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.Wikipedia
Garth Davis’ Lion isn’t just an emotional film which will tear you up inside, but also a heartwarming mother-son tale that offers a compelling, refreshing take on the trite idea of never being able to reunite with families. Go ahead and watch it.
There is nothing glorious about poverty, and every time you fear Garth Davis may resort to a trick like that, he stays away.
These aren’t pleasant thoughts, and in that respect, Lion is not a pleasant film, however cathartic that ending may be. But thank God it exists. We need more films like it, like Slumdog, to shame us into being better by showing us our worst, and to inspire us into being brave, by showing us our best.
Keeping a few glitches aside, it’s not unfair to say that Lion, which is based on ‘A Long Way Home’ by Saroo Brierley, is a story that will stay with you once you walk out of the cinema hall. It will evoke turmoil within the boundaries of your restricted mind, making you ponder upon the ‘what ifs’ and ‘what nots’ of Sheru (Saroo), the Lion.
Lion isn't a thunderous roar. It's more a soulful, reassuring purr that reverberates gently into the recesses of the heart, curls up in a cozy place, and works its subtle magic. In one word, magnificent.
Sad yet uplifting, frightening yet inspirational, Lion breaks your heart into a thousand pieces and puts them back together in the end. It makes you believe in miracles and embrace hardships by celebrating courage and resilience in its own unique way.
It doesn't exactly make you roar in applause, but it does leave you with a lump in your throat at some points during the film. Sunny Pawar is a revelation. Watch this one for him.
Lion is best to be watched with a box of tissues at hand. Little Sunny Pawar’s class act and Saroo Brierley’s true story are sure to leave you in tears. This is a film worth watching for its interesting journey of survival.
Movies like Slumdog Millionaire and Life Of Pi have excelled before with their Indian settings. But even those celebrated movies haven’t had the pure intimacy of Lion. This one’s a gem of a film. One that takes an already spectacular story and turns it into an absolute sublime experience. Those multiple Oscar nominations are much deserved.
With the pros overwhelming overpowering the cons, LION roars its way in the list of Hollywood movies that can make Indians and Indian filmmakers proud for its theme like AVATAR (based on reincarnation), SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (a Hollywood potboiler inspired by Bollywood masalas and the prolific Manmohan Desai's lost and found themes) in 'real' sense as this Garth Davis adaptation of 'A Long Way Home' by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose is undeniably a story that deserves to be told and is told in a universally appealing, emotionally charging and cinematically uplifting manner.
This thoroughly absorbing film delves deeper to give this child a story, a name, and a face. This India portion, at least in the version I watched, has been shot in Hindi. Which is a huge relief, if you were expecting basic modicum of respect for authenticity in a film based on a true-life account -- Saroo Brierley's non-fiction novel A Long Way Home -- about a 5-year-old who accidentally gets separated from his mother, a quarry worker (Priyanka Bose; outstanding!), and his brother, to find himself eventually adopted by white parents in Australia.
In any case this is an effective drama with themes universal in nature. The most fundamentally basic human characteristic is to reach out to one’s family and there’s nothing more heartbreaking to see the bond ripped apart by forces alien to the human.
Overall, if you are a sucker for those lost-and-found formula movies, executed with a more realistic approach and laced by bravura performances, Lion should be your go to film. The performances by Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel stay with you long after the film ends.
Impressive even awe-inspiring in its emotional velocity Lion is a film that will stay with you for a long time. At a time when Indian cinema has become distinctly shy of wearing the heart on the sleeve here is a film that just lets it all hang out unconditionally and wholeheartedly.
Audience Reviews for Lion
Lion is based on the real life story of a 5-year-old Indian boy who got lost at a train station, accidentally travels to Kolkata and gets separated after being adopted by and Aussie couple. How he makes every attempt to find his real family again with the help of Google Earth after 25 years is what the film is all about. Brilliant direction from debutant Aussie Garth Davis. Kudos to the casting director and every other technician on this helluva film.
The film’s story has been taken from India-born Australian businessman Saroo Brierley’s auto bio A Long Way Home – where he explains how he found his biological mother over two decades after he was accidently separated.
The film carries us through the journey of Saroo and the importance of adopting kids to showing disturbing condition of homeless and missing kids (with Kolkata as a base). These kids do need a character like Deepti Naval’s for a better life. The reunion of saroo with his mother will just tear you apart from inside. there is a reason why the title is Lion and I would not reveal that. Even though the kid is hardly 4, he is thoroughly aware of the family’s condition and is willing to take on risks to support his elder bro and at the same time smart enough to make out of people who are actually helping you and who is not.
As a kid, he was told by his elder bro not to leave the platform seat till his return but still wanders about looking for his bro. the whole track of Dev patel romance is a waste. But these are just couple of things you can easily overlook when a real life story gets captured on celluloid.
All in all, I have seen many kid actors act brilliantly in Taare zameen par, Dhanak, etc. But this kid Sunny Pawar is the pick of the lot. He is simply the best I have seen so far. he is super talented and you just cant forget the sequence where he is imitating a man eat his meal with a spoon. Dev Patel otherwise is outstanding and even Nicole Kidman. They all deliver knock out performances and award winning.
Most of the times I do talk about impact not being there in films, dialogues, background score, etc…here, with not much of stress on dialogues and a very strong undercurrent of emotions, the background score heightens the impact in each and every scene. The setting in Kolkata does remind you of Danny boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire but that is it.
This movie does remind me of Mani Ratnam’s classic war drama film Kannathil Muthamittal and its sheer coincidence that both release around the same time in Feb, though Mani’s magic came 15 years back. The tamil movie was the story of a child of Sri Lankan Tamil parents, then adopted by Indian parents and then desires to meet her biological mother in the midst of a civil war.
End of the day, it does tell you that God does exist and miracles do happen. It connects to your heart because you were a child some day and live to raise one one fine day, but when you see a saroo (there are 80,000 children in India who go missing each year) lost in an ugly world like ours, what can you do to help him?