Lion has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Actress for Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay for Luke Davies. Lion is rated PG-13 for thematic material and some sensuality.
This is one film you won’t want to miss. Based on a true story, it tells the journey of Saroo (Sunny Pawar), a boy from India who is tragically separated from his family at the age of five years. He wandered the streets of Calcutta alone, meeting other children and adults, narrowly escaping those who would use him for their own private gain or perversions.
He is adopted by an Australian couple, John (David Wenham) and Sue Brierley (Nicole Kidman), and brought up in the beautiful island countryside of Tasmania, and by all appearances, adjusts well to his new family.
When he becomes older, he goes to Melbourne, Australia to continue his schooling, and there meets a diverse group of students that become his friends, including his girlfriend Lucy (Rooney Mara). This exposure to other cultures, particularly the food of India, brings back a flood of memories. When he opens up to his friends, they encourage him to search for his family, and even give helpful suggestions of how he could go about doing this.
It seems like searching for a needle in a haystack. Saroo only recalls bits and pieces of his lost five year old memories, cannot find the name of the little village he lived in on a map, and is discouraged at his lack of progress. Thank goodness for Google Maps and some accurate calculations to at least narrow down his search area, or he may never have begun his search.
More than Saroo’s search, Lion is a look into the adoptive family, Saroo’s feelings and his brother’s feelings about being adopted, as well as his adoptive parents who took him in. Nicole Kidman does a wonderfully sensitive portrayal of the woman who graciously and whole-heartedly took these boys into her home. Saroo was very lucky to have such parents.
I highly recommend that you see Lion. Dev Patel deserves his nomination as he delivers a highly nuanced performance. He shows the many emotions and struggles Saroo went through during the process of his searching. I really enjoyed his work in the series The Newsroom, and his vibrancy in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing much more of him in cinema land.
There are estimated to be 80,000 children going missing in India each year, and 11,000,000 children living on the streets in India. The Lion Heart Campaign is collaborating with extraordinary organizations to support children in India and around the world. We can all help, and one way to begin to build awareness is to encourage others to see this excellent film about Saroo’s journey. Then go to: Lion movie for information on how you can help protect street children through the Lion Heart Campaign.