Lion Movie Review And Full Story – The Media Entertainment
Today I will give you review and the full story of “Lion”, a drama film directed by Garth Davis and based on the book “A Long Way Home” written by Saroo Brierley. “Lion” is the story of little Saroo portrayed by Sunny Pawar.
Saroo lives in a situation of extreme poverty in a rural area of India. He shares a derelict house with his mother, which carries rocks for a living, his younger sister and his older brother Guddu. Guddu is Saroo’s role model: He follows him absolutely everywhere, to the point of asking him to join him during a nighttime work. Guddu is extremely reluctant but eventually accepts and brings his smaller brother with him. When they reach their destination, a train station, little Saroo is so tired that he can hardly stay awake. Guddu is worried but he has to leave for work so he instructs Saroo to remain exactly where he is, until his return. Poor Saroo though ends up closed inside a train which then travels all the way across India too far away Kolkata, a megacity where everybody appears extremely hostile to little Saroo, where the language is spoken appears totally Foreign to him, his level of education is so low he can’t point out his own surname, his mother’s name, the name of his hometown, so any vaguely useful information which would allow him to return home.
The film then proceeds to describe Saroo’s misfortunes and his adult life after a successful adoption, which gives him a totally new life.
Adult Saroo is portrayed by Dev Patel. He appreciates his new life, the chances he has been given, the opportunities he has. But he also understands that these are privileges which many other people in the world will never have, especially his family which he has never been able to contact. So he feels the need to find his family and hopefully help his mother and siblings.
Start of the Film:
So the film starts by describing the level of poverty that many people are suffering in India, doing odd and risky jobs, giving up all their basic commodities. But it also describes how the complete opposite, so what we call a first world life, with every possible opportunity, a wealthy life, the best education, the best housing, doesn’t fill the holes in our soul, money can’t heal everything. And Saroo feels guilty for thriving in this wealthy environment while knowing that his biological family is still struggling on a daily basis and probably still searching for him. So his mind starts to compare everything is his new life to his childhood.
For example one day he is invited to a meal at his friend’s house and in his friend’s kitchen he finds a bowl full of food which he remembers from his childhood, a food which as a child he could only dream of eating and which his brother Guddu promised that one day they would be able to afford and purchase. And adult Saroo finds this food in large quantities in his friend’s kitchen as extras to an already large meal. In general, he can’t acknowledge it without first fixing his past.
He is grateful towards his adoptive parents, he understands that he has every possible opportunity laid in front of him. But everywhere he goes, whatever he does he has this memory of his mum dragging rocks under a scorching sun, his barely teenage brother working at nighttime, his grimy home.
He can’t think about that and then just go to parties, drink, go shopping, walk around town, take a walk in the mountains and forget everything. This is not the first time Dev Patel portrays on screen the atrocious difference between a life of extremely poverty and a first world life, the one we all know. As a matter of fact, he was the main protagonist of “Slumdog Millionaire”, where he portrayed young Jamal and his adventures in the slums of Mumbai, which then lead him to take part in the TV show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”.
In both films, so “Lion” and “Slumdog Millionaire” Dev Patel portrayed the effect of a stolen childhood: because of their situation of extreme poverty and because of their simple life, both Saroo and Jamal strongly bonded with people in the early stages of their lives and experienced much more than any of us will have to endure in a whole lifetime. So they obviously carry a lot on their shoulders and display all a series of feelings and behaviors that we can’t really understand or relate to.
In “Lion” for example, Saroo’s past starts to become an obsession for him, he feels guilty for how he is living and starts to cut all of his relationships and act rather rudely towards his closest friends and relatives. Now at first glance, this could appear as may be quite rude or arrogant, because it is not Saroo’s fault for living these terrible experiences or for being adopted and receiving the gift of a wealthy lifestyle, and it is not his fault if as a child he didn’t collect enough information to contact his family.
So without knowing about his past he may appear as a spoilt person, an arrogant person but in reality, these feelings are probably pretty accurate, because imagine living in an air-conditioned house, eating whatever you want, going for a walk in the mountain while still knowing on the other side of the world your mother is probably still working dragging rocks, desperately trying to feed your other siblings. And remember she probably could not read or write, let alone buy a newspaper which could give her some information about her missing son. So Dev Patel’s portrayal of Saroo was rich of contrasting feelings, contrasting behaviors, for example, over-affectionate love followed by the refusal to even speak to anybody, or happiness and courage followed by depression.
Also Sue, Saroo’s adoptive mother, portrayed by Nicole Kidman was an extremely interesting character and we explore all layers of her personality as the film moves on, discovering her feelings as an adoptive parent. Although I don’t think her Academy Nomination for Best Supporting Actress will then bring her to an actual Oscar. “Lion” is actually now nominated for six Academy Awards, and I personally really enjoyed it, I particularly appreciated Dev Patel’s acting and my heart was also broken with the life of little Saroo also knowing that there are thousands and thousands of kids that live the same situation every day in India.