The Incredible Roar of 'The White Tiger'

Netflix's powerful and unflinching film lives up to its title — and Aravind Adiga's award-winning book.

Parking garage - The White Tiger
Adarsh Gourav and Rajkummar Rao in 'The White Tiger' (Netflix).

Ishani Nath


January 5, 2021

“I offer to tell you, free of charge, the truth about India by telling you the story of my life,” says a well-dressed, cleanly coiffed Balram (Adarsh Gourav), sitting in a modern office decorated like a boutique Miami hotel room. That truth is a story of power — who has it, and who has to take it. 

Set to a pulsing soundtrack of fusion remixes, the film adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s award-winning 2008 book, The White Tiger, takes viewers on a high-speed ride through the life of Balram Halwai, revealing how he went from a poor villager to the personal driver for a wealthy family to a cunning and cutthroat entrepreneur. 

But don’t be fooled — this isn’t your typical “rags to riches” story. The White Tiger is as much a commentary on the parallel and unequal worlds of those dressed in rags and those bathed in riches as it is about Balram’s personal journey — and the story has even more bite in Netflix’s new film adaption of the same name.

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