There's no place like home
Cinema Nova - Saturday 17 December 2016, 11:30am
Running time: 118m
Country: Australia / United Kingdom / United States
Release date: 19/01/17
Rating: 10/10 (ME 5/5, DP 5/5)
Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is a boy living in an impoverished but loving family in the west of India. When older brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate) goes to look for work, Saroo tags along. But when Saroo falls asleep on a train, he finds himself 1600km from home, lost in Calcutta and unable to find his way. Eventually he ends up being adopted and is transplanted to Tasmania in 1987 with new parents John (David Wenham) and Sue (Nicole Kidman). Many years later, adult Saroo (Dev Patel) has hopes of a career in hotel management and a blossoming romance with Lucy (Rooney Mara), but the nagging feeling of what he left behind years earlier begins to overwhelm him. But how can he ever go back home when he can't find his way there?
Lion is a film of two halves based on the book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley with Larry Buttrose. The first half chronicles the extraordinary life of Saroo struggling to find his way through the streets of Calcutta, while the second half takes place as the adult Saroo searches for the truth about his past. A beautiful and hopeful story, the performances are nothing short of extraordinary, with Dev Patel displaying his range with a subtle intensity. A big nod to Nicole Kidman who, despite having limited screen time, commands every frame she appears in. Sunny Pawar as young Saroo displays a mix of charm and vulnerability in a performance that defies his age. The cinematography is beautiful and contributes perfectly to the scale of the quest. But it's the epic yet human qualities of the story and the script with its careful use of silence where Lion roars. It's a emotional ride which comes with the obligatory montage of photos at the end (because it can't be a true story unless we see what they really look like... apparently) but it delivers a cinematic experience that will tug your heart strings. Highly recommended.
89th Academy Awards
2017 BAFTA Awards
23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards
74th Golden Globe Awards
6th AACTA International Awards