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January 25, 2017

LION : TRUE STORY MOVIE REVIEW

 

LION: MOVIE REVIEW

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a preview of ‘Lion’ last Monday in Event Cinema’s in Newcastle.

Haven’t heard of it? Take a look at the trailer:

 

If that hasn’t grabbed you, I don’t know what will! Lion totally blew me away.

Where do I even begin with this movie? This is a true story – can you believe that?!

Lion recounts the real life story of Saroo, a 5 year old Indian boy who finds himself lost on a train. The viewer is taken on a journey of survival with Saroo. He navigates Calcutta and the many dangers facing children there. In the end, Saroo is adopted into an Australian family in Tasmania.  25 years later, Saroo meets students on his hospitality course that inspire him to trace his roots. He wonders what became of his family in India and attempts to find them using Google Earth and a handful of childhood memories. Eventually he finds them.

If you decide to go see Lion in the cinema, bring a toilet roll, not tissues. A box of Kleenex simply will not be enough.

Garth Davis directed Lion and ‘Wow’ is all I can say. Very rarely have I watched a movie and literally felt I was in the main characters head which is how I felt when watching Saroo. I am so impressed with Saroo’s story that I have literally told everyone I have bumped into since.

The Actors

Dev Patel plays Saroo as an adult superbly. Nicole Kidman portrays his Australian mother excellently.  But, the standout actor of the movie, for me, was Sunny Pawar, who plays young Saroo. Someone give this child an Oscar!

He pulled on my heartstrings throughout the movie and made me feel what he was going through, which is no mean feat, for both director and actor. The movie tells Saroo’s story beautifully however I am very aware that there are many more children, just like Saroo in India, who perhaps have not had the same luck in finding such a loving home. This is most definitely a movie that will make you think and feel!

Lion illustrates what family means and how your familial roots can be so important, especially if all you have are memories. I was also moved by how vulnerable street children are. Time and time again, children were taken advantage of by adults who should have taken care of them and had their best interests at heart. I think it is great that the movie includes the story of ‘Mantosh’, Saroo’s adoptive brother, and how his experiences in India traumatized him. For me, it was also important that the movie didn’t just portray Saroo’s happy ending but also Mantosh’s inability to join society as a result of his experiences. In real life, not everyone has a happy ending. Often, movies forget that.

The Verdict

Without giving away the plotline, Lion is a must-see, and hopefully will earn a few Oscar nods!

 

Have you seen Lion? What do you think?