Verdict: A heartwarming tale of a man’s journey to his past.
La La Land and Moonlight may be favorites to win the Oscar for the Best Picture, but Garth Davis’ Lion, which is also nominated in the same category, stands an outside chance. It may not be as stunning as the Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone starrer, but in the end, the movie will get you teary-eyed. Lion starts off with Saroo (Sunny Pawar) getting lost at a railway station after his brother leaves him there for a while. Struggling to find his way back home, the kid almost gets abducted and sold. Luckily, he is rescued and is adopted by an Australian family living in Hobart, Tasmania. Sue (Nicole Kidman) and her husband, John (David Wenham) also adopt another Indian kid after Saroo.
After moving to Melbourne to pursue Hotel Management, Saroo (Dev Patel) falls in love with Lucy (Rooney Mara). In spite of everything going right for him, Saroo cannot ignore the flashes of his past that hound him. He keeps thinking about his life in India and decides to trace his roots. The rest of Lion shows how Saroo tries to track down his biological mother with the help of Google Earth.
Lion is based on a true story and the film also shows clippings of the actual family during the end credits. What makes the film work is the emotional story of Saroo. Sunny Pawar, who plays the young kid, is absolutely adorable. And to our surprise, his older version – Dev Patel – doesn't disappoint either. Not specifically known for his acting chops, Patel gives his best performance till date in Lion. The actor makes his character’s frustration believable when he is unable to recollect things from his past.
Nicole Kidman doesn't have much to do and only gets to display her emotions in wonderful scene with Saroo. Rooney Mara puts on a decent show as usual. Popular Indian actors – Tannishtha Chatterjee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui – are competent but Priyanka Bose, who plays Saroo biological mother, steals the show. The first 40 minutes of Lion is in Hindi as the story is set in India. The audience thought that it would be similar to Slumdog Millionaire but besides the country, nothing else is common. Lion focuses on a man’s journey to his past and shows how technology can help connect people from absolutely different parts of the world.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Lion is an absolutely brilliant film with no glaring flaw. It is definitely worthy of the Oscar nomination and it wouldn't be wrong if it took the award home. While the performances will wow you, watch Lion for its beautiful story. It will be hard to stop those tears, so please carry a box of tissues.