Lion – ☆☆☆☆
Director: Garth Davis
Writers: Saroo Brierley (book), Luke Davies (screenplay)
Starring: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
Nominated for 6 Academy Awards
Summary: Based on the true story of a five year old boy from India who gets lost on the streets, he is later adopted by an Australian family. Now as an adult, Saroo Brierley ventures out to find the family he once lost.
I absolutely loved this film, and I still can’t believe it’s a true story because it’s unbelievably crazy how that can happen to someone.
Before we’re engaging with Dev Patel’s older portrayal of Saroo, we’re introduced to who has to be the most adorable and talented actor that’s crossed the big screen yet, Sunny Pawar, who honestly I think is the real star of this movie as young Saroo, and I’m just a little pissed off that he didn’t get an Oscar recognition. Even though his spoken lines aren’t plentiful, that doesn’t stop this kid from delivering a powerful performance as you see the world in his eyes.
(Slight spoiler alert, I know, I’m sorry. I said I wouldn’t but I think I kinda did)
I’ll be honest that while Dev Patel’s performance is quite amazing given that he’s nailed the Australian accent, there are some highs and lows of this film, the high being pretty much most of the beginning when we’re following the story of Sunny Pawar’s Saroo, and then pretty much a slow space in the middle where Dev Patel’s having a crisis and follows a sequence of scenes where he’s basically checking Google Earth the whole time. I know in reality it’s based off the true story, so there isn’t much space for what Hollywood could do if it was an original screenplay, and you’re basically given the material to work with, but some things I guess not even Hollywood can glamourise.
However, as the film comes to a close and the pieces all fit together, is when it really kicks off again and the film ends on a high note, making you forget how slow the space in the middle was and warms your heart completely having experienced the telling of this story. Personally, I didn’t care too much for the interaction between Rooney Mara’s character, Lucy and Saroo, and their relationship to me needed the backseat because I just wanted to know more about how he was going to find his family in the end; frankly I think that’s kind of how it might have meant to be played in the film as well, however the relationship with Saroo’s adoptive family and himself is truly touching and Nicole Kidman’s character is someone you’ll warm up to quickly, feeling like she’s your mom too.
It’s place in the Best Picture category is rightfully deserved though, despite certain criticisms on the story line, Lion still holds a dear place in my heart, and even made me shed a few tears towards the end.
It’s another high ranking film in the Best Picture category, so we certainly aren’t left with a drought of amazing films this year.