When a 5 year old named Saroo (Sunny Pawar) travels across India alone on a passenger train, he is without family or anyone who knows who he is. Lost and helpless, Saroo is adopted by an Australian family (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham) who raises him as their own. In 2008, 20 years later when Saroo (Dev Patel) is going to college, he learns about a new program called Google Maps and decides to start retracing his steps to find his way back home.
Lion is the kind of uplifting movie that is so much better because you know it is a true story. Based on the book that Saroo himself wrote titled A Long Way Home, Lion is very detailed and shows us the journey Saroo had to take in order to get back home. I’m actually very shocked that a 5 year old could remember as much as he did, but I guess when it is as traumatic as it was, anyone would remember.
As a movie, Lion is emotional, uplifting and special. Both Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar as Saroo are great and they give us someone to highly devote our emotions too. You will cry so be prepared. The only negative thing I have to say about the movie is that it is too long. I believe that the highly detailed nature of the story is both something good and bad. It allows us to see everything that Saroo went through and allows us to grow a stronger bond with him, but on the flip side, it feels repetitive and boring. Watching young Saroo run around the city for 20 minutes made me anxious for the flash-forward and I really didn’t need to see the creepy scene with the man examining Saroo in the bed. I also think that about 10-15 minutes could have been cut from the 2nd half of the film when we were watching Dev Patel look at Google Maps. Again, not because it is bad and I’m not saying cut out the research part (because it is obviously vital to the story), but because it drags the movie out and it is a tad boring. I think a 10-20 minute trim to the film could have done some good.
At the end of the day, if you like uplifting, emotional true stories than this is the movie for you. I am not sure how much rewatchability Lion has, but the 1st time is extra special. Thumps up! Co-starring Rooney Mara, Divian Ladwa, Priyanka Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, and Abhishek Bharate.
7/10 Stars – Emotional, special and uplifting, but just a tad long for my taste.