Movie Review: The Weinstein Company's Lion - #LIONmovie

Starring: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham
Directed By: Garth Davis
Written By: Luke Davies, based on the true story 'A Long Way Home' by Saroo Brierley
Produced By: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Angie Fielder
Official Media: Website | Facebook
Hashtag: #LionMovie
Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.

2016 has been a one of a kind year. There is so much going on in global, national and local venues, that I am very ready for this year to end. The movie offerings of the year we a mixed bag. I know that there must have been good movies, but the bad ones are easier to remember. And just when I thought I had seen the last good movie of 2016, I strolled into a local museum to catch Lion, a true story of self-discovery on a universal scale. Lion blew me away!

It is one of the best films I have seen all year. Probably, it qualifies as one of the best movies I have ever seen. It is a story young man looking for his place in the world, literally and figuratively. Very relatable. The film is roller coaster of emotion. Bring tissues.

The cast of Lion is top notch. Nicole Kidman (as Sue), David Wenham (as John) and Rooney Mara (as Lucy) all have strong supporting performances with Kidman giving an award quality portrayal of Saroo's mom. But, this film isn't about the people in Saroo's life, it's about Saroo. I cannot say enough good things to do justice to Little Saroo as played by Sunny Pawar. That kid captivated me from the first scene of the film and, again, in every scene he was in. Pawar's portrayal tugs at the heartstrings. He is charming and vulnerable. It's the kind of performance that makes one want to call their parents after the movie. And, then Little Saroo grows up, and one might think that the emotion of the film is over, but that is when Dev Patel picks up the Saroo baton to continue the story with real and complex human emotion. Patel gives a raw and gut-wrenching performance. Anyone who has questioned their place in the world is sure to relate. Saroo's story was so moving that I tried not to blink, for fear I would miss some of the nuances, or scenes of the movie.

The scenes or better said, the scenery, deserves its own discussion. I loved the technical work of the film. The broad, sweeping shots in India served not only to identify the complexity of the Saroo's predicament, they also highlighted the beauty in a part of the world with which I am not personally familiar. Australia also, was shot beautifully.

The music of the film brought all of the components of the movie together wonderfully. Without being loud or obtrusive, it helped to give additional depth to the quiet moments.

Lion is as powerful and majestic as the title leads you to believe. And, as if that weren't enough, it is based on a true story. It is a must-see. It is the kind of film that makes me love watching movies. It is sure to strike a chord with even the harshest of cynics. You may have to venture to an art house theater to catch it, but it is worth a trip. Lion opens on Christmas Day.

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