Writer: Luke Davies (Screenplay) Saroo Brierley (Book)
Starring: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Sunny Pawar, Divian Ladwa, Priyanka Bose, David Wenham, Abhishek Bharate
Plot: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Bring Your Tissues
Story: Lion starts in 1986 India when Saroo (Pawer) and his older brother Guddu (Bharate) both part of a poor Indian family, when the two travel for work the five-year-old Saroo can’t keep his eyes up and being left at the train station to wait for Guddu, Saroo finds himself on a train with the destination unknown he finds himself on the busy streets of Calcutta 1600km away from his home.
Lost, alone and terrified on the streets Saroo fends for himself before he gets taken into an orphanage who do search but can’t find his mum. Saroo finds himself getting adopted by Australian couple John (Wenham) and Sue (Kidman) where he must start a brand-new life in Australia.
20 years later Saroo (Patel) embraced this new life he was given but his fellow adopted bother Mantosh (Ladwa) never managed to take this chance given to him. Saroo heads to Melbourne to study where he meets Lucy (Mara) who along with fellow classmates push him to looking into his past using Google Earth to try and figure out where his mother is. This is the beginning of the incredible journey to find the truth about what happened to his family.
Thoughts on Lion
Story – This story is one of the most amazing human stories in recent history, it has aspect of heart, courage, hope and unknown. I will warn the pacing of the first hour of this film does only focus on the young Saroo and his lost journey and while we do have other films that are all travel looking for the answers this is just a click and play on Google Maps. The story is going to have an ending you are expecting and needless to say bring your tissues.
Biography – Looking at this incredible story Saroo goes through from the streets of India to Australia before searching for the answers he could never know about what his family did without him around after he went missing. While the other real people involved are all great it is Sue the adopted mother who is also another stand out character with the heart she shows to give these orphaned Indians a home.
The performances here are fantastic from Patel, Kidman and new comer Pawer who gives truly heavyweight performances throughout.
Characters/Performance – Saroo is the character that is based on the real boy to man whose life was turned upside down, he represents all of the people out there who got separated from their family and never knew but always wanted to know what their family did without them.
Settings – Each setting is designed to show us the different time periods and life Saroo has found himself living, we see the streets of India to the comfortable life in Australia,
Final Thoughts – This is an incredible story that does pull on the heart strings, but it does also take a little while to get going.
Overall: Easily the most emotional film of all the Oscar nominations.