By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
Based on the nonfiction book, A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose, Lion tells the true story of Saroo, a native of India who, as a child, gets separated from his poor, but loving family. Saroo (Sunny Pawar), while looking for his older brother, gets stuck on a train that takes him far away from his home. He manages to avoid predators and ends up in an orphanage where he eventually gets adopted by an Australian couple named the Brierleys (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham). Saroo becomes a part of their family and gets raised as an Australian. As an adult, Saroo (Dev Patel) decides to seek out his birth mother and siblings.
With a screenplay by Luke Davies, director Garth Davis has made a powerful and compelling film that does a great job of recreating the events in Saroo’s incredible life. The movie does have a few minor contrivances, but these do not take much away from the overall impact of the story. It is an emotional journey from start to finish that has a beautiful pay off in the end.
The film features solid performances by the entire cast, particularly that of Dev Patel who always delivers solid work. The movie is rated PG-13 for some intense thematic material and some light sexual content, so this movie probably won’t be appropriate for audience members younger than teens. This film is currently in my top 25 movies of the year. It is one of the great ones that shouldn’t be missed.