Lion is a film based on the book A Long Way Home which tells the true story of Saroo Brierley. Separated from his mother and brother as a child, Saroo is lost in India only to be adopted by Sue and John Brierley and raised in Australia. In his older life, he becomes restless about not knowing about his past, so starts to search for his lost family. The film stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman and is a brilliant and moving retelling of Saroo’s journey home to his mother.
A True & Just Representation
You always feel settled when a film starts and a phrase similar to ‘based on true events’ appears. The story is definitely going to be a good one, and it’s fair to say that Lion really didn’t disappoint. As we join Saroo in his traumatic journey from a lost child to a fully grown man, it’s fair to say we take every step of the way with him. The film lets you feel the emotion of the characters, which probably boils down to some amazing performances.
Lion remains true to its original tale, and when making a film such as this, it’s nice that don’t stray down a route of trying to be creative for the hell of it. I love huge action flicks, but every now and again, it’s nice to watch a film without all the digital trickery and CGI and to find a film that is all about the story. The film was extremely well shot, but this didn’t feel like it was trying to be part of a showcase of artistic angles, it felt necessary to ground us in the world that Saroo sees around him.
I think that’s one of the main aspects I loved about Lion. The plot always came first. I didn’t always feel like I was watching a film but watching a story instead. Every essence of the film, including the actors’ performances felt dedicated to the real story of Saroo which is what gave the film its true heart.
Of course, the headlines are ringing out for the nominations of Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman for the best supporting actor and actress awards, respectively. They were both very good in their roles and I think are deserving of any commendations coming their way. However, the star of the show had to be breakout child actor Sunny Pawar as the young Saroo.
Considering the entire first section solely featured this new star, he carried the role magnificently. I felt placed alongside him as he wanders lonely through the streets of Calcutta as both the audience and Saroo had no idea where they are, or understand what was being said around him. Pawar’s facial expression and acting, for me, made him the stand out actor of the film. Sorry, Dev.
Worth Heading To The Cinema For?
I think Lion is certainly a film worth watching. Great story and great performances, you can’t go too wrong in buying a cinema ticket for this one. It’s by no means a cinematic masterpiece or huge blockbuster, but that’s because it didn’t need to be. If you solely reserve your cinema trips for the CGI showcases, then maybe you worry about rushing to see Lion. But if you’re simply wondering if Lion is worth watching, then hell yes, it has my seal of recommendation.
What did you think of Lion? How well will this film perform at the Oscars under the shadow of La La Land? Let me know what you think in the comments below!