zondag 12 november 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 117: Lion

Director: Garth Davis
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 118 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham

Description: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later, he (Dev Patel) sets out to find his lost family.

Review: Image you’re a five year old kid and you get lost from home in India. A country with over a billion citizens and 400 languages. It happened to Saroo, who accidentally got onto the wrong train and ended up on the other side of the country. When he ends up in an orphanage, he is adopted by an Australian couple. Years later, Saroo is determined to find his lost family.
“Lion” is split up in two parts. In the first part, we meet five year old Saroo. Together with his older brother Guddu he steals stones from a train, so they can sell them to provide for their mother and sister. When Saroo is seperated from his family, we see that India isn’t the perfect place for kids on the street. The kids are simply ignored or scared away. And sometimes prey for people with wrong intentions.
In the second part of the film, we jump 20 years in tie and see adult Saroo, adopted by loving parents and leading a happy and fortunate life. Where the first half was about physical survival, the second part is more about the psychological effects of this all. Even though Saroo had a good life in Australia, but memories from his short time in India keep coming back. This leads him to an obsessive search for his biological family.
“Lion” could have easily become a melodramatic, based-on-a-true-story, Oscar material. But director Garth Davis made this movie with lots of integrity and nuance. Of course there is enough emotion involved and you probably will use some tissues here and there, but it’s not overly sentimental. The cast is really strong, especially leading man Dev Patel and his adoption mother played by Nicole Kidman.

Rating: 4/ 5

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