From start to finish, the film “Lion”, directed by Garth Davis, takes you on a roller coaster of emotions that sucks you in and pulls on your heart strings. I saw the second screening and one might have guessed that it was the premier, based off of how packed the theater still was. The only spot I could find was in the second row. The film impressively started off by painting a vivid picture of love, family bonds, and hardship in your mind within the first couple of scenes. It masterfully created interesting contrast between its emphasis on family and love, and sadness brought about by harsh living conditions. The hints of endearing humor almost made up for the fact that I cried 8 times, yes you read that correctly, 8 times. I would also like to point out that the last time I cried while watching a film was two years ago.
The movie is about a 5 year old boy named Saroo living in poverty in India. Saroo falls asleep at a train station and ends up hundreds of miles away from his home, without the necessary knowledge to be able to get back. The adult version of Saroo was played by Dev Patel, who also starred in the very successful movie, “Life of Pi”. I must admit that I thought “Life of Pi” was my all time favorite movie that Patel starred in, but after seeing “Lion”, my mind has been changed. It was a complete insight into another cultural world where poverty and desperation directly contribute to the standard of living. I honestly walked in to the theater completely unaware of the impact this film would have on me. I did not know it was possible to cry and laugh so many times in one sitting. But don’t just take my word for it, this is a film that I wholeheartedly believe everyone needs to see.
After enduring many hardships, Saroo gets adopted by a couple from Australia. The movie then flashes forward 25 years to when he is an adult. His life is going well but when he meats his love interest, played by Rooney Mara, old emotions are stirred up as she innocently questions where he comes from in an attempt to get to know him better. At this point, Saroo must decide whether he wants to try and find his family or leave it all in the past. That is as much as I’m going to give away, to find out what happens for yourself, I highly recommend seeing the film that surpassed all of my expectations.
Based on a true story, actor Dev Patel (left) and Saroo Brierley (right) meet in person.
(image from google photos)