Meet me in the darkness as we plot to break through the rooster coop! Join the revolt as we roar into 2021 film, The White Tiger. Quid Pro Mo brought to you by Movie Reviews in 20 Qs.

Released: January 2021

Director: Ramin Bahrani

Executive Producers: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Prem Akkaraju and Ava DuVernay

Based on Book by: Aravind Adiga

Writers: Ramin Bahrani

Actors: Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Breakdown and Analysis

  • On KT’s mantle of ‘not perfect but brings meaty discussion about social class’ films next to Parasite and El Hoyo (The Platform).
  • Oti usually doesn’t gain anything from trailers but this absolutely pulled him in.
  • KT, by default, cheers for the underground. Bonus points if it is about social class.
  • We discuss how we feel about the storytelling style. KT doesn’t care for it and Oti was indifferent. Oti theorises it could have been Balram retelling  the story to his cousin/nephew.
  • We emphasize the impossibility of social mobility and how social class in combination with the Caste system in India keeps people at their corresponding levels.
  • There’s a lot of tonality in this film, whether literally or throughout the themes.
  • A film that is able and provides commentary on the harsh realities of their country is an indicator of a compelling story. They are not just showing a tourist friendly view of India but rather hold the systems accountable. They don’t shy away from their faults and make the film stand out. Some hard truths that many would not want on a world stage. When we see Balram go through pain because of his social standing, it drives the messaging home.
  • The use of language was interesting. Balram would speak in English to prove his education and privilege. Although his education was cut short, he was well aware and used English as a way to assert his higher standing.
  • The sadness is relatable. There are some real universal themes we can feel through Balram. There were moments and decisions where KT didn’t agree but also could understand why he operated that way.
  • Oti speaks to the bravery of Balram especially when he stood up for himself when he was being mistreated as a servant. But there were decisions that Oti couldn’t get past.
  • Balram IS the new India. Bangalore is the emerging IT hub as Western companies have and will make it their headquarters. The ending breaks through the perception that success cannot be gained unless predestined for you.
  • On his way up, Balram did not care about anyone but once he got to a point where he was successful he did care. He treated his workers like employees and not servants because we know there is a difference.
  • Balram laments that Ashok doesn’t even realise that he has the opportunity to squander opportunities. It must have been difficult for Balram as he was more than capable but did not have the resources to succeed.
  • KT had a problem with Pinky and Ashok because they acted like Balram was their friend but also like he is a servant. They weren’t always cruel but they benefit and contribute to the system that allows for servants. They pulled rank very fast. Just because they weren’t punching him in the face, they might as well have so Balram knew his standing with them.
  • Oti coins the phrase ‘Me Economy’ as he sinks his teeth into his favourite topic, bribing politicians. The socialist made it clear to the Stork family that she was there to stay and would not take their shit. Corruption in politics is rife. Usually well intending people get weeding out and there’s a complicity of this self serving system.
  • Balram’s ambition was clear but there was a sinister side to him that even we were uncomfortable with. There was absolutely a big element of self hatred that he projected on other people. He went out of his way to say hurtful, hateful things for innocent people that tried to survive.
  • We didn’t agree he had to snitch on the first driver because we believe he would have been able to succeed without punching down.
  • There’s a power that family have, think they have over younger family members whereby I provide for you therefore I dictate your life. Even if and when Balram were to pay off the money he borrowed for the driving lessons, he would still be under their thumb.
  • His family showed no interest in his talents and never celebrated his achievements.
  • Oti believes familial love would have meant Balram would not have gone as far as he did in the film. KT reckons his path was set out and would have happened even if his family hugged him.
  • We debate the ending on whether punches were being pulled.
  • Plaudits to the strong Rooster Coop metaphor.

Unrelated but vital points

  • We are going to continue to find films about social class.
  • We know Nick Jonas is a jealous guy so we make sure to address her correctly as Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
  • As much as KT thinks, she is indeed not fluent in Spanish.
  • However you want to use your Abacus, as we continue to cover these films that Oti comes from a sympathetic view of higher class people.
  • Like in many splooshes ways, KT was ready to discuss just like she is always ready for Oti.
  • Ask Oti if he agrees if KT is stacked like a Venn diagram.
  • We geek out for a minute about Attack on Titan.
  • ‘Where the ass falls out’ is a valid phrase in the FYR household.
  • Oti and the Messiah because the Black is redundant.
  • Oti provides hygiene lessons. Over the pants ball scratching is fair game.
  • If your kid is a dumbass, let them stay on the farm.
  • A double Dev Patel feature, if you’re welcome.