The white tiger novel so much that it struggled to look beyond the original novel. It wants to pack with as many lines as possible from the novel. Which finally led to some stiff and weird scenes. There is no sense of the character in between the scenes.
Because of all these reasons alone, the first half of the film is an absolutely rambling mess. But however, even in the midst of all this messiness, there is some kind of good attention to detail and good acting.
Adarsh Gaurav, a promising actor, has done some kind of amazing works before, acted with his body and voice in this film. Which is totally amazing and a treat to watch. Unlike some of the characters in the film, his diction and delivery are perfect.
The movie comes into its soul after completing one hour as Ramin Bahrani completely depends on his sharp visual filmmaking which makes it interesting. But somehow that brilliance is short-lived. Because the films go on explaining and explaining and some more explaining.
There are various shots where Balram imagines what will happen to his family if he cheats Ashok. This film leaves nothing for our imagination because it keeps on explaining. Each and every time this film is trying to impose meaning on us, without taking a break. (Which is spoon-feeding but, we will be nice.)
However Balrams emphatic, bright narration slowly reveals the dark side of the story that THE WHITE TIGER always was. This film works because of Balram’s powerful character. THE White Tiger is going to receive all kinds of universality in spite of its limitations. Because of the darkness that the character Balram speaks. Which is prevailing not just in India but all over the world. The plot of the film just cuts across all the borders and cuts into the soul as well.
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