Monday, January 16, 2017

Lion - Movie Review

Starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Sunny Pawar, Abhishek Bharate and Priyanka Bose.
Written by Luke Davies.
Directed by Garth Davis.


There was a really good Australian mini-series from 2013 called Top of the Lake (which is getting a season 2 later this year). Garth Davis, who directed half of its episodes (the others by Jane Campion), is now making his big-screen directorial debut, and it's an impressive one.

This is the true story of Saroo, a 4-year-old boy (Sunny Pawar) who gets lost in India and can't communicate well enough with adults to get back home. Eventually he's put in an orphanage and later adopted by a Tasmanian couple (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham).

As an adult (Dev Patel), Saroo has vague memories of his childhood home but has accepted his life. Then one day he's triggered by a memory, and he then feels the undeniable pull to find his mother and let them know he's still alive.

The first 40 minutes or so are carried by Pawar, and it's a terrific natural performance. Davis holds the camera at Pawar's level, and we see the great variety of India through his eyes. As the story shifts, Patel picks up the baton seemlessly. And maybe it's because we're adoptive parents but my wife cried for the last half-hour of this movie. Powerful stuff.

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