I’m sure you’ve heard of the critically acclaimed movie Lion, that first debuted at the Toronto Film Festival. Directed by Garth Davis, the movie stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman and newcomer Sunny Pawar.
Based on Brierley’s memoir A Long Way Home, the first half of the movie shows a 5-year-old Saroo living a happy but poor life near Khandawa in 1980s India. One night, he falls asleep alone in a passenger car. He wakes up to find the train moving. It stops days later, 900 miles away, in Kolkata. As children we’ve all at some point or the other felt that one moment of panic when separated from our parents or an older sibling in a busy place. To see that happening to a 5-year-old boy and knowing that it is based on a true story, will surely evoke an emotional response in you.
Saroo doesn’t know his mother’s real name or the name of the city he lived in. He battles the evils of an unknown city and ultimately finds himself in an orphanage from where he is adopted by an Australian couple played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham.
20 years later, Saroo, who now considers himself a complete Australian, is flooded with his childhood memories from India. It is then that he begins the painstaking process of searching for his Indian family through Google Earth app, a process that threatens to tear his whole life apart.
All the performances in the movie are phenomenal. Nicole Kidman plays the role of a mother of two children so naturally that you would have a hard time imagining anyone else but her in the movie.
The young Saroo, played by Sunny Pawar will leave you wondering how a child that age can do such remarkable acting. No amount of words can do justice to how amazing his performance was.
Dev Patel continues his trend of giving remarkable performances with Lion. The movie was nominated for 6 Oscars. Cinematographer Greig Fraser has used beautiful sweeping panoramic and overhead shots of India. The shots of the ocean in Australia echo the loneliness felt by Saroo.
The movie could’ve just been Saroo sitting in front of his laptop but it is so much more than that. It takes a clarity of vision and incredible ingenuity to make mouse-clicking cinematic. It is a tale about family, longing and hope. Let’s just say if you are human, it will move you.