Miracles do happen. Right now, we need to believe that more than ever. So Lion, couldn’t be more timely- reminding us that there really is so much love and good in the world. Two miracles actually happened for Saroo Brierley, who was born to a dirt poor family in India, and who penned a book as an adult about the journey of his life. That incredible tale is now told onscreen in the new film, Lion, directed by Garth Davis.
Here’s what you’ll see. Young Saroo is an angelic little imp of just 5 years -old when he accidentally gets separated from his older brother, Guddu. The pair had been hunting for food in a train station several miles from their home in the tiny Indian town of Kwandu. That’s where they lived with their mom who labors in a rock quarry. While their life is impoverished and Saroo ( Sunny Pawar )often goes hungry, he is deeply loved by his ‘mum’ and brother.
However, his world is lost when he wanders onto an empty train, while his brother has left him to search for food and work. Saroo falls asleep on the train and when he awakes, it is moving and it doesn’t stop for two days. He is trapped. When he can finally escape, he has travelled for 1,000 miles to the teeming city of Calcutta. Imagine, a tiny boy, who doesn’t speak the local language, Bengali, alone in a sea of millions of poor people. No one will stop and listen to his pleas. No one will even pay him attention. That is, except for a woman and man who try to trick him into what may be prostitution.
Then we watch Miracle #1 begin to unfold. A kind young man spots Saroo, and takes him to a police station, after he’s been fendingfor himself on the dirty streets for over two months. He ends up in a crowded orphanage and that eventually leads to him being placed for adoption with the most loving couple in Tasmania, Australia, after no one can find his mother.
Your heart will ache for little Saroo, who only knows his mother by the name of ‘mum,’ and whose tiny hometown is unknown to any of the authorities. What a relief, when he ends up in the arms of new parents, Sue (Nicole Kidman) and John Brierley (David Wenham).
Cut to 20 years later and Saroo is all grown up and genuinely movie star gorgeous, played by Slumdog Millionaire‘s Dev Patel. But as a happy, well-adjusted and well-educated adult, Saroo finds himself increasingly obsessed with finding his ‘mum’ and his older brother, Guddu, to let them know that he is alive. He is tortured by the suffering they must have felt for all of these years, not knowing that he had survived..
It is now the early 2000s and Google Earth has been invented, giving Saroo the tool he has desperately needed to help him locate the tiny hamlet that was once his home.
Now, I won’t give away anymore, except to say that there is satisfying ending. There is one pivotal scene that no normal human being could watch without tears.
So, take your tissues, get ready to fall in love with both the young and grown up Saroo, and also be prepared to see Nicole Kidman as you’ve never seen her before. Lion is the break you’ll need this Thanksgiving weekend.
HollywoodLifers, are you up for seeing Lion? Let us know!
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