Yo Ho, WeRCatz here.
The White Tiger, a Netflix film released on 22 January 2021, has been the talk of the town for a while. So I decided to take a look.
What Parasite did to show the world about South Korea’s problem with wealth inequality, The White Tiger shows a very worrisome yet very real view of India’s issues with social castes and wealth inequality.
The story focuses on Balram Halwai, an entrepreneur who describes in an email to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao interest in a meeting and about his story of how he got to where he is. Born in the lower castes of India’s society, Balram shows a promising future beyond his position as a child; he is called a “White Tiger” because the animal is born once in a generation. After his father’s death and having to pay the debt of The Stork, the village landlord, Balram’s grandmother forces him out of school and to work at the tea stall. As an adult, Bahram hopes to get a job as a chauffeur for The Stork’s son Ashok and Ashok’s US-born wife Pinky.
I won’t spoil the rest here, but I can say this: The White Tiger shows that living in a democracy does not mean economic freedoms. The differences between the wealthy and the poor are literally shown together; cars pass through the streets filled with the poor. This film also shows the genuine hypocrisy of the upper classes. In short, the rich may offer many promises to the poor but keeps shortchanging the poor with indifference. I liked the way how Balram expresses his station as a whole: the lower classes will always stay below the supposed bottom like chickens trapped in a coop with almost no escape possible. The solution to such an extreme is to do something of the other extreme and Balram finally sees his escape route in it.
The White Tiger is a must-see. Despite the realities of India’s social and economic issues, there is a way out but only if you’re willing to go for it. In many instances, perhaps doing something extreme is the only way out of economic stagnation.