The White Tiger [Grade: A]

Director: Ramin Bahrani

Cast: Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao, Nalneesh Neel, Vijay Maurya, & Kamlesh Gill

* * *

This was such a pleasant surprise! When I saw the title, it was immediately familiar to me because I have the book nestled in my bookshelf, but have yet to read it. I actually attempted to read before watching the movie a few nights ago (who was I fooling LOL), but obviously realized that was a battle I wasn’t going to win in such a short amount of time (but I did read the first 21 pages LOL). 

#TheWhiteTiger should definitely be a top contender for awards season; and not just the film itself, but also the lead actor who was absolutely amazing! 

* * *

Below are my grades for key components in #TheWhiteTiger that I find to be key in any story/film—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development. I think it is also important for me to add that moving forward, I will not include a plus-rating in my breakdown, but will continue with minus-ratings.

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), & Don’t Rush.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale. 

* * *

Theme: A

Plot: A-

Pacing: A

Character Arc/Development: A

Entertainment Factor: Worth the Watch

* * *

My Takeaways:

1. First of all, Adarsh Gourav! Give this man his MF flowers! I never wanted to take my eyes off of him! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾🙌🏾👍🏾

2. The level of homoeroticism is astronomical…and I loved it! 😜

3. The delivery of young Balram was really good, especially the moment with his father—nothing “major,” but still delivered well… 👍🏾

4. Meanwhile, the young brother actor… … …. Chile, why are you screaming them lines in the same tone? 👀🤦🏾‍♂️🤣

5. The themes, the themes, THE THEMES! Yes! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

6. And to piggyback off of point #5, there were SO many strong lines that helped emphasize those themes. 👍🏾👍🏾

7. I wonder what made them make the “funeral” shift from the book? I may have an idea… 🧐

8. Come through, Pinky! 🙌🏾

9. And to piggyback off of point #2, I appreciated that subtle, yet blatant intersectionality of working relationship and intimate relationship. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

10. However, to point #8, she was definitely toxic on plenty of occasions… 👀😩🤦🏾‍♂️😅

11. As a friend of mine said, “We all couldn’t wait for Mongoose to take his ass back on that train, every time!” 🤣🤣🤣

12. Um… Balram, what did you do with that Q-Tip? 🤣🤣🤣

13. I think my favorite theme has to do with the coop… 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

14. Was that a slight jab at Slum Dog Millionaire? 🧐

15. THIS line: “On my lips, there’s a big contented smile that comes to a servant who has done his duty by his master, even in the most difficult of moments…” and how the scene transitions carrying this same  sentiment in an entirely different context… It was the irony, for me. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

16. AND, to piggyback off of point #15, Adarsh Gourav’s delivery in that moment… THAT was the moment! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

17. Wait, what happened to y’all being so different and progressive? 👀👀

18. Oh, The Great Socialist was a Kee! 🤣

19. Now who gave you the address to Delhi, young man? #Random. 🤨👎🏾

20. There was such a HBO Oz vibe with the Delhi living arrangements that I metaphorically powerful.👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

21. OH, and to that point (point #20), Vitiligo was the Indian Adebisi.🤷🏾‍♂️😅

22. Shout out to Tess Joseph for casting! 👍🏾👍🏾

23. The music was really good! 👍🏾👍🏾

24. Chile, Granny was a TRIP! 🤣🤣

25. I really appreciated the full shot scenes of Balram’s family. There was this honest and raw beauty about them, while also having this intentionality of giving this “documentary of the oppressed/downtrodden” vibe. 👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

* * *

Overall, #TheWhiteTiger put me in the same spirit that I had after seeing #Parasite for the first time. And Knives Out. And Joker. And Slum Dog Millionaire… There was such a fresh, unapologetic, intentional, bold, and interruptive air about this film that it deserves all the praises I’m sure it will receive this year. Just, Bravo! 

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