Based on a true story, the movie Lion is up for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and also for Dev Patel as Lead Actor. This is a very worthy film – heartrending and uplifting too. We first meet Saroo at age five (played so well by Sunny Pawar. His liquid brown eyes will melt your soul), and his big brother Guduu (Abhishek Bharate) is also so good. They are in a small town in India. Poor – they struggle to help their mother by stealing coal off the trains. With a small knapsack worth, they earn milk. Their mother works by moving rocks. The poverty is tough, but the family love is strong.
Guduu seeks night work and Saroo tags along, but falls asleep. Guduu leaves him on a bench, admonishing him to not leave. Well, the boy awakes confused, wanders on to a freight train, sleeps, and awakens as the train travels far – all the way to Calcutta. He’s lost, doesn’t speak Bengali, and after a few years of wandering, then being caught in an orphanage, he’s finally adopted by a couple in Australia (played by Nicole Kidman (also Oscar nominated), and David Wenham).
Flash forward and we meet a grown Saroo (Dev Patel). He’s well- adjusted and off to Melbourne to begin college. There he begins to re-think and remember more of his childhood and wants to find his real mother, brother, and sister. He loves his adoptive parents and doesn’t want to hurt them. But, this is his destiny and history and obsession. I won’t tell more. I just promise you it’s excellent.
The film is lovely, well-acted, and will touch you on many levels. I highly recommend this film. Lion builds through character, flashback, and a yearning until it roars.