MOVIE REVIEW: “Lion” stars Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Chappie), Sunny Pawar (Love Sonia, Drive ), Rooney Mara (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ), Abhishek Bharate (Love Sonia), Nicole Kidman (The Others , Eyes Wide Shut), David Wenham (300, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers), Priyanka Bose (Johnny Gaddaar, Gulaab Gang), and Divian Ladwa (Detectorists [TV series], 8 Minutes Idle). It is directed by Garth Davis (A House in the Sky, Lady Magdalene), while Luke Davies (Candy, Life) wrote the screenplay. Based on a true story, this film follows Saroo (Patel, Pawar), an Indian who is separated from his brother at an early age when he mistakenly gets on a train. Spending many days alone and lost, Saroo soon finds a home when he is adopted, but his past comes back to haunt him when memories of his old life begin to resurface.
It’s nice to watch a film of substance after seeing “Balls of Fury” not too long ago, and boy is this in a completely different league. I’ve heard relatively good things about “Lion.” Granted, it hasn’t been spoken of with the exception of a few people, but it was of good things regardless. I knew I was getting into a sob story; I mean, you wouldn’t expect all sunshine and rainbows from a plot about a little boy being separated from his family in India. However, it’s in these tales that you draw deep messages from, and “Lion” had a few to offer. Will it make you want to adopt an Indian kid of your own? Possibly. But it will surely make you think twice about the your own life. In my opinion, a film that holds a powerful message doesn’t make it automatically the best movie I’ve seen. There are certain qualifications that a picture must have in order to solidify its theme and make it fantastic. I don’t only appreciate “Lion” for the story it tells, but also for how it tells it. The cinematography, acting, and direction of this feature were great. I loved the look and feel of this, especially when it came to locations. The grime of India compared to the sleekness of Australia to display a contrast in life came with beautiful visuals in both respects. I enjoyed looking at this just as much as I enjoyed watching it, and commend the cinematographers for putting this thing together. The performances in this made the characters real and brought this story to life. I thought all of them did exceptionally well, especially the main kid. I’ve seen plenty of child actors, and this one was surprisingly great; better than most. He definitely led the production since half of this movie took place when the main character was a kid. Aesthetically, this feature was bold and beautiful, specifically in its establishing and arial shots. It took care of its message and made sure to make a movie worth watching, rather than some sugary film that looks cookie-cutter. Sure, we all know that there are people who lead worse lives than our own. America is in better shape than most countries, though that doesn’t make this fall short of being a reminder. Along with this thought of children in other countries comes a theme of love, and how one family can make a difference in someone’s life. Both of these intermingled throughout the story, though focused on being more of a narrative than a PSA commercial. This was the best approach, being as how I want to dive into the story myself rather than be told about something. “Lion” was a highly engaging feature, as its story was captivating and interesting. I was locked with the screen for its entirety; the pacing was smooth and there weren’t many dull moments. The only real problems I saw with it would be the relationship between Saroo and Lucy (Mara). Along with him trying to find his family, Saroo was constantly having to be tethered by his love with Lucy. While it wasn’t a terrible story arc, it was certainly distracting, and often took me out of the thrills of seeing him search for his family. I get that the writers want me to see his obsession take a toll on his relationships, but I feel that the conflict with him and his adoptive parents were enough; or they could at least develop Lucy further. Besides that, this was a solid production that I’m sure any viewer can get a deep meaning out of. It’s certainly an interesting story to watch unfold, and I recommend anyone to check it out. FINAL SCORE: 90%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: