When you are growing up, your personality will usually be formed in a large part by your parents. I have the good fortune to be blessed with two very loving parents (one could at times even say too loving parents). All jokes aside, this really is something you should definitely cherish. But what happens if you never know who your parents are? Or even worse, you know who they are, but you somehow lose them not knowing where they are?
Lion tells the incredible true story of the young Indian boy Saroo. At the age of five Saroo, while out with his brother, accidentally finds himself stuck in a train which takes him miles away from home. Eventually he ends up on the dark streets of Calcutta, where he tries to survive as best he can. While wandering across the streets, Saroo gets taken in by an orphanage, where a loving Australian couple finally adopts him. At the age of 25, Saroo begins to wonder who he is and where he came from. As is so often the case with adopted children, eventually you want to find out who your real parents are, no matter how well you have been raised. In the case of Saroo however, that seems like an impossible task, and the old saying “needle in a haystack” is the understatement of the year…..
This movie really has everything you want to see in a film. From the very first scenes you get swept up in a story that at times really takes your breath away. I said it yesterday to my best friend with whom I saw this movie, I sometimes find it incredible that there are so many stories out there that you have never even heard of. Where to begin? Lets start with the acting. The true star of this film is the 8 year old actor Sunny Pawar, who plays Saroo at the age of 5. The moment you first see him appear on the screen, you get taken in by his charm. You just forget that he is acting really, and to be able to do that at so young an age is really amazing. But then again, Dev Patel who plays Saroo at an older age, also does an incredible job, and got a very deserved Oscar nomination for this role.
The cinematography is another thing that is worth mentioning. The incredible landscapes of both India and Australia are captured on film in an amazing way, and that alone is one of the reasons this movie is well worth seeing. But it is the story itself, what makes this film so special. It makes you realise, that even though there may be some things in your life that you might not like, there is always enough to be grateful for. The richness we have here, when compared to the incredible poverty you at times find in India, is truly very sobering. But in the end though, it also shows that you should never abondon hope. No matter how hard something might seem, if you really believe and put your mind to it, you can honestly achieve anything.
Lion is an incredible movie, and one that I highly recommend. It is a film that will stay with you in your mind, a long time after you exit the movie theatre. Only truly great movies are able to do that, and with the amount of special effects driven films these days (no matter how much fun those are at times), it is also nice to see a film that does not need those in order to impress.
I give Lion a 10 out of 10 score.