Lion

Lion

GENRES Drama
LANG Bengali English Hindi
TIME 2016

Synopsic

Lion is a movie starring

In 1986, Saroo was a five-year-old child in India of a poor but happy rural family. On a trip with his brother, Saroo soon finds himself alone and trapped in a moving decommissioned passenger train that takes him to Calcutta, 1000 miles away from home. Now totally lost in an alien urban environment and too young to identify either himself or his home to the authorities, Saroo struggles to survive as a street child until he is sent to an orphanage. Soon, Saroo is selected to be adopted by the Brierley family in Tasmania, where he grows up in a loving, prosperous home. However, for all his material good fortune, Saroo finds himself plagued by his memories of his lost family in his adulthood and tries to search for them even as his guilt drives him to hide this quest from his adoptive parents and his girlfriend. Only when he has an epiphany does he realize not only the answers he needs, but also the steadfast love that he has always had with all his loved ones in both worlds.

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Lion Reviews

  • Not just another Oscar bait movie

    moviewizguy 2016-10-19

    Do you know the feeling you get when you go into a film with no expectations at all or thinking it might be decent, and the film turns out to not only be good, but blows you away by how amazing it ends up being? That's LION, and if you've been watching films for several years like me thinking you've seen everything committed to cinema, it's a fantastic feeling to be proved wrong. Let me explain to you exactly what I experienced while watching LION: Almost half of the film is in Hindi, which lends incredible authenticity to the story, not that BS where they have actors in which English is their second language speak English for the sake of sparing the American audience from reading subtitles (I'm looking at you, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, and every other Hollywood movie ever made). In fact, the entire first act takes place in India, where about 40 minutes of the film rides on the shoulders of a first time child actor – played by the wonderful Sunny Pawar – and it's one of the best first acts I've seen in years. Think of it like the silent first act of Wall-E; it feels like it can be its own film, yet the filmmakers do a great job connecting the story once Dev Patel comes on screen. On top of that, the filmmaking is impressive. The script is fantastic, the cinematography is lush, the soundtrack complements the film really nicely, and the pacing is on point where it rarely feels like it's dragging, despite the story taking place over the course of 25 years. Every actor in here is also terrific in their roles. As stated earlier, Sunny Pawar makes a compelling lead for the first third of the film. If Oscars were given to kid actors, he would have a damn good chance at winning one. For the last two thirds, Dev Patel more than carries the rest of the film, giving an emotionally naked performance worthy enough to top his role in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. Finally, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, and David Wenham are ace, despite all of them having limited screen time. In a time where diversity is being talked about more in the film industry, LION makes a compelling case for having diversity in storytelling. It's not about a guy meeting his girlfriend's parents for the first time. It's not about a group of friends going in a cabin in the woods. It's not even about a guy/girl struggling with the death of his/her father/mother/son/daughter/dog. No, LION is a personal story unique to South Asians growing up in India, and it's refreshing and easily one of the best films the year has to offer. Don't dismiss this as yet another Oscar bait movie put out by the Weinstein Company – it probably is one. But the film is much more than that. With a distinct vision from director Garth Davis, LION offers an enthralling story that deserves to be seen by everyone.

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  • Powerful story, will move you to tears. Be sure to bring plenty of Kleenex.

    FelixFelicis 2016-09-15

    Just saw this at TIFF . I saw the trailer a few days before the screening and I have to admit the trailer alone made me a little emotional. I mean just the thought of a 5 year old separated from his family for 25 years is bad enough, add in the fact that he was lost in India, a country of over a billion people and was the child of an uneducated poor single mother and you are looking at a very stressful situation. This happens there everyday..and most children never find their way back. They either end up dead or in the hands of heartless people who use children for various illegal / unethical operations. The fact that one boy survived this situation and went on to tell his story is very inspiring and this fantastic film did justice to showing it on screen. There wasn't a single scene in the movie which doesn't suck you in. Hats off to Dev Patel. He managed to make you feel the character's pain just by the way he looked at a jalebi (indian sweet that his brother and him fantasized about back in India). Special shoutout to the young actor who played little Saroo. His performance blew me away. It would be difficult to watch any child go through what he did and the fact that he was absolutely adorable looking made it even harder. The movie explores some great themes: What happens to lost children in developing countries? How do poor, illiterate citizens of a country go about finding their lost children...who helps them? What are the dangers faced by these lost children? Why do certain people choose to adopt? How do adopted children adapt to their surroundings? Especially when they're transplanted so many miles away from home where they do not even speak the language. Do children every fully recover from traumatic childhood experiences? Does one forget their original family if they never see them again after the age of 5? As an adopted child do you ever completely feel like you fit into your new life? What is the bond with your adoptive parents like? The film touches upon all these themes while primarily being about the physical and emotional journey of a young man finding his way back home with very few clues to work with. I kid you not, I could hear the whole theatre crying during several parts of the movie and most people had tissues in their hands. So be prepared. If you're in the mood for a heart wrenching drama with an uplifting ending, go watch this one once its out! The lead cast as well as supporting members have all done a wonderful job. You will not be disappointed!

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  • Truly Exceptional

    jvcksonsmth 2016-09-14

    May I start this off by saying that I'm astonished at the extremely unfair negative, even 'mixed' reviews the film has gotten so far... The film is not even remotely close to being average, it's far, far, beyond magnificent. By now you probably know the synopsis, so I'll add for those who haven't seen the film that 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. I've been thinking about this film since I saw it, there's drama, mystery, romance, a whirlwind of emotions throughout the 2 hours - in the best way possible.

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  • Couldn't stop crying

    ian-70926 2016-10-04

    This is such a beautiful film, with a simple story line, without any frills. A young Indian boy leaves their village with his older brother to do some "jobs", in one of these jobs he gets lost and cannot find his way back home. Pass some years and he's adopted by a family from Australia, and when that boy becomes an adult, he starts wondering where he's actually from. It deals with aspects of origin and identity, and that we cannot escape from who we really are. Superb, superb acting from everyone, from the little Indian boys, specially Sunny Pawar that plays the young Sarro, to Dev Patel who has clearly matured into a top class act and is endearing and touching playing the older Saroo. I'm certainly watching it again.

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  • Such a powerful film!

    joshbarton15 2016-12-14

    Missing child cases are ones that really do send a shiver down the spine, the uncertainty of the child's whereabouts or whether in fact they are actually still alive being the major worries. You can't possibly understand the effect it must have on a family. In Garth Davis' Lion, we see the effects of such a case on the child rather than the family left behind. Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is a five-year-old child living in a remote Indian village with his mother, brother and sister. Spending his days helping his brother steal coal from trains, Saroo joins his brother for a job one night but finds himself lost and on a train to Calcutta, nearly two-thousand kilometres from his home village. Surviving many challenges and meeting various faces, Saroo is eventually adopted by an Australian couple, John and Sue Brierley (David Wenham and Nicole Kidman). Twenty-five years later, Saroo (Dev Patel) decides to track his lost family down. I must start by saying that I absolutely loved Lion, a film that deals with such a traumatising true story in such a delicate manner. Garth Davis splits the film into two halves, the first focusing on Saroo as a five-year-old lost in such a densely populated city and the second looking at Saroo as a grown man, so far away from the life he left years before. It is quite tough to watch at times, particularly some scenes of a young Saroo trying to survive on the streets of Calcutta however, Davis' film builds to a truly beautiful conclusion that left me emotionally destroyed. I think the fact that this is a true story played a massive part in the conclusion having such an impact on me. Davis plays it out brilliantly and the inclusion of real life footage in the end credits, along with startling facts about how many children go missing in India, just added more power to the already powerful film. Lion doesn't just get its power from the story but from the tremendous performances also. I have always liked Dev Patel as an actor but this is the first time I've watched him give such a powerhouse of a performance as a grown up Saroo struggling to cope with tracking down his lost family. From here, Patel could really go places, starting with awards recognition in the early new year. Sunny Pawar deserves a special mention for his performance as a young Saroo, lost and alone in such a unfamiliar place. It's always a risk to have such a large portion of the film led by such a young actor but it's ultimately one that pays off greatly in Lion. There's also fine support on offer from Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham, ensuring the quality runs right throughout the film. Lion is a film that I urge you to go and see because a film like this needs the coverage and its subject matter is something people need to be made more aware of.

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