A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
**Lost in India, found in Australia!**Based on the book 'A Long Way Home' that tells the story of a young Indian boy who lost his brother in a railway station in the night and the next morning he woke up thousands kilometers away from home. Not knowing the language or the address and the names of his family, he struggled from various threats in the society. After that he got adopted from an Australian family and the rest of the film revolved on his true identity. Haunted by his past, how he rediscovered his originality was emotionally told.Very impressive film. The families should not miss it. Even though it is a must see by all ages. I am not a big fan of Dev's performances, even in his debut film 'Slumdog Millionaire'. After that success, he had survived in the film industry doing decent roles, for like a decade. But it was 'The Man Who Knew Infinity' that changed his career. For the first time I liked him very much in that, and again he was pretty impressive in this. The second best performance in his career. Though his part comes only after the half way mark. Yet in that one hour, he did great, particularly in the sentiments.I was wondering why it was called 'Lion'. And I got answered only just before the end credit. So you should be patient to learn why, if you are yet to see it. It was not until the 90s the India began to see a real change. This story takes place in the mid 80s, only the opening half and those parts were raw and cruel, especially in the eyes of an 8 year old boy. That kid was so good. Just like Jacom Tremblay, a year before who impressed us with his performance from the film 'Room'.It was a feature film debut for the director and he was wonderful in this attempt. The film splits into two, the first half was about lost and the following half is about finding the road back to the home. Less dialogues, but well written in those necessary parts. The music was good. Only negative was the film was out of depth. Yeah, all the events were like fast forward. If they had focused on details, the narration would have reached at least 3 hours. Especially I wanted the Australian mother's perspective on how she went through to raise those kids.Now I'm waiting for the 2020. I mean 2008 was SDM, 2012 was LoP and 2016 was this one. The 4 years later, surely there will be another India related western film would come. Despite this film nominated for the 6 Oscars, it had won nothing. That's very sad. Overall, I strongly suggest it. One of the best films of the Year._9/10_
An interesting true story. Film starts well and ends well. In the middle, there is a rapid acceleration from being a boy to being a man that misses out on a lot of an explanation as to how he ended up being the person he was. Quite boring in the middle of the film, which is a shame since the young actor was excellent.
Unbelievable tear-jerker---Lion tells the story of a very young boy in India who gets separated from his family for 25 years and his struggle to piece together his past.Dev Patel plays the older Saroo and is outstanding. He delivers terrific emotion at all the right times. Nicole Kidman is of course outstanding as his adoptive mother. But the real star is the young boy Sunny Pawar who plays the young Saroo. He was just outstanding for such a young actor.I think the movie could have been better by shortening the sequences of Saroo's anguishing over his past. And we would have benefited from learning more about Saroo and Mantosh. It would have been great to see more growing up scenes with Kidman, though you got enough of a picture to see that the kids were treated wonderfully.The Hollywood ending isn't one, because it's a totally true story, which makes Lion even more unbelievable. This is the kind of movie to watch when you think YOU are having trouble. Think of this poor young boy lost and alone in a city of millions and your problems should drift away.Roony Mara's role as the older love interest seemed to be like a throw in, just as a foil for Patel. I wonder if she was real or added in.Anyhow, solid acting, great cinematography, you'll love Lion. It could just have been tightened up in editing a bit more. Enjoy
The persistence of memory is exceptionally well illustrated---I loved this movie uncritically. It's only upon "thinking" about it as a work of art that my reaction to it (10) is revised to 9. Some bits are too long (what else is new), and the real-life personages that we see in a video at the end look more interesting than their actor counterparts. The child actors who dominate the first part of the movie are wonderfully effective.Although I've never been lost in the sense of not knowing where to find my family, I identified acutely with the adult Saroo who must wrack his brain and become heavily involved with Google in order to try to find out where he fits into the world. Nearly all of the most important people in my elderly life are persons I met when I was young but "lost" for a very long time thereafter. I can't expect everyone to share my experience of the movie in that way: others will see it through the experience of being a parent or a son, but I believe most will be moved.India isn't overdone. It's dirty, it's crowded, it's poor -- but we all knew that -- there is no effort to shock us by exaggerating these things, and I appreciate that. Also appreciate their sticking with the languages that would actually have been spoken in the various locales of the story, and using subtitles, instead of doing the whole thing in English and making us figure out when that's a story-telling convenience.
The Tribulations of a Privileged Dude Who Doesn't Actually Have Any Problems---Am I the only one who wanted to punch Dev Patel in the face while watching this film? He plays Saroo Brierley, a young Indian man who was separated from his family when he was a little boy, funneled into the Indian orphan system, and adopted by a loving Australian couple. He longs to return to India to see his birth family again, but is torn between wanting to reconnect with his roots and remaining loyal to the people who raised him.The first half of "Lion" is the film at its best, thanks to the winningly adorable Sunny Pawar, who plays Saroo as a little boy. But once Saroo ages into Patel, the film turns into a saggy, interminable series of scenes in which Patel mopes, lashes out at everyone who's nice to him, and spends every night staring at Google Earth while taking no action whatsoever. What his actual dilemma is is never made clear by the screenplay or Patel's performance. I stated above that he's torn between two cultures, but I'm only conjecturing about that, since that's not shown in the movie. Instead we watch a privileged man surrounded by supportive people whining about how he wants to return to India while we watch him and want to scream at him, "Then get off your ass and just visit India already!!" Patel was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, but he didn't deserve to be. Nicole Kidman, who plays his adoptive mother, was much more deserving of her Best Supporting Actress nomination. The film also nabbed nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score, but won nothing.Grade: B-
Waiting for Guddu...---Whenever I wander in the streets of the Moroccan Medina, I feel at home. There's that strange mixture of various fragrances floating in the air: spices, kebab, frying delicacies (not much different from these appetizing jelabis), sea spray from the fish market, tanned leather from the shoe shop and this whole conglomerate smell outsiders or tourists might feel stinky, but as far as "my" senses are concerned, "there's no place like home". I didn't pick it, it picked me.And maybe there's something innately circular about life, we're born home, we move close or far from it, and there's the need to get back. I even have a personal theory: that even your children can find a deep "connection" with the place you were born in, your home will also feel like home for them. And it is indeed "A Long Way Home", the poignant and inspiring story of Saroo Brierley, born in India, lost at the age of five, adopted by an Australian couple and reuniting with his mother and his family twenty-five years later. What else can be said? It's a simple story but it's often in the most plain-looking grounds that you can find the most precious gems.Garth Davis' "Lion" is indeed simple in its storytelling; it's linear and straightforward in its clarity. Basically the whole first hour shows poor Saroo looking for his brother Guddu in hostile and overcrowded streets of Calcutta and finding a few moments of relief interrupted by adults, and in the huge lottery of karma, some can look extremely friendly and have sinister motives. But good fate sides with little Saroo and one lucky encounter leading to another, a couple of Australian tourist discovers the 'wanted notice' published in a newspaper and they instantly fall in love with the kid and adopt him. Saroo is then taught English and good manners.Then, something interesting happens: while I expected some resistance, he actually tries to fit in his new family as if he's aware that there's something really providential in that couple of good-hearted people from Tasmania, played by Nicole Kidman and David Brienham. The one twist that spoils the family harmony is the adoption of a mentally troubled and self-harming Indian boy named Mantosh one year later. "Lion" manages to say a lot without words, from the reaction of Sunny Pawar, who does a fine, subtle, acting job, I could feel that he didn't welcome this arrival with much enthusiasm but wouldn't display jealousy out of love for his new mom.And the way he grew up was in line with the character. Dev Patel finally makes his entrance as a brilliant young man in his mid-twenties, ready to embrace studies in hotel management, he's also a nice guy like you seldom see in movies, no tortured soul, no rebel, no wimp either and respectful toward his parents. Seeing Patel again made me regret how harshly I judged "Slumdog Millionnaire" but I never commented his acting but a script that took a rather simplistic turn near the end. So, I was glad to see Patel again, playing another guy trying to find a loved one through a "modern device" but I hoped Davis wouldn't derail the film from its beautiful simplicity.And I had a good scare when his soon-to-be girlfriend, played by Rooney Mara, started improvising a little dance on the streets as it almost felt like there would be some Bollywood number, but it was just her twisted way to seduce him, and it worked? well, to some degree. Personally, she struck me as a too cold and sophisticated girl, I didn't buy that a guy so warm and "sunny" like Saroo would fall in love with a younger version of Kristin Scott Thomas. Even the love scenes made me wonder if Mara wasn't still under the influence of her previous romance in "Carol". Never mind, the center of the movie were Patel and Kidman and as soon as Patel has this delicate 'Proust Madeleine' moment, the story takes off and with the miracle of "Google Earth", Saroo tries to find the way back home.The film tries to inject some 'suspense' in that powerful journey but that wasn't necessary, I think they could have just compressed the 'research' within the last weeks before Saroo's departure and avoided these little 'pending' moments, only to focus on the relationship with his adoptive mother and some emotional insights about the heights of generosity some hearts can reach. There were many heartfelt statements about adoption that could have enriched the story but the girlfriend allowed Saroo to explain his existential crisis to the audience without never really existing on her own, I didn't care for her anyway. The tormented brother could have made a more interesting foil for Saroo and would have provided a fine back-story paralleling Saroo's experience.While "Lion" isn't flawless, it's a movie whose emotional power relied on the ending, and when Saroo was getting closer to his home, I could find my own heart beating, that's for the empathy? and that was the price to pay, to earn that teary explosion of happiness and a few emotionally rewarding revelations, concluding one of the few 2016 movies of universal appeal. Indeed, If there ever was one statement to sum up the general appeal of movies, or stories regardless of their narrative medium, I would quote the late Roger Ebert who said "The more specific a film is, the more universal, because the more it understands individual characters, the more it applies to everyone".Truer words have never been spoken indeed. Garth Davis' "Lion" might have an Australian-Indian protagonist but anyone can relate to him, from India, Iceland, Jamaica, Morocco or any part of the world.
A really good true story that lacks focus---This is a really good story, but its structure, pacing and editing threw me off constantly throughout. I couldn't completely engage with the film as a result.Nearly an hour of the film is spent on little Saroo, yet ultimately this has no bearing on the film as a whole. The film is about Saroo reconnecting with his biological mom, his culture and his heritage. Yet none of these scenes further that. They're from a different movie about the entire life of Saroo and the tribulations of all Indian orphans which this film clearly is not.I really think this film benefits from a less chronological structure - if his past as a young boy were something he was remembering in pieces in the present. Because ultimately how much of that time does he really remember? It seems unlikely it was all of it since he was so young, so these scenes are really for the benefit of the audience so we spend too much of the film waiting for him to find home because we aren't actively connecting with his past like he is. We already know what happened and the incoming inevitable conclusion.Still, it's a beautiful story and the conclusion is convincingly emotional and touching. Dev Patel and little Sunny Pawar are both pretty great.
Great Film Based on a True Story---In 1986, in Khandwa, India, the 5 year-old boy Saroo (Sunny Pawar) lives a very poor but happy life with his mother Kamla (Priyanka Bose), his older brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate) and his younger sister Shekila (Khushi Solanki). Kamla works carrying stones during the night shift and Guddu also works in the night in the Central Station. One night, Saroo insists on going with Guddu to his work and does not resist and sleeps. Guddu leaves Saroo sleeping on a bank I the station and asks him to stay there until he returns. However the boy wakes up in the middle of the night and decides to seek out his brother in a train. He sleeps again and he wakes up in Calcutta, West Bengal, and 1,600 km east of Khandwa. Saroo does not speak Bengali, only Hindi, and lives on the street of the big city. One day, a young man brings Saroo to the police station and he is sent of an institution for children. In 1987, Saroo is adopted by an Australian family and moves to Hobart, Tasmania. He is raised with love by his foster parents and one day, he goes to an Indian party promoted by his Indian mates from the university with his girlfriend Lucy (Rooney Mara). He tells the story of his childhood and triggers the feeling of missing his family. Now Saroo becomes obsessed to find his mother Kamla and his siblings. Will he succeed in his search?"Lion" is a great film based on a true story. The first part is a masterpiece and the boy Sunny Pawar steals the show. The plot is heartbreaking with the 5 year-old boy lost alone in the big city and without speaking the local language. There is an ellipsis when he grows up and the film turns into a melodrama inferior to the story of Saroo's childhood on the streets of Calcutta. The conclusion is emotional, with the reunion of Saroo and his biological mother. Along the credits, the footage of the real characters in India will make many eyes brimming with tears. My vote is eight.Title (Brazil): "Lion: Uma Jornada Para Casa" ("Lion: A Journey Home")
Cried for England!---I first saw Lion on a whim 3 weeks ago and didn't know what to expect as I hadn't even seen the trailer but I was so incredibly moved by Saroo's story that I decided to watch it again 10 days later. It's the kind of film that stays with you hours or even days after you leave the cinema. It's not just an amazing true story but the acting is superb, the musical score haunting and the cinematography stunning. My decision to see it for a second time was partly due to how much I'd enjoyed the film but also in case I'd missed something of importance through all the tears. Well that didn't work out well as I cried even more the second time round as I knew the significance of certain scenes. All the adult performances were first class especially Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman who shared some very moving scenes together as adult son and adoptive mother but little Sunny Pawar's performance as young Saroo was totally captivating. There isn't much dialogue in the first 45 minutes but his face and especially his eyes perfectly portray his anguish, desperation and loneliness. Unlike some reviewers I enjoyed both distinct halves of the film equally and never lost interest for a moment. I can't believe for one minute you'll make it through this film emotionally unscathed but if you do then I'm sure the end credits will get you. I don't have anything negative to say about this wonderful film and can't wait for the DVD to be released. I'll finish by using the 2 most used words when reviewing Lion. Take tissues!
Let's be frank about this...---This is not a great movie - its faults are there for all to see.So why so many gushing reviews and 10 star ratings? Primarily, I think many reviewers are confusing the great heart-warming story being depicted and the actual qualities of the film. Yes, it is a wonderful story and even more dramatic when considering the fate of young Saroo's brother. But this was a film with two distinct parts and apart from the climax of Saroo's reunion with his mother, the second part was very low-key film-making. Nicole Kidman played her part well (apart from the most annoying monologue which was delivered in barely a whisper) but hardly 15-20 minutes on screen must surely disqualify her from any Oscar consideration. Her on-screen husband played by David Wenham appeared on screen for seemingly less than 10 minutes with no hope of any true characterization being offered. The adopted brother of Saroo was emotionally and mentally handicapped, yet we know nothing of his plight once again, through lack of exploring character. The inclusion of Roony Mara as Saroo's love interest in the second half of the film appeared almost pointless. Her presence did almost zilch for plot development and it makes you wonder why the producers went to such expense in casting her in the first place.This second 'Australian' section of the film displayed some lovely bush and seaside settings but really paled in comparison to the exceptional performance of Sunny Pawar as young Saroo in the first half of the movie. To be honest, apart from the pertinent facial expressions, Dev Patel had little to do and less to say. The reputation of this film gains its notoriety almost wholly from the search and final reunion of mother and son in India but the lack of character development, a very average script and the inclusion of too much filler material has resulted in an overall disappointing film