When I entered the theatre to watch Lion I had a rough idea about the storyline, however not the slightest idea that I was in for a true roller-coaster-ride of emotions. Let me warn you that the waterworks will start early on, not only due to the extreme hardships with which the characters grapple, but the fact that we know that its a true story.
‘Sunny carries a major chunk of the film almost entirely on his tender shoulders. His exploitation and struggle are heart wrenching’
Sunny Pawar plays young Saroo, who gets lost miles away from home and finds himself in a place where doesn’t know the language, and faces debilitating poverty and homelessness. Sunny carries a major chunk of the film almost entirely on his tender shoulders. His exploitation and struggle are heart wrenching and director Garth Davis succeeds in playing with our heart strings. It is refreshing to see the dark side of India in a Hollywood film, in contrast to its usual portrayal in its glorious culture and bright colours. Dev Patel too shines in his role as adult Saroo, now living with his adopted family in Australia. His frustration and inner turmoil are palpable as he relentlessly tries to trace his home in India. The narrative excels at exploring Saroo’s relationship with his adoptive mother, played by the enormously talented Nicole Kidman. A scene in which Patel reveals to Kidman that he is trying to find his real mother brilliantly illustrates Kidman’s fear of her family falling apart after the years of dedication she has put into it. No emotion is over the top and the beauty of the film lies in its subtlety.
‘Dev Patel too shines in his role as adult Saroo… his frustration and inner turmoil are palpable’
The movie might feel sluggish to those who aren’t fans of intense cinema. If you are looking for a lighthearted movie then this might not be for you. But sometimes a good tearjerker is what you need to let it all out, and maybe Lion can do the trick.
(Image courtesy of Mark Rogers/The Weinstein Company)