Lion Review: A Film of Love, Courage and Family

By Sophie James

“Every night I imagine that I’m walking those streets home and I know every single step of the way, and I whisper in her ear, “I’m here.” – Saroo Brierley.

I wanted to see this movie as soon as the trailer hit my TV. I thought it would be a beautiful story of hope, strength and love…. I was right.

Lion is the incredible true story of a young boy called Saroo, growing up in the slums of India with his Mum, brother and baby sister. One night five-year-old Saroo loses his brother on a train and ends up miles away from home, all alone.

Dev Patel plays Saroo, image via Vanity Fair.

The story follows Saroo’s journey through the streets, the dangers of homeless children face and the poverty still present in India. With little knowledge about his town or even his mother’s name, no one can find his home so Saroo is put into an orphanage and later adopted by a loving Australian couple.

When Saroo is older attending University in Australia he remembers what he forgot growing up. He remembers his childhood home. Suddenly remembering the hills and the bridge and the streets he went down every day as a child, Saroo uses the technology of Google Earth to find his way home.

It is a heart-warming story of how love, courage and strength can truly conquer anything.

This movie was made more powerful by Australian director Garth Davis’ choice of actors. What I liked is that the production team employed an actor from the Indian slums. Sunny Pawar the eight-year-old actor playing a young Saroo, actually grew up in the slums of Mumbai. Before being awarded the role he was not proficient in English nor had ever seen a video camera, yet he captivates the audience with his incredible performance.

Actor Sunny Pawer, image via The Sydney Morning Herald.

Adult Saroo is played by British/Indian actor Dev Patel. I felt every line delivered by Patel was straight from the heart. His spectacular performance shows the strain felt by Saroo growing up in Australia whilst feeling like he belongs somewhere else, wholeheartedly capturing the fear of never truly knowing where you belong.

Nicole Kidman plays Saroo’s adoptive mother Sue, which I thought was a great casting choice. The audience feels her motherly love through the screen heavily feeling her tears and basking in her happiness alongside her.

Even though this movie didn’t win the critical awards I thought it deserved, it is a well written and truly well-executed piece of art. Just make sure you wear either waterproof mascara or take some tissues!

Lion is in theatres now and you can watch the trailer below.



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