The trailer for The White Tiger, Netflix’s adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s bestselling novel is here. Starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Rajkummar Rao and Adarsh Gourav, the Ramin Bahrani-directed film promises to breathe life into the class-divide story. While the teaser we saw back in October offered a glimpse into the plot, the new clip unveils a key character’s point of view. It’s hard-hitting and darkly comedic.
The trailer begins by introducing us to Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav), a poor, quick-witted young man who aspires to be a driver for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) before he’s hired. Ashok, a rich Indian businessman is joined by his American wife Pinky (Priyanka Chopra) and right from their introduction we see the big class-divide-sized gap between the employee and employer. We’re told that Balram gets regular reminders of his low social status, mostly from the upper echelons of society and in a voice-over narration, we get his backstory summed up with multiple clips of the ill-treatment of the lower classes. The fates of the three lead characters entangle when Pinky and Ashok are involved in a hit and run. Their family makes it so that the driver Balram takes the fall for it, asking him to sign a declaration. Balram is done taking the oppression and decides to break free as announced by a cover of the Queen track playing in the background. I have goosebumps.
The synopsis of The White Tiger reads – Society has trained Balram to be one thing — a servant — so he makes himself indispensable to his rich masters. But after a night of betrayal, he realizes the corrupt lengths they will go to trap him and save themselves. On the verge of losing everything, Balram rebels against a rigged and unequal system to rise up and become a new kind of master.
Priyanka Chopra (The Sky Is Pink) who is on board as an executive producer and Rajkummar Rao (Stree) have established themselves as great actors time and again but the trump card here has to be Adarsh Gourav. The Hostel Daze actor shines in the 2:31-minutes-long clip as the entry point in the film. Class divide(along with caste-based discrimination) stories need to be told and led by brilliant artists like Netflix’s The White Tiger has managed to assemble.
Back when the film was announced, I was thrilled with the casting but the mere thought of an Aravind Adiga story coming to life on screen is terrifying to me. The author has had his hand on the pulse of India’s class struggle for decades now. His writings are infused with such detail, it hits you hard in the back of your head till you wake up to the reality he’s presenting. And it’s a lot to take in. The past year has been great for film’s with class commentaries and from what we’ve seen, the upcoming Netflix film is going to be a stellar addition to that line-up.
The White Tiger premieres on Netflix on January 22, 2021.
Cover artwork: Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India