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Lion: an incredible journey back home

  • Published at 10:20 pm February 23rd, 2017
Lion: an incredible journey back home
Five year old Saroo is separated from his labourer mother and brother at a railway station. After facing and managing to escape from several dreadful situations, Saroo ends up in an orphanage and is eventually adopted by an Australian couple – Sue and John Brierley, played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham. He is taken to Australia and his life changes drastically. He grows up to be an educated, intelligent and composed young man and shares a great bond with his new family who has another adopted Indian son, Mantosh. The adult Saroo is played by Dev Patel, famous for his role of Jamal Malik in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire. 4b733a61d604f585553b71682fe87c7b Patel is breathtaking as the older Saroo. He is not lost in the material sense anymore, he has a family now; but his soul is still lost. He does not remember where he was from or what his real surname is, but spends every day of his life being haunted by vivid images of his childhood, over 10,000 kilometres away from his new home. His mother and elder brother seem to be there with him everywhere he goes through his faded memories. The longing to find his roots and loved ones makes him restless and he turns to Google earth, a geographical information tool to find answers. Saroo’s distress, anger and anguish during his long search are masterfully conveyed through the genius of Dev Patel. Saroo’s awareness of the strong probability of failure contrasts with an unshaken determination to reach his goal, and starting from his voice and expression to his body language, Patel’s portrayal is flawless. He has been nominated for best actor in a supporting role at the Oscars this year, which is scheduled to take place on February 27, and has won the BAFTA and AACTA awards in the same category for his role in the film. The younger Saroo (played by Sunny Pawar) is no less than Patel. The underprivileged Saroo, who helps his mother and elder brother in their labour, portrays the ruthlessness of poverty, a child’s horror of being lost in an unknown place full of danger and a child’s acceptance of change. Pawar’s acting is commendable and he has also received many accolades for his role. While Pawar portrays little Saroo’s grief of being separated from his family and his attempt to survive, Patel portrays the older Saroo’s quest to reunite with the family he has lost. Nicole Kidman plays the adoptive mother of Saroo and Mantosh, who is slightly mentally impaired and has a tendency to harm himself. The challenges of being a mother to these children who do not even belong to the same part of the world reveals the strength of the character of Sue, which is marvelously represented in the film by Kidman. Based on the true story of Saroo Brierly, who has also written a biographical account of his story called A Long Way Home, the film Lion will take you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It is a story of lost identity, faith, love and determination. Nominated for six academy awards including best picture at the 89th Academy Awards, Lion will move you in a way few films can. And why exactly is the film called Lion? Well, you’ll have to watch till the end to find out.
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