As India gears up for the premiere of the stunning White Tiger on January 22 ,here are some facts about the film little known on the public domain.
1. Director Rahim Bahrani who is an American of Iranian descent spent a year in India researching and location hunting for The White Tiger. He went to all the locations described in Arvind Adiga’s novel and shot the film largely on location. Bahrani also spent a large stretch of time in Iran learning about his own history heritage and ancestry before directing The White Tiger. He believes a culture based on socio-economic disparity can only be understood by someone who makes an effort to get close to that culture
2. Adarsh Gourav who plays the lead has taken the world by storm. Never before have seen such high praise for an Indian actor . The Wall Street Journal in its glowing review writes, “a zestful epic blessed with rapier wit, casually dazzling dialogue, gorgeous cinematography and, at the center of it all, a sensational star turn by an actor, singer and songwriter named Adarsh Gourav….Mr. Gourav’s range of feelings and moods is like an elite athlete’s range of motion. He pulls off the impressive feat of portraying his character as a shameless liar, sycophant, obsequious self-promoter.” I haven’t read such praise in a leading foreign publication for an Indian actor before.
3. Adarsh Gourav who gives a performance comparable with the best we have seen in Indian cinema(I rate him above every Bollywood debutant during the past five years, maybe more) was selected after months of audition . Gourav planted his personality right into the heart of his character of Balram Halwai. His gait, attitude, speech and thought process are all one with the character. Mahesh Manjrekar who plays an important part in the film tells me they could see Gourav doing something extraordinary while shooting. Yes, we see it too.
4. Priyanka Chopra who is an executive producer on the project, and Rajkummar Rao share some sizzling moments on screen.There is a loveydovey sequence in the backseat of a car which I am sure made Mr Priyanka Chopra, aka Nick Jonas, squirm in envy, professionalism be damned.
5. The film has a stellar supporting cast. Watch out for the elusive Swaroop Sampat make a comeback in an image-shattering part as an uncouth boorish aggressively avaricious politician. In one sequence she abuses Mahesh Manjrekar with the choicest Hindi expletive, spits paan on his livingroom centre table and walks out.