lion-movie-review

A film Lion is about a five-year-old boy named Saroo, played by Sunny Pawar, who accidentally takes a wrong train, leaves in an unknown direction and eventually gets lost. He appears in an orphanage, but fortunately, he becomes adopted by the Australian family. Saroo has grown up, but he still continues thinking about reuniting with his biological parents. The family, which has adopted him, treats him very well and allows him enjoy the life. However, since the idea of finding his biological parents does not leave him, he decides to find and return to his mother after more than 20 years of being absent. This film cannot leave indifferent anyone, seriously. Well, if one still remains indifferent, then such a person is absolutely emotionless.

The plot of the film is based on a real life story of Saroo Brierley. He describes his life in the book A Long Way Home, where information technologies help him find his place of birth. A simple program “Google Earth” helps a person find his native home, when he does not remember his address. Having only some parts from the childhood memories, Saroo manages to find the place where he was born and lived till the time when he got lost. This is the first Garth Davis’ work as a director. However, despite this, the film was nominated for more than 40 different awards in more than 20 festivals, which certainly speaks for its high level and professionalism.

This film is based on the stories of Saroo Brierley, who did not give up hope of finding his real mother for years. Being lost in five years, a little boy came through devastating and difficult path. He was completely alone in the world, where people wanted to sell him into slavery; they wanted to incline him to violence, and to destroy him. However, he survived. Good people found him a family, who put their lives on the altar of education for children who deemed to be unnecessary. He grew up as a handsome, kind and intelligent man and decided to go for search of his real mother. Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar played charming. I had a feeling that they did not need to play as they were so natural. It shows how close this story was for both actors. They were sincere and informative. They were silent in many scenes, but you know for sure what they felt at each moment, everything was written on their faces. When I looked at young Saroo, I remembered Slumdog Millionaire, as the boys seemed so alike for me. Having grown up, Saroo became a man, and his face changed as well, it became matured and the actor managed to play it perfectly.

The soundtracks deserve special attention. Music completely immerses you in the world you observe. It makes you pin your gaze to the screen from the first seconds of the movie. It seems that the music can exist separately and you will be able to understand what it wants to tell. However, the movie cannot exist without it. The last shots of this wonderful story are filled with great light and warmth. The aftertaste is very warm and you will definitely think about it for some time.

Despite the fact that many people are dissatisfied with the external disparity of Dev Patel with Saroo (of course, there is truth in these words and it becomes obvious if to look at them sitting next to each other on the interview), I see how he lived through the story, how tears welled in his eyes as soon as he started talking about his screen mother. These feelings were clearly seen in the film. He showed tremendous emotions, even when he just looked at Google maps.

However, beyond all doubts, little Saroo remains the main hero of the story for me. Sunny Pawar has perfectly played his role. It is impossible not to fall in love with those eyes on the half-screen, looking so lost and with such pain. Special attention should be paid to Nicole Kidman. As Dev said, she “turned inside out”. She is an excellent actress and she has proven it long ago, but in this case the story is also close to her. She has two foster children herself. That is why she has shown such strong emotions, that huge need to protect and give everything to children in the film.

I was also touched by Priyanka Bose and her play. Her role is small and the character is simple. But her phrase “achchha bachcha”, which in translation from Hindi means “a good boy”, shows the whole connection between the mother and the child, which is not afraid of time or distance, which will remain despite any hardship and suffering. I have nothing to say about Rooney Mara. Despite the fact that her character is very important for the plot, in general, it is secondary. History is not about that at all.

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The script is stunning in its simplicity, excellent editing with flashbacks makes us live in two worlds simultaneously, and a wonderful game of actors gives us a true story about the family and the deep motives of ourselves. Everything is perfect in this movie. Landscapes, painstaking depiction of poor life in slums, properly chosen backgrounds and music, dreams, thoughts and memories superimposed on the reality of the main character and portrayed in a parallel narrative make this film deserving to be watched. It is not a simple autobiography; it is a story of a small lion.

Lion is definitely one of the most worthy representatives of the entire award season, but alas, undeservedly left without any of the awards. It is a very deep, vital, touching, and socialistic drama based on real events. It depicts an incredible return home after 25 years, a real life story of Saroo Brierley, which has touched the whole world.

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