A beautiful film with a simple storyline, “Lion” is stirring emotions in me like no film before. It’s visually stunning, the acting is superb (special mention to phenomenal newcomer, Sunny Pawar, who plays 5-year-old Saroo), and the story is so gripping and moving, that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the film reached it’s emotional climax.
Lion is the story is of a very young Indian street boy (Saroo) separated from his mother and falling into destitution after an involuntary train journey takes him to the Bengal area of India where a different language is spoken.
His life turns around when he’s adopted by a loving and wealthy Tasmanian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) and flown to a new life in Australia.
The film skips 20 years and we find Saroo, now played by Dev Patel, a happy and well-educated young man on the brink of a promising adult life. But a minor incident causes a flashback and he becomes obsessed with finding his original family to the detriment of his career and Australian relationships.
To a certain extent, Lion has been billed as a love story between Patel and Rooney Mara, who portrays his girlfriend, Lucy. Mara is adorable, but she’s not the co-star. I think the love story between the two of them is a fairly awkward plot device. Mara has two expressions — loving and happy, or loving and sad.
The real stars of the film are Pawar and Patel. You believe in both of their characters, and you can see how the young Saroo could have become the young adult. Both of them portray their roles brilliantly, and the movie would be worth seeing just to watch them act.
It’s a bright, colorful, noisy movie, but it’s not costumes, or cinematography, or hundreds of extras that make this film work. It’s the acting of Pawar and Patel.
When my shameless weeping stopped, I felt my soul displace and move to a different place. This movie and Lion roars unequivocally. The search for identity and home is absorbing and never boring. Don’t forget to bring tissues and remember there is no shame in crying, for it is what makes us human beings.
Teri Bayus can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her writing and ramblings at: www.teribayus.com. Bayus also hosts Taste Buds, a moving picture rendition of her reviews shown on Charter Ch. 10. Dinner and a Movie is a regular feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.