Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Published January 18th 2017
The Incredible Story of a Child Lost for 25 Years
Lion, starring Dev Patel & Sunny Pawar, who both play the character of Saroo Brierley, will hold you captive for the entire film. Based on the novel A Long Way Home, it tells the true story of a 5 year old Indian boy who gets separated from his brother and ends up on a train that takes him more than 1000km away from his home.
Arriving in Kolkata (Calcutta) he survives on the streets before being institutionalised then adopted by a Tasmanian couple, who welcome him into their home. As a young man, he discovers Google Earth and searches endlessly for some familiar landmark along the railway lines, hoping to somehow find his home and his way back to his birth family. In this heartfelt tale, the audience follows Saroo's quest for the proverbial needle in a haystack. The powerful portrayal skilfully brings the novel to life on the big screen and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house by the end.
The strong cast includes Nicole Kidman & David Wenham, (Faramir in The Lord of Rings) as Sue and John, Saroo's adoptive parents, but the star of the movie, young Saroo played by Mumbai native Sunny Pawar, is clearly headed for a great future and for me stole the show. His ability to convey the universal fear of losing your family and surviving alone at such a tender age is achieved with maturity well beyond his 8 years. He carries the story, ready for Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire & Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) to continue it into adulthood and show the outcome for someone who has been lost for 25 years.
If you only see one movie this year make it this one. My only negative thought would be that the title should have remained the same as the book. You will have to wait until the final moments of the film to discover where the "Lion" comes from.
I read the book after hearing a radio interview with Saroo and was intrigued by his story. The movie was everything I imagined and the book was not spoiled by the screen version but rather the magnificent photography enriched this deeply moving life story.
For me, it was all the more potent, as it was watched shortly after returning from a trip to India and all the sights and sounds came flooding back as the scenes unfolded. The poverty, the colour and the power of the human spirit are all on show. Go, you won't be disappointed.
Thanks go to ShowFilmFirst Australia and Event Cinemas Pacific Fair, for the opportunity to attend the prelaunch screening of Lion, on the Gold Coast.