Find Your Film Reviews: Ramin Bahrani’s ‘The White Tiger’ Roars With Cinematic Abandon

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THE WHITE TIGER, ​Adarsh Gourav ​as ​Balram​ ​in THE WHITE TIGER​. Cr. Tejinder Singh Khamkha​/NETFLIX ​© ​2021
Filmmaker Ramin Bahrani’s The White Tiger, based on the New York Times bestseller, centers on a poor villager’s (Adarsh Gourav) rise to a cunning entrepreneur in modern India. All three of us at the Find Your Film podcast gave this self-assured and pointed epic high marks. We also conduct our inaugural Find Your Film awards. Take a listen!

 

THE WHITE TIGER – (L-R) Adarsh Gourav (Balram), ​Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Pinky), and Rajkummar Rao ​ ​(Ashok) ​in ​THE WHITE TIGER​. Cr. ​Netflix ​© ​2020

Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav) is determined to live a life that is outside of the poverty that he was born into, and the debilitating effects of India’s caste system is front and center with The White Tiger.



At best, Balram can remain a driver for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao), the son of a supremely rich businessman, and Ashok’s wife Pinky (Priyanka Chopra Jones). He may live in a mansion and treat his “masters” as part of his family, but he understands that getting ahead of live may entail serving one’s own needs as well.

THE WHITE TIGER, ​Adarsh Gourav ​as ​Balram​ ​in THE WHITE TIGER​. Cr. ​TEJINDER SINGH KHAMKHA/NETFLIX © 2021

Filmmaker Ramin Bahrani places us inches away from Balram’s daily predicament of survival at all costs, and when he makes that final decision to become an entrepreneur, some viewers may actually pull for his success. I’m a huge fan of Bahrani’s features 99 Homes and At Any Price, and if you end up loving The White Tiger I suggest checking out these films as well (all three are insightful looks at the allure of capitalism at the expense of morality).

Lastly, Gourav is absolutely electric as the lead, and his overall charisma keeps the narrative at a fever pitched pace. Co-stars Rajkummar Rao and Priyanka Chopra Jones are also convincing as the loving couple who believe they are doing what is best for Balram.

Along with our coverage of the Find Your Film awards, we also review The One and Only Ivan (as part of Bruce Purkey’s What’s in the Box segment), WandaVision, and Mario Bava’s The Evil Eye!

*****The White Tiger, executive produced by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, is now streaming on Netflix

Find Your Film Episode Breakdown

3:10 – Eric Holmes does his Yoda voice.
5:06 – Our review The White Tiger.
7:00 – I’m a fan of director Ramin Bahrani and I strongly recommend The White Tiger.
7:42 – Bruce Purkey gives his take on The White Tiger (it’s a recommend from him). He sees it as a bit of a Goodfellas type of narrative.
9:12 – Eric says the film reminds him of Scarface, adding that last half of the film is “dynamite.”
17:19 – Bruce gives an interesting take on how this might be an unreliable narrator.
18:40 – “This is very accessible to a Western audience.”
19:47 – It’s the Find Your Film Awards!
22:10 – My #5 is So Dark The Night.
23:06 – My #4 is Road Games.
24:00 – My #3 is Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy Blache.
24:36 – My #2 is Sound of Metal.
24:50 – My #1 is Nomadland.
26:18 – Bruce’s #5 of 2020 is The Old Man: The Movie
26:50 – Bruce’s #5 (first watch) is The Duke of Burgundy.
27:46 – Bruce’s #4 of 2020 is Driveways.
29:24 – Bruce’s #4 (first watch) is Possession.
30:40 – Bruce’s #3 of 2020 is Wolfwalkers.
31:43 – Bruce’s #3 (first watch) is Vampyr.
33:03 – Bruce’s #2 of 2020 is Dogs Don’t Wear Pants.
34:16 – Bruce’s #2 (first watch) is Millennium Actress.
35:46 – Bruce’s #1 is Sound of Metal.
36:23Portrait of a Lady on Fire is his #1 (first watch) of 2020.
39:46 – Eric’s #5 of 2020 is Rent-A-Pal.
42:50 – Eric’s #5 (first watch) is The Fury.
44:51 – Eric’s #4 (first watch) is Perfect Blue
46:00 – Eric’s #4 (in 2020) is The Trial of the Chicago 7
47:00 – Eric’s #3 (first watch) is The Head-Hunter
49:19 – Eric’s #3 (in 2020) is Luz: The Flower of Evil
53:13 – Eric’s #2 (first watch) is Within our Gates
55:50 – Eric’s #2 (in 2020) is My Octopus Teacher
58:31 – Eric’s #1 (first watch) is We The Kings. .
59:44 – Eric’s #1 (in 2020) is Uncle Peckerhead.
64:28 – We’re doing a made up awards segment – first up for Bruce is Blood Machines!
65:42 – The Toni Collette awards goes to Marianne Jean Baptiste for Fatman and the lead actor from Rent-A-Pal.
66:38 – Value added award goes to The Opening Act.
67:29 – Best discoveries for Bruce include Driveways and Alice Guy Blache and Uncle Peckerhead.
67:58 – Another award goes to Scott Adkins.
70:12 – Bruce gives an award to my continuing unchecked emails!
70:46 – The Wolfies Award goes to Jim Cummings for The Wolf of Snow Hollow.
71:20 – Biggest movie influence of 2020 for me is Spree as the social media element of the flick has pervaded into our Find Your Film podcast!
72:49 – Eric Holmes wins the award for best version of Tears for Fears song from Tesla!!
73:22 – The Holy Crappies award goes to Elliot James Langridge (it’s an award that says, “Holy crap, you are awesome!).
74:32 – My award for movie I love that everyone hates goes to The Tax Collector!
75:00 – Most cringeworthy item swallowed in Swallow is a jeweler’s screwdriver.
75:25 – The inaugural Alice Guy Blache Award For Excellence goes to Pamela B. Green (the director of Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache.
77:00 – Eric Holmes talks about WandaVision and why he was not too thrilled with the series.
80:31 – My recommendation of the week is the Mario Bava film The Evil Eye.
84:17 – For Bruce’s “What’s In The Box” segment, he reviews The One and Only Ivan.
89:40 – For next week’s “What’s In The Box,” Bruce Purkey will review A Ghost Story.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

My Top 5 of 2020

  1. Nomadland
  2. Sound of Metal
  3. Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy Blache
  4. Road Games
  5. So Dark The Night (dir. Joseph H. Lewis)

Bruce Purkey’s Top 5 (2020)

  1. Sound of Metal
  2. Dogs Don’t Wear Pants
  3. Wolfwalkers
  4. Driveways
  5. The Old Man: The Movie

Bruce’s Top 5 (First Watches of 2020)

  1. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  2. Millennium Actress
  3. Vampyr
  4. Possession
  5. The Duke of Burgundy

Eric Holmes Top 5 (2020)

  1. Uncle Peckerhead
  2. My Octopus Teacher
  3. Luz: The Flower of Evil
  4. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  5. Rent-A-Pal

Eric Holmes Top 5 (First Watches of 2020)

  1. We The Kings
  2. Within Our Gates
  3. The Head Hunter
  4. Perfect Blue
  5. The Fury
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