Lost on the streets of Calcutta 1500 miles from home, Saroo is too young to identify who he is or where he came from. Eventually he ends up being adopted by the Brierley family in Tasmania and while he settles in well he ends up plagued by memories of the family and a life that he left behind.
Garth Davis directs a story full of amazing performances and incredible cinematography. It has already won a lot of awards and it is nominated for even more. Lion is full of incredible actors and also introduces us to the incredibly talented Sunny Pawar who plays the young Saroo.
The first half of this film is spent watching the young Saroo, his mother Kamla (Priyanka Bose) and his brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate). Seeing what their lives were like before Saroo ended up 1500 miles away from home gave the story a much greater impact. It also made the audience more invested in Saroo Brierley’s (Dev Patel) attempt to find home.
I can’t imagine what it would be to wake up so far away from home with no way to get back and no ability to ask people for help. Different languages and false friends see Saroo alone on the streets until a kind stranger helps him. However his struggles are far from over as he soon has a new challenge to face when he gets adopted by a family from Tasmania.
That family is the brierley’s, a middle class couple made up of John (David Wenham) and Sue (Nicole Kidman). When Saroo first arrives in Tasmania he is understandably nervous and I really enjoyed watching how he acclimatised to his new life. However that new life is disrupted with the arrival of Mantosh (Keshav Jadhav) who reacts more aggressively.
A time skip takes us many years into the future with Saroo (now Dev Patel) embarking on a new carer on the mainland. Meanwhile Mantosh (now (Divan Ladwa) doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and it is clear that all is not well within the family unit. Divisions which reveal themselves more when Saroo brings Lucy (Rooney Mara) home to meet the family.
While away Saroo becomes enthralled in his search for his long lost family which causes an intense guilt. Throughout all of this it the performance of Nicole Kidman that is the most talked about and for good reason, she is incredible. Saroo’s family and girlfriend are pushed away by his guilt which adds to the drama and makes it interesting to watch.
The finale of this film was short and to the point, the story that had led to this moment was interesting, engaging and emotional. When Saroo finally reaches home and the family he thought he had lost forever, tears will come from even the coldest of hearts.
If you get the chance to go and watch Lion then I would highly recommend doing so.