What’s Not to Love about Netflix’s The White Tiger? Save for Priyanka Chopra’s Accent

Pop Culture

What’s Not to Love about Netflix’s The White Tiger? Save for Priyanka Chopra’s Accent

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

This December, Netflix is bringing an adaptation of the award-winning novel by Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger, to theatres. Released in 2008, The White Tiger was a global success, offering a glimpse of a changing India as it told the story of rise of its protagonist from poverty to entrepreneurship. It reached The New York Times bestseller list as well as won the Man Booker Prize that year. The Netflix adaptation, starring Adarsh Gourav as the central character, Balram Halwai, is directed by Ramin Bahrani and will release on the streaming platform in January 2021. Alongside Gourav, the film also stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Rajkummar Rao. Ahead of The White Tiger’s release, Netflix released the first look via a trailer, which promised a dark yet comedic retelling of the tale.

The story introduces us to Balram Halwai, a rural Indian who migrates to Delhi to become a chauffeur. Along the way, it tackles the existing class divides in Indian society, and addresses the aspirational desires of the millions of Indians who live without privilege.

The themes in The White Tiger share a lot in common with the South Korean film Parasite, which won Best Picture at the Oscars this year. Should Netflix’s adaptation come close to Parasite’s brilliance, the platform will have a film that will be awards bait come Oscar season.

Of course, as is tradition with any project involving Priyanka Chopra these days, her accent was the subject of much scrutiny after The White Tiger trailer released.

While on the subject of accents, people were happy with how authentically Indian the characters sounded in the trailer (with the obvious exception of Mrs Jonas).

Excitement for the adaptation seems to have been whipped up after the trailer’s tantalising glimpse.