It has been a while since my wife and I saw a very serious movie together. She had recommended this movie to me as she said it was a good movie. I found out later that the movie was nominated for Academy Awards for best picture and best supporting actor/actress. At first I was a bit reluctant to see a very heavy movie as I prefer to watch lighter ones in the cinemas. But then again, since I had to be open minded when watching movies nowadays, I decided to see for myself what the movie was all about. So when the film finally premiered for the first time yesterday, we went ahead and watch it at 7.15PM show.
Brief Story Line
Movie started with the introduction of 2 boys living in Khandwa, India in 1986 named Saroo (newcomer Sunny Pawar) a 5 year old and his older brother named Guddu (Abhistek Bharate) who were very poor and had to look for various odd jobs just for bit of money. Guddu was tasked by their mother to always look after Saroo while she worked and taking care of the youngest child. One day when Guddu was going to work outside, Saroo insisted to go together with him despite Guddu's reluctance.
Saroo got separated from Guddu in a nearby train station and he fell asleep in the coal train with no passengers at all. The train departed and stopped at Calcutta, 1600 km from Saroo's original location where the people only spoke in Bengali language instead of his language, Hindi. Feeling so confused and lost, Saroo had to endure many problems for months until he was finally brought to the police. His photo was taken and announced in local newspaper and he was then put in an orphanage for weeks. But as nobody had claimed for him, he was given the option of adopted by an Australian couple.
Saroo was later brought to Tasmania where he met his adoptive parents for the first time, Sue Brierley (Nicole Kidman - Moulin Rouge!, Eyes Wide Shut and many more) and John Brierley (David Wenham - Lord of The Rings trilogy, 300 etc). After adjusting life for a while with his new parents, Saroo was informed that they were adopting another boy from India named Mantosh who would be his brother. However, he was not what the Brierleys had expected in a child. Saroo who grew accustomed to Australian culture became less Indian and more Australian.
20 years later, Saroo now an adult (played by Dev Patel - Slumdog Millionaire, Chappy etc) went to college and had romantic relationship with fellow student Lucy (Rooney Mara - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Pan etc). Saroo realized that there was something missing in his life which was his origin, his brother Guddu and his mother. He would be obsessed in finding out about his old home, the city of Ginestlay, which unfortunately was not anywhere in the internet. Using the advice from his college friends, he started to use Google Earth to find the location of his house. This obsession would soon disrupt his relationship with Lucy and also with his adoptive parents, not to mention his difficult relationship with Mantosh.
So could Saroo finally found his old house and find his birth family? Could he still keep good relationship with his adoptive family? Find them all in this touching drama family movie.
End of Brief Story Line
Yes, this was truly an amazing drama movie. It was filled with a lot of touching & moving moments. The first half of the movie was about Saroo's childhood experience when he got separated from Guddu. This was the half that made us feeling sad seeing the difficult times such a young boy had to endure. When he was finally brought to the adoptive parents, there was a sense of relief that finally Saroo would be able to enjoy a better life. Meanwhile the second half you would be feeling more intense on the possibility of Saroo finding his family. You would also be feeling very emotional in the end especially with brief info on why the movie was titled "LION".
After watching the movie, I could understand the reason why this movie was nominated for a Best Picture and also Best Supporting Actor (Dev Patel) and Actress (Nicole Kidman) since their performances as Saroo and Sue respectively, were very convincing and very believable. I also was very amazed with the performance of Sunny Pawar as young Saroo. I thought he was very good in portraying the lost boy.
This movie was adapted from true story and the book written by Saroo Brierley together with Larry Buttrose, titled A Long Way Home. So you could imagine how touching it would be in real lives for the actual persons involved (some of this would be shown before the end of the movie, so be ready for some emotional moments there). The movie itself was almost 2 hours and I think the duration was just perfect. At first I thought that the first half of young Saroo story was a bit long and draggy and would make the second half felt rushed. But it would appear that my worry was unwarranted as the second half duration was just nice as well. Oh ya, if you wait till the very last of the end credit scene, there was a very brief scene that I thought was very nice of the Director to put.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a touching drama movie of a lost family and a new found one, then this one is definitely for you. There was a lot of moral messages in the movie as well. And since it was a true story, I am quite sure that the movie would be able to give more impact after you see it. Not to mention the several Academy Awards nomination which usually translate to a good movie. But if a heavy drama movie is not your cup of tea, then it is definitely not recommended for you to watch this one. The choice is yours.
Mike's movie moments rating: 4 out of 5 stars