The well-made and disturbing Netflix drama “The White Tiger” is based on the award-winning picaresque novel by Aravind Adiga. Set in modern India, the sprawling story is a scathing indictment of business and political corruption as well as the inequities of the Indian caste system. The story is seen through the eyes of a low class driver who works for and is exploited by members of a rich family. If a Dickens novel had included a hero who employed nefarious means to pull himself out of his troubles, it might have looked a bit like “The White Tiger.”
The drama “Our Friend” is a skillfully acted tearjerker that tells the story of a man who essentially puts his life on hold to help out when one of his friends faces a severe health crisis. Jason Segel hits the right notes as the selfless friend and Casey Affleck and Dakota Johnson are equally good as a couple trying to cope when one of them is stricken with terminal cancer. The film’s plot jumps back and forth in time which is jarringly awkward, and the tone is inconsistent. Still, “Our Friend” manages some truthful moments that make the emotional manipulation a bit easier to take.
“No Man’s Land” is a modern Western that involves the turbulent aftermath of a tragedy that takes place along the Texas/Mexico border. Jake Allyn plays the son of a Texas rancher who accidentally shoots a Mexican immigrant boy and then flees across the Southern border with a Texas Ranger, the boy’s father and violent smuggler in hot pursuit. The filmmakers are obviously hoping that their story works to expose contemporary racial injustice, making it a timely update of well-worn Western themes. But the slowly paced “No Man’s Land” doesn’t quite live up to that promise.