Currently nominated in the most prestigious award categories including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting actor/actress and 2 more for the 89th Academy Awards, Lion seeks to enthrall the strongest of hearts and to that of the weakest. A story of a lifetime that follows the endeavors taken up by a soul completely lost.
Directed by Garth Davis in his feature debut and written by Luke Daveas based on the book, A Long Way from Home by SarooBrierly, Lion is a movie translated into the language of a journey. The movie is lauded worldwide for its intricate and cohesive narrative that allows us to fasten ourselves with the storyline.
Lion, a movie predominantly shot in rural India and parts of Bengal portrays the lives of the labor class 20 years back and the hardships that they face as they go on with their routines, but the small pleasures that they garner out of the most ordinary things binds them together and the love for family works as an elixir for them.
Saroo, a small kid played by Sunny Panwar finds himself astray into a small town of Bengal after getting lost and has to swallow months of misfortune, distress and trouble before being granted shelter into an orphanage. Saroo is later brought over to an Australian couple eagerly waiting for a child in Tasmania, where he receives immeasurable love and care. The wheel of time is then pushed forward 20 years where Dev Patel embraces the role of the now grown up Saroo living blissfully with the Australian pair portrayed by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham.
Saroo has made a life of his own, finds love, but lacks a touch of personality as he wasn’t the only one who was adopted, his past was too. Saroo is soon courted regularly with the memories of his life back in India. He faces an identity and existential crisis that revokes every emotion that he has left. His only goal remains to find his home, his mother and family who must be waiting for him in some remote town of India while he lives luxuriously.
The odyssey begins in his heart and ends in India. What one must do to keep your past at bay? How is one to live knowing that you have a family longing for your presence in hope?
Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman both nominated for their roles have set the bar up two notches. Patel remakes the lad perfectly with his skills and soft looks. The weight of the movie technically falls on his shoulder when Saroo grows up and he utterly brings the right set of emotions required while Nicole and Rooney Mara being the best accompanist when it comes to acting. It was Sunny Panwar, the young Saroo, who is the one opening the doors to our hearts with his innocence and cracking voice, his smoldering looks and the ability to emote silently.
Lion functions beautifully with cutaways and shots from India that as Indians we feel right in our best senses. The feeling of being away from family and your mother is indescribable, but Davis seems to have mastered it. The movie is heavy as it begins and remains heavy throughout, but it surely releases from you something by the end. Save your tears for the very end, as the movie ends with a relatable explanation of the title, which is sure to break your mighty heart into pieces. See for yourself, as the story unfolds!