Friday, October 27, 2017

Lion (2016)


Lion is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley, who was lost as a 5 year old in India, adopted to Australia and then as an adult, began his search for his blood family.  It is a compelling story and it was surprising that the first half of the film took place in India, and all characters speaking Hindi or Bengali (there are subtitles).  The film does an excellent job of bonding the viewers with Saroo and his family.  As their family struggles to earn enough to keep living, it is heart wrenching when Saroo is eventually transported over 1500 km away from home as a 5 year old, unable to find his way home as he has no idea where he is, and no one knows which city he came from.  Eventually, he is adopted to Australia and begins a new life, time skipping to when he is an adult, having grown up privileged, he painstakingly searches for his family via Google Earth, with only his vague memories of landmarks to aid him.  It feels like a monumental task that borders on the impossible and when he finally succeeds you can't help but feel happy.  The film's ending has the biggest emotional impact when Saroo reunites with his mother and sister, finds out the fate of his brother.  A bigger emotional punch happens when photos of the real Saroo is shown and the footage of his real meeting.  You come to realize that the events in this film actually happened (noting that it's accurate to a certain degree) and that is is amazing, a happy story that is true.  Overall, while Lion has slow pacing in various scenes, the emotional story is excellent and the ending makes it all worthwhile.

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