‘Lion is the movie that no one is talking about but everyone should be seeing’
Lion is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley a young Indian boy who is separated from his family when he wakes up on a moving train. Trapped on the train for days Saroo finally disembarks in Calcutta thousands of miles away, where he is unable to speak the language and struggles to survive the streets. Fortune comes his way when he is adopted by an Australian family and taken to a better life. As an adult, Saroo feels a sense of loss and is haunted by the memories of his missing family so he sets out to find his home using Google Earth. The film is a well-shot emotional ride with a great cast that it is no wonder that the movie was nominated for best picture.
The biggest advantage for this movie is its cast, in particular Sunny Pawar who plays the young version of Saroo for a good portion of the movie. This was Pawar’s first film and as an 8 year old who does not speak English he did a fantastic job. You believe in his performance as a young boy separated from his family and lost in a land with a foreign language. He was able to bond with his on-screen parents Nicole Kidman and David Wenham by playing cricket with them, some of that footage ended up in the film. Dev Patel gave another incredible performance as Saroo as an adult, struggling with thoughts of his missing family. His performances opposite Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara (Lucy, his girlfriend) are incredible, where you see him struggle for the love for them and the desire to find where he is from. Praise must also be given to Nicole Kidman and David Wenham for their incredibly believable performances as the adoptive parents of Saroo.
The one fault for this movie is it can drag in parts to the point it feels like a much longer film. The run time is only two hours but with some of the pacing it can feel a lot slower in parts. Scenes with Saroo lost on the streets of Calcutta and as an adult staring at Google Earth can feel like they are too long and slow. Upon reflecting on these parts it is easy to see that whilst the pacing is off, if the film moved to quickly through the scene you lose the emotional impact, and the significance of the films finale. So whilst it feels slow the emotional pay off is worth it.
It comes as no surprise that this film was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor Dev Patel and Best Supporting Actress Nicole Kidman. It is a shame that Sunny Pawar did not get the recognition for his role that he deserves, given how amazing he was as an 8 year old in his first movie. Lion is the movie that no one is talking about but everyone should be seeing.
Lion scores an 85%
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