Lion (2016) – Movie Review

Hello everyone,

I will be honest, I’ve been watching more movies than reading books and I know I promised I would do more book reviews but I’ve been feeling very unmotivated to read as of late. I’ll make this more organized than my last movie review which was on Hungry Hearts, an indie film starring Adam Driver. Wow, I haven’t done a movie review in a long time. Here we go.

Backstory: So I stumbled across this film unexpectedly when one night I asked my dad how work was. He works in a dry cleaner and described how a customer of his mentioned the movie Lion while they were talking and he described the plot to my father and now here my dad was asking me if I had heard of it. As the indie film lover that I am (although Lion had appeared in theaters), I had, and instantly got excited. I had only watched the trailer at that point and was so intrigued by this story that I wasn’t able to get it out of my mind. Anyways, that night, my dad and I began to watch Lion and I will continue this backstory later in the analysis part.

SummaryLion tells the true story of a five-year-old boy named Saroo who gets lost on a train in India when his brother goes to consult about a job. Saroo stays behind and falls asleep. When he wakes up, his brother is gone and he wanders onto a train to search for him and falls asleep. When he wakes, he finds the train moving which takes him thousands of miles away from his home across India. He is later labeled as a missing child and is eventually adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, Saroo, played by Dev Patel, is determined to find his home again with the support of his parents, technology (more specifically Google Earth), and his precious memories.

Analysis: This movie was one of the most heart-wrenching movies I have seen for a long time and is now in my favorite movies list. I have never experienced a movie where I had been crying throughout the entire film until now. Now, this is more for personal reasons, not because every second of the film is a waterworks display. The actor who plays the five-year-old Saroo, Sunny Pawar, is absolutely adorable and even without showing much emotion, the story revolving around him makes the whole film heart-wrenching. The film interweaves Saroo’s memories back in India with the present and whether he is in a good or bad situation, it just squeezes your heart to reminisce about home and where you belonged to as a child. The music just adds to the emotional ride you go on and I got even more excited when the opening credits said that Dustin O’Halloran did the music and I could hear it as soon as it started. I have to say that Dev Patel rocked an Australian accent as far as I could tell. I’ve always said that Australian accents are like the weird cousin of British accents and how they just go another way that you would expect from a British accent but I quickly learned after watching this movie that it was just another accent that I had fallen in love with. Anyways, Patel does a phenomenal job portraying Saroo as a man now struggling with the decision to find his home when he already has a loving home. We see Saroo struggle to tell his parents (played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) of what he is working on and push away his then girlfriend, played by Rooney Mara. It’s interesting to see Saroo function in his immediate circle of family during the day and then have memories of his past haunt him before going to sleep. And when he’s not with his family, he’s with his girlfriend, Lucy, trying to explain what it’s like in his head. Speaking of his girlfriend, there are no sex scenes in this film yet this film has produced some of the most intimate scenes between romantic partners that I have ever seen, for example, there is a scene that is silent as they look into each other’s eyes while underneath the covers. It’s funny how most of the time, sex isn’t the most intimate thing you can do with a person and this movie is a testament of that. For me, it was something that popped out to me as I was watching this because already it’s an emotional journey for Saroo and for him to find comfort in the arms of someone whom maybe doesn’t quite understand what he’s going through but is there for him. His parents also provided such a caring and loving environment as they provided for Saroo a life that was so starkly different from the poor, poverty-stricken life he experienced with his actual family. You see the life he could’ve left behind and forgotten and the movie also highlights Saroo’s actual mother and brother and their close relationship which really just makes the waterworks appear and I think you can even tell this in the trailer that I will post below.

Rating: 10/10. I was crying from beginning to end and it really is a story that you think about after watching it. Saroo went on an unforgettable journey. I liked it so much I’m reading the book, written by the actual Saroo Brierley, currently so be on the lookout for a book review on Lion. Thanks for reading all my thoughts on this film. I will do more film reviews soon!

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