The adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s Booker-winning novel is coming to Netflix – one of a growing number of films from the region snapped up by the streaming giants
The White Tiger, the film adaptation of the Booker prize-winning book by Aravind Adiga, marks a new stage in the convergence of the world’s two most powerful film industries, in the US and India. Like Bong Joon-ho’s multiple award winner Parasite, The White Tiger is a film about the upper class, and their hired help turning against them; it is directed by Iranian-American film-maker Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) and among its producers are A Wrinkle in Time’s Ava DuVernay, and Indian actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas (who also plays a major role in the film). The film was snapped up by Netflix – and it is no overestimation to say that streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have played a key role in enabling this surge of interest in south Asian stories.
Chopra Jonas has been at the forefront of this development, having made her name in Indian cinema with hits such as Don and Fashion before crossing over into Hollywood with a voice role in Planes, and a part in the TV series Quantico in the mid-2010s. “It was hard for me when I came to America to be taken seriously and find the kind of roles that I wanted to do,” says Chopra Jonas. “It took me a lot of digging my feet in, and finding amazing partners who had faith in me, who gave me the opportunities. It shouldn’t be that hard for south Asian talent, whether writers, directors, actors, to be a part of global entertainment, especially right now, when streamers give us the ability to tell any kind of story. I want to be a producer at the helm of that and tell as many south Asian stories, or stories from different parts of the world or female stories, as I can.