Friday, July 21, 2017

Movie Review: Lion (2016)

Lion (2016) directed by Garth Davis

Five year old Saroo lives in a small Indian village with his mom, big brother, and sister. He wants to go with his big brother on a job in a neighboring town. The older brother at first resists but gives in. They arrive late at night and the older brother tells the sleepy Saroo to wait on a bench while he checks on the job. Saroo didn't pay enough attention. When he finally wakes up in the middle of the night, he gets on a nearby train to look for his brother. The train (a decommissioned passenger train) departs for a multi-day trip to Calcutta. Saroo is trapped until the end of the line. In Calcutta, he lives as a street child for a while then is sent to an orphanage. He's adopted by parents in Tasmania, who give him love and a good life. As an adult, Saroo eventually realizes he wants to find his lost family and begins a desperate attempt using Google Earth, made more difficult by not telling his adoptive parents (who he assumes will be hurt by his quest) and refusing help from his girlfriend.

The movie is heart-rending and difficult to watch in several parts, especially the treatment of street children in Calcutta. But it is also uplifting in many ways. The cast does a great job communicating so much emotion and so many ideas without a lot of melodramatic speeches or pandering to the audience. It's just an honest and powerful story.

Highly recommended.

1 comment:

  1. We also really liked this movie and found it really skillfully directed, with a lot of confidence that allowed large chunks of story with no dialogue. Powerful story, powerfully told.