Based on: “A Long Way Home” (2013) by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose
Director: Garth Davis
Writer: Luke Davies
Starring: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman
Release Date: Nov. 25, 2016
Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some sensuality
Plot Summary: “A 25-year-old Indian man, who was adopted on the streets of Calcutta by an Australian couple, sets out to find his lost family.”
True talent and spirit assist in adapting a heartfelt and intelligent story in Garth Davis’ “Lion”. This is a truly human movie that tells a shockingly true story, educates you on a topic that is not discussed often, and ends up making you feel thankful for the blessings in your life and abilities of modern technology. It is painful and difficult to realize that the events you seen in this movie are happening every day in the world, but it is the truth and it needs to be told.
Patel’s performance transmits raw and powerful emotion; you can truly feel the internal conflict that is going on in him and you become as invested as he is in his journey to find home. I desperately hope that he wins Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role at the Oscars for his portrayal of Saroo Brierley. With that being said, I have got to say that none of the other cast members really impressed me. Mara (whose acting I am a huge fan off) did not really get to do much her performance, which is unfortunate because her talent as an actress becomes wasted. Furthermore, I did not really buy Kidman in her character; there is only one scene that she did a really good job in and I am positive that Kate Winslet or Tilda Swinton would have been a much better choice.
There are also bits of fantastic dialogue between characters for those who love good scripts as well as some stunning camerawork/cinematography, but neither the writing nor the visual aspects of the film are anywhere near revolutionary or astounding.
I am going to give “Lion” a “B+”. I did expect this movie to have more compelling dialogue, better visuals and stronger supporting performances, but that does not mean I hated or disliked “Lion”. On the contrary, I thought it was a powerful and confident film with a clear and strong message. It does not waste its time with cliches about the subject matter; it just tells an amazing true story. I would recommend “Lion” to anyone who is searching for a heartfelt and realistic story, but I must caution that the only aspects of this film that I felt were amazing and Oscar-worthy were Patel’s performance and the story; nothing else stands out that much.