CREATE YOUR FATE.
Low-caste villager Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav) is hired as a driver for a successful entrepreneur (Rajkummar Rao) and his American wife (Priyanka Chopra), slowly realizing how there’s only one way for him to break free. The lauded novel becomes a good reason for the director to return to a familiar theme, the struggle between classes. This portrait of the despicable Indian caste system is detailed, insightful and very engaging, consisting largely of a well-told flashback story explaining how the lead character rose from poverty by committing a bloody crime. Loses some of its grip near the end; still, dark with a sense of humor. Gourav is very good.
2021-U.S.-India. 125 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Ramin Bahrani, Mukul Deora. Written and directed by Ramin Bahrani. Novel: Aravind Adiga. Cast: Adarsh Gourav (Balram Halwai), Priyanka Chopra (Pinky Madam), Rajkummar Rao (Ashok), Vijay Maurya, Mahesh Manjrekar.
Trivia: Co-executive produced by Ava DuVernay and Chopra.
Last word: “I remember reading early versions of ‘The White Tiger’ years before he finished it. I thought it was amazing. I always wanted to make a film of it. I’m grateful he trusted me to do it.” (Bahrani on his decades-long friendship with Adiga, Entertainment Weekly)