First thirty minutes of this film is so brilliant that it is almost tough to watch it without shedding a tear or two. And the actor who holds all the aces during that period is a six year old Sunny Pawar whose performance is so captivating that you are left to wonder why the academy doesn’t award an Oscar for The Best Child Artist.
Set in 1987 India and 2012 Australia, Lion has a ‘briefly-heart-wrenching-but-thoroughly heart warming’ story of a five year old who gets lost in Calcutta and gets adopted by an Australian couple who wants to trace down his family after 25 years.
Based on the non-fiction book, “A Long Way Home”, it is given that it has a beautiful story on hand. But having a winner script in hand and managing to take a beautiful film out of it are two different things. But thanks to some splendid execution in direction, music, cinematography, editing and performances, Lion does just that: make a beautiful film. It is no wonder that it won nominations for the best picture, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best original score, best cinematography and best adapted screenplay in the academy awards.
This film doesn’t have any new plot points or twists that is left for the film other than what is let out on the trailer. But it is how the screenplay was written/adapted from the book and how it was shot capturing the emotions of the characters in its rawest forms that seals the deal.
You care about the guy who is lost, the guy who is growing up, you care about the mother who brought him up and also about the mother who lost him, you care about the true brother, you care about the adopted one. There are so many emotions involved in the journey and this film does justice to them all. The original score (music) complementing it all only enhances the movie watching experience.
One of the other high points of the film has to be it’s editing. Ah! When editing is done so perfectly, it’s an art. The flashes to the past, scenes cutting to and fro, blend effortlessly into the narrative, putting on display finest of editing works.
In any case, Lion is a film which is about more than just a 25 year old finding his long lost biological family. Don’t be mistaken, this is not an investigative, edge of the seat thriller by any chance. You know what you are going to get on plate. It’s about how delicious that serving is going to be.
Lion is a tale of hope, love, longing and also, briefly, a glimpse into misery of the poor. This film has it all. If you want to watch a film that leaves you with a good feeling at the end of it, go watch Lion. You wouldn’t be disappointed! (Grab a couple of tissues if you have the propensity to get easily emotional)
Verdict: I’m buying this on Blu-ray!
PS: The #1 International Bestseller, “A Long Way Home”, on which this film is based, can be bought at: