“LION”–A MOVIE REVIEW   2 comments

“Lion” is a first rate, sentimental, emotional, ‘small’ movie that will move even the coldest hearted person. It is a true story that starts in  1986 when we meet five year old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) and his older brother (Abhishek Bharate) in a poor province of India where their mother (Priyanke Bose) earns what money she can hauling rocks. The boys help by bringing in any money they can earning it in any way they can including stealing coal off trains so they can exchange it for milk. One evening the boys are separated and we see Saroo falling asleep on a decommissioned train finding himself lost and in Calcutta almost a thousand miles away from where he lives.

The first part of the film follows young Saroo, as he tries to survive, with director Garth Davis and screenwriter Luke Davies not shying away from those who prey on children. (In the credits at the end it states that 80,000 children in India go missing every year, many to sex traffickers, to this day).

Going into the second part of the film it is 20 years later and Saroo, now played by Dev Patel, lives in Tasmania, an island State off Australia, having been adopted by Sue and John Brierly (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham). He goes to Melbourne to study hotel management and meets Lucy (Rooney Mara) from America, they become lovers and at school they meet and become friends with other Indians. It is through these meetings that Saroo develops a need to search for his long lost mother, brother and very young sister who he has never forgotten.

To tell any further would mean spoilers and I don’t go there.

Up until 1961 the Oscar awards had a special category for any Juvenile performers who gave a strong performance. If the category was still given this year two young actors would fight it out with 8 year old Sunny Pawar playing a 5 year old in “Lion” versus Alex R. Hibburt, a 12 year old, playing 9 year old Chiron.

Dev Patel does a superb job as the older Saroo having to show a lot of his feelings with his face instead of talking. Divian Ladwa plays another child adopted by the Brierley’s who isn’t able to adjust to the new life presented to him after being traumatized in his earlier life.

David Wenham and Rooney Mara do what they can with what they have to work with while Nicole Kidman has two extended scenes that had many audience members trying to hide their tears!

Cinematographer Greig Frasier will certainly be responsible for a big rise in tourism to Tasmania with some of the scenes breath taking as is some of the aerial shots of the mountains and waters in India.

This is director Garth Davis’s first feature movie and doesn’t overdo tugging of the heartstrings which the screenplay by Luke Davies is quite effective in just telling the story as it happened.

The soundtrack by Dustin O’Halloran and Hausckha is a definite plus.

Be sure to stay for the ending credits as it not only explains why the movie is called “Lion” plus pictures of the real people highlighted in the film. 

 Movie trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RNI9o06vqo

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2 responses to ““LION”–A MOVIE REVIEW

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  1. Hello Martin, I’m trying to reply on your page, but it just won’t let me? Give me time to sort it out! Love Mx0

  2. I loved this movie…..it is (in my humble opinion) a 5 star movie. I was fortunate enough to get advance screening tickets for 31st December which coincidentally happened to be our wedding anniversary. I’m not a Nichole Kidman fan, I find her screechy and irritating and would have probably preferred Cate Blanchet (shhhhhhh) But the love interest between Dev Patel and Rooney Mara was excellent, and David Wenham is always good value. Did well the ‘Golden Globes.’ What say you? Is it Oscar material? Methinks YES!

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