Lion- Let’s Give It A Loud Roar…..
Lion… The movie has roared way above all expectations! It is surprising to know that when movies release, the one with the masala ( and sometimes also the ones which make absolute no sense) go for a hit while the good ones with good content go completely unnoticed in spite of the fact that the movie has been nominated for the Oscars.
With only the synopsis in my hand and knowing Dev Patel’s work from Slumdog millionaire I entered to find a house-full theatre of people waiting on the movie. The movie begins in an exceptional way with beautiful landscape shots of Australia as if luring to visit the place. And suddenly, Australia transforms into the one Indian land where the story of a little boy Sheru begins. The funny thing is, the five year old has absolutely no idea of how is name is pronounced or what it meant. He kept mispronouncing it as Saroo and hence the essence of his character keeps revealing until the end of the movie.
Coming from a debutant feature film director Garth Davis, it has been planned and depicted impeccably. Any story that can make a viewer connect without batting an eyelid for the said hours is said to have done a good job, and this movie achieves that target! It only makes you think of it more knowing that the story is a 100% authentic and true; and cannot believe that there are people who actually go through so much, and yet out of nowhere do things that many of us privileged may fail to even think about!
5 year old boy Sheru, belongs to a poor labourer family with no father to look after them who has left behind a wife and three kids, and they are surviving in hard ways to meet ends. Sheru played by the very talented Sunny Pawar, goes far from home on a night job along with his brother. Neither of them knew that it was their last night together as Saroo climbs onto a testing passenger train alone which takes him straight to Calcutta. Not knowing the language or the name of his own village correctly, he begins seeking for help but is met with great difficulties before he reaches the right hands. Starting from Child trafficking to being trapped into child prostitution by Rawa (Nawazuddin Siddqui) and Noor ( Tannishtha Chatterjee), he goes through it all! The smart Saroo living in rags; understands what is being plotted and runs away from there too finally landing up at a child care centre where 100’s of such lost kids are kept. To Saroo’s dismay, no one responds to the missing report filed by the local police.
But like they say, every cloud has a silver lining; Saroo is lucky to have found an Australian family who wishes to adopt him and gives him a new life. Silent in his heart, he is trained with some etiquettes and he slowly and gradually settles himself down there. A year later the couple adopts another child but with an emotional problem. The parents are very upset with his behaviour and are deeply hurt by him as they grow.
Twenty years later, the now grown up Saroo ( Dev Patel), plans to move on with his life with silence in his heart to set a career in hotel management until one day, his friends hear his story when he finally reveals about how he still misses his family and just wishes to know how his mom is doing and if she is still alive. His girlfriend, played by Rooney Mara, supports him further to find his home back in India and to check if his family is doing well. They suggest him the idea of finding his home using Google Earth which was a new concept back then. For months together Saroo is lost in finding his home. He quits his jobs and strains all his existing relations only to find his family in India; so much that the voice and face of his real family begins to haunt him. In a fit of frustration ultimately he finds his real home and goes back to India after fixing all his broken relations with his parents and girlfriend. With support and blessings on him he finally leaves to India. What happens when he reaches there? Does he find his mother? You just have to watch this beautiful movie to know the end.
Excellent work by all the actors including Nicole Kidman and David Wenham playing the role of Dev Patel’s parents. A special shout out for Divian Ladwa who plays the role of Mantosh, Dev’s adopted brother. The movie has simple dialogues with sufficient amount of background music with no unnecessary songs. Yet, there were a few things that holds me back from giving me a full review score which is the fact that the second half of the movie become a lot talkative at some point and it ended in disconnecting us for a while. The movie ran a slow pace in the entire Google Earth phase, even though interesting, some parts of it could be edited.
Nonetheless, it does make me now think about all the kids I see on street now, maybe they are all not just born beggars on signals, but are brought there by fate after having gone missing or being left out by someone and could never find them back! We should now think twice before shunning away a street kid! I did come out with my eyes moist and that I think is a job well done, when the movie can instigate the feeling it wished to. It’s worth to mention that the end of the movie was well written!
I give the movie a 4.5 rating out 5 and also wish to congratulate the makers on behalf of the entire complete women team as well as our readers for making it to the Oscar Nominations this year! Kudos!