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Lion

Lion

The search beginsNov. 24, 2016 118 Min.
Your rating: 0
8.9 1,544 votes

Video trailer

Director

Garth Davis
Director

Cast

Sunny Pawar isYoung Saroo
Young Saroo
Dev Patel isSaroo Brierley
Saroo Brierley
David Wenham isJohn Brierley
John Brierley
Nicole Kidman isSue Brierley
Sue Brierley
Divian Ladwa isMantosh Brierley
Mantosh Brierley
Priyanka Bose isKamla Munshi
Kamla Munshi
Deepti Naval isSaroj Sood
Saroj Sood

Synopsis

A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

Lion
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Original titleLion
TMDb Rating7.9 1024 votes

(291) comments

  • Filler RuthSeptember 13, 2016Reply

    Lion is a full show of Dev Patel and only Dev Patel

    In the IMDb page, the movie is showed as a drama movie but I think this
    is a thriller movie. The movie’s story line is full of suspense and the
    movie is more thrilling than dramatic. The story is about Saroo
    Brierley (who is also the writer of the novel) and the there are lots
    of suspense and emotional attachment about India. I am nit telling the
    story but as per IMDb, the story is about a five-year- old child who
    lost on a street of Calcutta city which is a thousand kilometers away
    from his home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a
    couple who lived in Australia. After 25 years, he sets out to find his
    lost family. Very engaging story and this is based on a novel written
    by Saroo Brierley.

    Well, this is recognized as a drama movie but I think this is nit a
    drama movie. The story is full of suspense and the until the climax
    scene the story is a suspense thriller. There are lots of emotions and
    struggling of the central character and the survival story of the boy
    is very much imperious. The one and the only reason is Dev Patel. He
    has already done ”Slumdog Millionaire” which is a very good movie. This
    movie is not like ”Slumdog Millionaire” and the story between these two
    movies are completely different. In this movie, he is the central
    character and as ”Saroo Brierley” he is just outstanding. The director
    missed some opportunities to create a gem like the novel but Dev Patel
    saved him from making a dumb movie. The movie is the full show of Dev
    Patel’s acting and he made this movie an enjoyable one.

    I am not telling this is a bad movie but if you have already read the
    novel this is not for you. And another advice is if you want to watch a
    good performance, Dev Patel will make enjoy you.

  • jvcksonsmthSeptember 14, 2016Reply

    Truly Exceptional

    May I start this off by saying that I’m astonished at the extremely
    unfair negative, even ‘mixed’ reviews the film has gotten so far… The
    film is not even remotely close to being average, it’s far, far, beyond
    magnificent.

    By now you probably know the synopsis, so I’ll add for those who
    haven’t seen the film that it’s visually stunning, the acting is superb
    (special mention to phenomenal newcomer Sunny Pawar, who plays 5 year
    old Saroo) and the story is so gripping and moving, that there wasn’t a
    dry eye in the house when the film reached it’s emotional climax.

    I’ve been thinking about this film since I saw it, there’s drama,
    mystery, romance, a whirlwind of emotions throughout the 2 hours – in
    the best way possible.

  • FelixFelicisSeptember 15, 2016Reply

    Powerful story, will move you to tears. Be sure to bring plenty of Kleenex.

    Just saw this at TIFF . I saw the trailer a few days before the
    screening and I have to admit the trailer alone made me a little
    emotional. I mean just the thought of a 5 year old separated from his
    family for 25 years is bad enough, add in the fact that he was lost in
    India, a country of over a billion people and was the child of an
    uneducated poor single mother and you are looking at a very stressful
    situation.

    This happens there everyday..and most children never find their way
    back. They either end up dead or in the hands of heartless people who
    use children for various illegal / unethical operations. The fact that
    one boy survived this situation and went on to tell his story is very
    inspiring and this fantastic film did justice to showing it on screen.

    There wasn’t a single scene in the movie which doesn’t suck you in.
    Hats off to Dev Patel. He managed to make you feel the character’s pain
    just by the way he looked at a jalebi (indian sweet that his brother
    and him fantasized about back in India). Special shoutout to the young
    actor who played little Saroo. His performance blew me away. It would
    be difficult to watch any child go through what he did and the fact
    that he was absolutely adorable looking made it even harder.

    The movie explores some great themes: What happens to lost children in
    developing countries? How do poor, illiterate citizens of a country go
    about finding their lost children…who helps them? What are the
    dangers faced by these lost children? Why do certain people choose to
    adopt? How do adopted children adapt to their surroundings? Especially
    when they’re transplanted so many miles away from home where they do
    not even speak the language. Do children every fully recover from
    traumatic childhood experiences? Does one forget their original family
    if they never see them again after the age of 5? As an adopted child do
    you ever completely feel like you fit into your new life? What is the
    bond with your adoptive parents like? The film touches upon all these
    themes while primarily being about the physical and emotional journey
    of a young man finding his way back home with very few clues to work
    with.

    I kid you not, I could hear the whole theatre crying during several
    parts of the movie and most people had tissues in their hands. So be
    prepared. If you’re in the mood for a heart wrenching drama with an
    uplifting ending, go watch this one once its out! The lead cast as well
    as supporting members have all done a wonderful job. You will not be
    disappointed!

  • Ian YoungOctober 4, 2016Reply

    Couldn’t stop crying

    This is such a beautiful film, with a simple story line, without any
    frills.

    A young Indian boy leaves their village with his older brother to do
    some ”jobs”, in one of these jobs he gets lost and cannot find his way
    back home. Pass some years and he’s adopted by a family from Australia,
    and when that boy becomes an adult, he starts wondering where he’s
    actually from.

    It deals with aspects of origin and identity, and that we cannot escape
    from who we really are.

    Superb, superb acting from everyone, from the little Indian boys,
    specially Sunny Pawar that plays the young Sarro, to Dev Patel who has
    clearly matured into a top class act and is endearing and touching
    playing the older Saroo.

    I’m certainly watching it again.

  • fionarussell-39478October 16, 2016Reply

    Gripping and compelling

    This film was for me one of the most gripping and compelling films I
    have ever watched. Nothing was dragged out the whole film was to the
    point and from the moment it started to the moment it finished I was
    engrossed with the story. I found it emotionally harrowing but went to
    see it with my sister during the BFI film festival which I think made
    the emotional side harder as you could relate to the pain you would
    feel if it were to happen to you, afterwards we both walked home in
    silence still playing it over in our heads. Also true praise for the
    composer the soundtrack was exceptional – so beautifully written and in
    perfect harmony with the film. A truly exceptional film, this story
    will stay with me forever. The casting, the story, the cinematography
    and the amazing music was done perfectly and I actually cannot fault
    this film. It was truly mind blowing and makes you appreciate how lucky
    you are to have whatever it is you have In a seriously humbling way. If
    you appreciate good film, this one, is a must.

  • moviewizguyOctober 19, 2016Reply

    Not just another Oscar bait movie

    Do you know the feeling you get when you go into a film with no
    expectations at all or thinking it might be decent, and the film turns
    out to not only be good, but blows you away by how amazing it ends up
    being? That’s LION, and if you’ve been watching films for several years
    like me thinking you’ve seen everything committed to cinema, it’s a
    fantastic feeling to be proved wrong.

    Let me explain to you exactly what I experienced while watching LION:
    Almost half of the film is in Hindi, which lends incredible
    authenticity to the story, not that BS where they have actors in which
    English is their second language speak English for the sake of sparing
    the American audience from reading subtitles (I’m looking at you,
    MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, and every other Hollywood movie ever made). In
    fact, the entire first act takes place in India, where about 40 minutes
    of the film rides on the shoulders of a first time child actor – played
    by the wonderful Sunny Pawar – and it’s one of the best first acts I’ve
    seen in years. Think of it like the silent first act of Wall-E; it
    feels like it can be its own film, yet the filmmakers do a great job
    connecting the story once Dev Patel comes on screen.

    On top of that, the filmmaking is impressive. The script is fantastic,
    the cinematography is lush, the soundtrack complements the film really
    nicely, and the pacing is on point where it rarely feels like it’s
    dragging, despite the story taking place over the course of 25 years.
    Every actor in here is also terrific in their roles. As stated earlier,
    Sunny Pawar makes a compelling lead for the first third of the film. If
    Oscars were given to kid actors, he would have a damn good chance at
    winning one. For the last two thirds, Dev Patel more than carries the
    rest of the film, giving an emotionally naked performance worthy enough
    to top his role in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. Finally, Rooney Mara, Nicole
    Kidman, and David Wenham are ace, despite all of them having limited
    screen time.

    In a time where diversity is being talked about more in the film
    industry, LION makes a compelling case for having diversity in
    storytelling. It’s not about a guy meeting his girlfriend’s parents for
    the first time. It’s not about a group of friends going in a cabin in
    the woods. It’s not even about a guy/girl struggling with the death of
    his/her father/mother/son/daughter/dog. No, LION is a personal story
    unique to South Asians growing up in India, and it’s refreshing and
    easily one of the best films the year has to offer. Don’t dismiss this
    as yet another Oscar bait movie put out by the Weinstein Company – it
    probably is one. But the film is much more than that. With a distinct
    vision from director Garth Davis, LION offers an enthralling story that
    deserves to be seen by everyone.

  • mharahNovember 7, 2016Reply

    A Winning Effort for Dev Patel

    Dev Patel saves this film which would otherwise be a bit of a muddle.
    There are many winning qualities – the beautiful cinematography, the
    apparently accurate but still sympathetic portrayal of the Indian
    condition, the sweeping feel of the narrative itself, and most
    especially the winning portrayal of young Saroo as a 5-year-old. But
    without Patel these qualities would not be enough. Realizing that this
    is an Australian film (Australian story-telling techniques often
    utilize different formats than American), the loose ends are still
    distracting. Characters and details are presented and then dropped
    without regard to continuity. Continuing characters go through changes
    that are not even hinted before they are portrayed. The screenplay is
    based on a memoir by Patel’s character; the book itself is often
    described as a novel. So we are left to question just how much was
    truly remembered and how much was supplemented. (Patel’s alter ego did
    not write screenplay.) No matter. Patel hurtles through all of this and
    makes it work. Now he needs to start finding some non-ethnic roles; he
    certainly has the chops.

  • apioneerNovember 11, 2016Reply

    This Film has Oscars written all over it

    I had not read anything about this film and I went to see ‘Lion’
    yesterday. I was moved, I was shocked. I had tears in my eyes and the
    hair on my skin stood up. I could listen to my own heart beats while
    watching this film. It has never happened to me before when I saw a
    film and I was touched immensely. The film took me back to my roots and
    streets where I grew up. I am from Pakistan and I have been living in
    San Francisco for the last 15 years. I come from that part of the world
    where this story takes place. I grew up in streets like the streets of
    the movie ‘Lion’. I have met many children who collect garbage to make
    a living and are lost in the streets of this universe. They sleep alone
    on card board boxes at night and when you look at them , there is a
    question in their eyes. The world has forgotten about these children
    and there are thousands of these children on the streets of India and
    Pakistan. Do you really know what it feels like when you are only 5
    years old and lost in some crowded street in a big city and do not know
    how to get home? To the boy who played Saroo (Sunny Pawar), I want to
    give you an Academy Award. The film grabs you from the beginning as it
    starts out with showing a beautiful relationship between two brothers
    who are running on a train track. The actress who played mother
    (Priyanka Bose)touched my heart. Her performance is breathtaking. The
    way she looks at her sons, shows you how a mother pours her heart with
    love when she looks at her children. There are no words to express that
    feeling and actress gave her full self and emotions to play this role
    from young to old. It is commendable and her acting moved me and
    reminded me of my own mother. There are so many things which I think my
    mother does not know about me but the way she looks at me, I know she
    knows.

    Lost Saroo looks around for Guddu at the dark train station and then
    looks for Guddu everywhere, in his thoughts for the rest of his life.
    What a beautiful role of Guddu played by Abhishek Bharate and what a
    promising actor! There were some real gripping performances in this
    film by actors which had only small roles in the film but they left
    their mark and touched me. I want to give a big hug to Garth Davis for
    choosing these powerful actors and giving them a chance to express
    their emotions. I must mention Tannishtha Chattergee, who knew her
    character and made a mark with just two scenes. Now that’s called
    Actor.

    I have always seen Nicole Kidman in great grandeur roles. But I was
    shocked to see her in ‘Lion’. A small role with few scenes. She gave
    herself all. Her performance in Lion is heartfelt. The cinematographer
    was able to capture her emotions and her heart on the big screen. David
    Wenham, plays the part of father to Saroo with amazing acting skills
    and warmth. Dev Patel, you did a good job.I want to give a big salute
    to all the filmmakers and actors who were involved in making this film.
    You have done an exceptional job and gave me something which will be in
    my mind and heart for a very long time. If any actors or filmmakers
    want to reach out to me please email at hassanzee-at-gm-ail

  • suriyamoorthy-41178November 26, 2016Reply

    An incredible Story: Something that should not happen to any child

    It has been mentioned on this page that one of the writers is ”Saroo
    Brierly (novel)”. His book is not a novel. It is a biography. I am from
    Khandwa where the boy in the story (Saroo Brierly) hails. My residence
    is just about two kilometres from his mother’s residence. A few years
    ago I met him ‘accidentally’ and spoke to him briefly. I was totally
    excited to meet him. He does not know his mother tongue Hindi. He talks
    with an Australian accent. His book ‘A Long Way Home’ is worth reading.
    In the movie his adult role is played by a ‘white’ man. It should have
    been a ‘brown’ man to reflect real appearance. The child actor who
    plays the role of child Saroo is in fact a child who was washing
    teacups for a living in a roadside snack shop on the Khandwa-Indore
    road. His acting and voice are true to what would have been that of a
    local boy. Saroo’s life has touched the hearts of many. In fact his
    story was topic of a sermon in our little Church in Hyderabad

  • ctowyiNovember 27, 2016Reply

    This Lion Gives a Resounding Roar!

    Lion is superbly inspirational and it has Oscar baits all over it. The
    story sounds so out of this world that part of my mind thought it is a
    case of God playing a cruel trick just to witness the emotional
    devastation it would cause. Then the ultimate act of redemption is so
    moving that God will lift His finger off the button of mass destruction
    of the world.

    The first half of the film is simply the best Hindi film I have seen
    this year that didn’t hail from Bollywood. IMHO this has been a
    disappointing year for Bollywood and thank goodness for Lion for
    showing the way. The effortless acting by the two child-newcomers,
    Sunny Pawar and Abhishek Bharate, is so great that I didn’t even for
    one minute think they were acting. I love how Garth Davis captured the
    Indian cities, and it is even more remarkable that Lion is his first
    feature film. The city is portrayed like a lurking monster with
    different terrifying elements out to devour the innocent children.
    There is also an air of mysticism about it. The direction is assured
    and never heavy handed. However this is a film of two halves.

    The first half is so amazing that it is almost a futile task to be able
    sustain the wondrous energy in the second half. However, Dev Patel as
    the adult Saroo, demonstrates superb range; he has really blossomed as
    an actor since Slumdog Millionaire (2008). The problem with it is that
    it is too pre-defined and you would already know how it would go. Even
    though the narrative goes through the usual tropes and hits the typical
    emotional beats with a shoehorned romantic angle, Davis makes a
    creative choice to skim through and tip- toe round all the usual
    traumatic scenes, giving the film a refreshing feel. You know exactly
    what you will see at the end, but kudos to the filmmaker who still
    succeeds in never cheapening the journey and for making you an
    emotional wreck of a blubber.

    When the shameless weeping stopped, I felt my soul displace and move to
    a different place. This Lion roars resoundingly! The search for
    identity and home is absorbing and never boring. Don’t forget to bring
    tissue and hankies, and remember there is no shame in crying for it is
    what makes us human beings.

  • rockman182December 5, 2016Reply

    An emotional, wonderful, experience

    The main reason I wanted to see this badly was because of Rooney Mara.
    I love her to death but she’s honestly nowhere near any of the top
    reasons why I enjoyed this. I don’t think this film will be for
    everybody because it is meant to be emotional and can seem like award
    season bait. I thoroughly enjoyed it though. Much more than I thought I
    would. This is basically a much better version of Slumdog Millionaire.
    Slumdog is honestly a bit of a mess, and doesn’t feel realistic. This
    (obviously based on a true story) is more or less a rags to riches
    story as well that is set in India and then shifts to Australia. The
    lead character lives in poverty with his mother and siblings and gets
    separated one night when he falls asleep on a train. He travels to
    areas in Calcutta where he struggles to understand Bengali and does not
    remember enough details to get home. He eventually ends up being
    adapted and has a successful life but then longs to find his family. It
    might be from being fresh out of the theater but I was quite
    emotionally attached to the protagonists quest to find his family.
    There are things that could be improved from a storytelling
    perspective, especially with the lack of focus on the adopted brother
    and his relationship with Nicole Kidman’s character. I’ll let it slide
    though because it was a fulfilling experience watching this film. All
    the actors in this film put in strong performances I know this might
    not get a lot of Award season love but I hope it at least gets
    nominated for Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

  • Quietb-1December 6, 2016Reply

    Lion around waiting for something to happen.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • romarmcpDecember 9, 2016Reply

    Thank God for Google Earth

    25 year-old Saroo, adopted by a selfless, inspiring Australian couple,
    sets out to find his mother and siblings whom he lost 20 years ago,
    with a little help from the magical tool. But the charismatic Dev Patel
    only shows up one hour into the movie, emerging from the Aussie sea in
    a stunning shot. Before all that, director Garth Davis provides a fine,
    realistic insight on the beauty, complexity, and ultimately shocking
    poverty of rural India, previously seen in Slumdog Millionaire or
    Ghandi. Along side five-year-old Saroo is his brother Guddu, who loves
    and protects him above all things, and Saroo’s mother and sister, all
    living in the tiny shed their incomprehensible misery can afford. One
    night, Saroo, by mistake and alone, boards a train that led to the
    other side of the country, where no one speaks his language or knows
    his hometown, where men kidnap homeless children to do God knows what.
    No one can help him, no one cares. Saroo is put in an orphanage, where
    he’s told that all the newspaper adds were useless and fruitless and
    his family can’t be found. And then came Sue and John, who took him in
    celestially, wanting to save a soul from the sadness where it once
    belonged. Kidman is a powerhouse, as the mother who tries to maintain
    her family together and struggles to keep up with her other adoptive
    son’s problems, as she realizes Saroo wants to find his biological
    mother and siblings. It’s a compelling performance and she definitely
    deserves Oscar attention. It’s Patel’s big breakthrough though, showing
    great potential in the body of a conflicted young man looking for
    answers. The result of such combination of talents allows Lion to
    evolve into something more than just another common, forgettable,
    crybaby story; it’s a mature piece of work that gets the job very well
    done, while still remaining touching and heartbreaking. Great ending,
    one must say.

  • TurfseerDecember 11, 2016Reply

    Incredibly moving tale of family reunion marred by less than gripping second act machinations

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Laura Elizabeth GomezDecember 11, 2016Reply

    A Must Watch

    This is a beautiful film. The first half of the movie shines with its
    masterful absence of dialogue and the bustling Indian urban landscape.
    Sunny Pawar carries the soul of the film with his wide, vibrant eyes
    radiating dignity and screen presence purely through facial
    expressions. He is a natural. The second half of the film set in
    Tasmania thrives mostly in its contrast to India. Here, Dev Patel does
    very well as a confused young man in search of his roots and his home.
    Nicole Kidman steals the show with the few scenes in which she embodies
    motherly love and devotion. This is a must watch. It is not possible
    for any person to watch this film and not be moved by it!

  • slaw-89071December 12, 2016Reply

    Great film

    This was an exceptionally beautiful film. It is visually stunning and
    as the movie unfolds so do the characters until their depths are known
    to us the audience. The performances were incredibly moving and the
    script was thoughtful. Attention to every detail was clear and the
    mastery of the artists who crafted this film was apparent. The story is
    truly heart wrenching and there was not a dry eye in the theatre.
    Thematically, the movie forces the viewer to confront issues such as
    poverty, wealth disparities, the best interest of children and much
    more. The film is truly haunting and not only evoked a lot of emotion
    during the movie, but is incredibly thought provoking. This was a great
    watch!

  • FvlecmaticDecember 13, 2016Reply

    Incredible true story of a tiny needle in a very large haystack

    I’ve seen 104 movies so far in cinemas this year and I was wondering
    all year long if I will ever see a movie which will truly deserve a
    10-star rating. There were movies like Room, Hacksaw Ridge, Me Before
    You, Sully or Arrival which are all great and therefore received 8 or
    9-stars from me. But today I can safely say that I found my 10-star TOP
    OF THE YEAR movie.

    Lion. An incredible true story of a tiny needle in a very large
    haystack. So powerful. Deeply moving. It’s sad yet uplifting. Not going
    to tell you the plot but you should definitely find a way to watch this
    one. There are many strong moments in the movie but for me it was the
    part when you realize what happened to main characters brother and what
    impact it must have had in real life on their mothers life. As already
    said: This is a movie based on real events.

    This will definitely be an awards contender. I also have to mention the
    young Sunny Pawar. You will love him. His acting is phenomenal.

  • Josh BartonDecember 14, 2016Reply

    Such a powerful film!

    Missing child cases are ones that really do send a shiver down the
    spine, the uncertainty of the child’s whereabouts or whether in fact
    they are actually still alive being the major worries. You can’t
    possibly understand the effect it must have on a family. In Garth
    Davis’ Lion, we see the effects of such a case on the child rather than
    the family left behind.

    Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is a five-year-old child living in a remote Indian
    village with his mother, brother and sister. Spending his days helping
    his brother steal coal from trains, Saroo joins his brother for a job
    one night but finds himself lost and on a train to Calcutta, nearly
    two-thousand kilometres from his home village.

    Surviving many challenges and meeting various faces, Saroo is
    eventually adopted by an Australian couple, John and Sue Brierley
    (David Wenham and Nicole Kidman). Twenty-five years later, Saroo (Dev
    Patel) decides to track his lost family down.

    I must start by saying that I absolutely loved Lion, a film that deals
    with such a traumatising true story in such a delicate manner. Garth
    Davis splits the film into two halves, the first focusing on Saroo as a
    five-year-old lost in such a densely populated city and the second
    looking at Saroo as a grown man, so far away from the life he left
    years before. It is quite tough to watch at times, particularly some
    scenes of a young Saroo trying to survive on the streets of Calcutta
    however, Davis’ film builds to a truly beautiful conclusion that left
    me emotionally destroyed.

    I think the fact that this is a true story played a massive part in the
    conclusion having such an impact on me. Davis plays it out brilliantly
    and the inclusion of real life footage in the end credits, along with
    startling facts about how many children go missing in India, just added
    more power to the already powerful film.

    Lion doesn’t just get its power from the story but from the tremendous
    performances also. I have always liked Dev Patel as an actor but this
    is the first time I’ve watched him give such a powerhouse of a
    performance as a grown up Saroo struggling to cope with tracking down
    his lost family. From here, Patel could really go places, starting with
    awards recognition in the early new year.

    Sunny Pawar deserves a special mention for his performance as a young
    Saroo, lost and alone in such a unfamiliar place. It’s always a risk to
    have such a large portion of the film led by such a young actor but
    it’s ultimately one that pays off greatly in Lion. There’s also fine
    support on offer from Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham,
    ensuring the quality runs right throughout the film.

    Lion is a film that I urge you to go and see because a film like this
    needs the coverage and its subject matter is something people need to
    be made more aware of.

  • jdesandoDecember 15, 2016Reply

    Dev Patel is swell.

    ”You can’t go home again.” Thomas Wolfe

    If that’s true, then Lion as a film is pure daydreaming, for Saroo (Dev
    Patel) as a 25 year old man in Australia has spent 20 years away from
    his home in India and wants to return. Not as easy as it sounds: After
    leaving home at 5 unwittingly on a train for days, he is eventually
    adopted to Australia with loving foster parents and the need to find
    his real mother and family.

    As far as daydreaming, Lion is based on a true story, so take that you
    naysayers. For those in love with technology, see Google Maps work its
    magic.

    This lyrically-played, beautifully shot, at times depressing melodrama
    is a study in love: Saroo’s love shared with his adoptive mother, Sue
    (Nicole Kidman), is affecting, so authentic is Kidman’s performance.
    I’ve never seen her act as finely as this. Too bad she is underused
    here. Her joy in the little boy and her deep connection to the adult is
    one of filmdom’s finest relationships. An Oscar nod is sure to come.

    However, so distraught is Saroo’s adult life with his dreams of youth
    and finding home that he leaves his hospitality job, almost destroys
    his love with a classmate (Rooney Mara), and distances himself from his
    adoptive family. Nobody ever said searching for your mother would be
    easy, and this film makes sure you know that. Its metaphors about two
    worlds reaching for each other give dramatic and interpretive heft.

    In an effective juxtaposition, the addled, ruinous adopted brother,
    Mantosh (Divian Ladwa), contrasts the mature and overly-sensitive
    Saroo. His anger against Mantosh saps the film of its established
    melancholic pace, almost as if we needed to be jolted out of sharing
    the obsessive homecoming dream.

    Saroo must eventually decide which identity to take—Aussie or Indian.
    Meanwhile, as we wipe the sympathetic tears from our eyes, we can
    faintly hear the lion roar.

  • bibo-93638December 15, 2016Reply

    A movie with a soul of its own

    To put it in simple words, ”Lion” is a journey that grabs you entirely
    ; whether you want it or not, you are a part of each and every scene.
    Exactly like the hero, you find yourself having visions of a past that
    you think you have forgotten, you long for something more and you dig
    for something deeper. This is a journey back home, filled with
    emotions, hard decisions, and an infinite willingness to reach
    somewhere safe.. Simple story, dream like sequences and real characters
    that are aware that ”there are no white pages” but that in a way, there
    is always a black ink somewhere that you can use to finish the endless
    books that you have in your head. A gem and must see. Highly
    recommended for the cast’s performances, the musical score and the
    emotional layer that refuses to let you go even after the movie had
    ended.

  • subxerogravityDecember 18, 2016Reply

    This was a fairly good movie.

    Just try to hold back the tears as this dude tries to find his family
    and discover himself.

    It’s the type of deep connection you always want to feel when you watch
    a flick.

    It did act like a huge ad for Google Earth at times but that’s OK. The
    film is a testament of how technology has change our lives in the best
    of ways.

    It’s a new way to see Dev Patel that I’ve not seen in other movies I’ve
    seen him in. He’s adding some great range to his leading man resume.
    Good for him.

    And good for this great movie.

    http://cinemagardens.com

  • Eugene MannacioDecember 18, 2016Reply

    How Fully Committed

    As some critics have noted, during the first half of this move we can
    identify with Sharu who manages to survive after being lost far from
    home. The second half is more problematic and not just because it is
    hard to portray, in a movie, the difficulties involved in finding
    ”home”. But also because the character himself doesn’t seem fully
    convinced of his effort. On the one hand he disparages the first world
    lifestyle and privilege but he fails to relearn the Hindi language at
    all. If and when he finds the town in which he grew up one would think
    he would want to be able to communicate with his relatives and friends
    without a translator. Of course, this is not just a movie but is based
    on a true story so that this failing would seem to apply to the real
    life character. To the extent it does, we identify less with the adult
    Sharu. The film also has some awkward cuts.

  • CineMuseFilmsDecember 22, 2016Reply

    An immensely satisfying cinematic experience: visually stunning, narratively powerful, and an emotional whirlwind. Best Aussie film of the year.

    If film-art is the pursuit of visual pleasure, powerful storytelling
    and high emotional impact, then Lion (2016) is the year’s high-water
    mark for Australian productions. Based on the novel A Long Way Home
    (2014), this film adaptation is a richly textured essay on the primal
    human need for belonging that will resonate with anyone who has ever
    wondered who they are.

    This true story is told in two parts and filmed across two continents.
    Five year-old Saroo is a ragamuffin sidekick to his older brother
    Guddo, two poor boys who support their family by stealing coal and
    scavenging trains in their West Bengal village. They become separated
    one night and Saroo finds himself alone on a train heading to the other
    side of India. He he joins hordes of homeless children who must fend
    off predators while begging to survive. Eventually he is placed in a
    crowded orphanage, then adopted by two big-hearted and childless
    Tasmanians, Sue (Nicole Kidman) and John (David Wenham). Twenty years
    on, Saroo (Dev Patel) begins to have memory flashbacks of his native
    land. As they increase in intensity, he becomes obsessed with finding
    his family. With some luck and Google maps, the story comes full
    circle.

    There is so much that makes this film stand out. The storytelling is
    more than engaging: it is so captivating that the two-hour run-time
    feels like an hour. Acting performances are outstanding: Nicole Kidman
    is at her best while the five year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is the heart
    of the film and Dev Patel its soul. The cinematography is brilliant,
    especially the filming in India. The camera-work is both expansive and
    intimate, shifting often from sweeping aerial panoramas of mountainous
    Indian countryside and tranquil Tasmanian waterways to narrow winding
    alleys, village markets, and the inner-world of Saroo’s turmoil. Some
    of the most powerful scenes are shot from the eye-level of a terrified
    lost boy jostled by masses of humanity and the close-ups of Saroo’s
    painful face desperate to know home. The colour palette is exotic,
    sound track emotionally intense, and the directing finds a rhythm that
    is almost orchestral.

    This film offers an immensely satisfying cinematic experience: visually
    stunning, narratively powerful, and an emotional whirlwind. It comes at
    the end of a very mixed year for Australian film, with some of the
    world’s finest produced but many that are less than inspiring. Lion is
    one of those films that will appeal to everyone and it has a very long
    after-taste. It easily tops my film year.

  • Howard SchumannDecember 25, 2016Reply

    Respects the humanity of its characters

    Whether Harvey Weinstein’s purpose in producing Lion was to add to his
    collection of Oscars or just to tell a sweet, heartfelt story about a
    lost boy searching for his home, the result is that he has probably
    accomplished both. Directed by Garth Davis (”Top of the Lake,” TV
    Series) the film tells the moving story of Saroo Brierley, a boy
    seeking to find his way back to India after having lived in Australia
    for 25 years, a country 5,000 miles away. Written by Luke Davies
    (”Life”) and based on Brierley’s memoir, A Long Way Home, young Saroo
    (Sunny Pawar) is an impoverished 5-year-old boy from the village of
    Ganesh Talai in the Khandwr Province of India. Insisting that he go to
    work at night with his older brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate), he falls
    asleep at the train station and becomes separated from Guddu.

    Frightened, he boards an empty train and ends up in Calcutta, almost
    1000 miles away from Guddu, his sister Shekila (Khushi Solanki), and
    his mother Kamla (Priyanka Bose, ”Half Ticket”). Saroo is a strong
    little boy, yet the fact that he cannot remember his mother’s name or
    the name of his village and cannot speak Bengali makes him prey for
    predators. Confused and afraid, he seeks the help of strangers, looks
    for places to sleep, and has to escape from a threatening situation.
    When he ends up at the police station, he is sent to a crowded and
    oppressive orphanage where, with the help of a compassionate social
    worker, he is fortunate enough to be adopted by Sue and John Brierley
    (Nicole Kidman, ”Secret in Their Eyes” and David Wenham, ”Goldstone”),
    a loving family in Hobart, Tasmania.

    Here he must forget about his old family and adjust to a new home and a
    new country. A year later, the Brierley’s adopt another Indian boy,
    Mantosh (Keshav Jadhav), but this time they are not as fortunate as
    Mantosh has both physical and mental problems. Jumping ahead twenty
    five years, Saroo (now played by Dev Patel, ”The Man Who Knew
    Infinity”) has gone to Melbourne to study Hotel Management but his
    memories are reactivated when the Indian food served at a party thrown
    by his girlfriend Lucy (Rooney Mara, ”Carol”) bring back thoughts of
    his family in India. It is now 2008 and the introduction of new
    Internet technology such as Google Earth allows him to believe that he
    might, after all these years, be able to find his way back home.

    Grateful to his new mom and dad who raised him, he has not told them of
    his background for fear of hurting them. Now that he can see a path
    back to his roots, his conflicting emotions make it doubly hard for him
    to communicate. When Sue finds out about his past, however, she is
    happy for him and wants his real mother to know how well he has turned
    out. In one of the most poignant moments of the film, Sue tells Saroo
    about a vision she had when she was younger that led her to adopt
    children rather than have her own. It is a moment of pure
    transcendence.

    The story that eventually takes us back to Ganesh Talai might seem
    far-fetched and manipulative if it were not for the fact that it
    actually happened. Though Lion has its flaws and is hindered by a
    failure to probe deeply into the inner life of its characters, the
    performances, especially those of Pawar and Patel, are so convincing
    that the narrative comes across as completely believable. While the
    film has emotional highs and lows that may induce copious tears, a fact
    that some of our more cynical critics will not hesitate to point out,
    Davis trusts his audience enough to keep the manipulative aspects of
    the film to a minimum and respect the humanity of its characters.

  • Red-125December 26, 2016Reply

    Alone and desperate on the streets of Calcutta

    Lion (2016) was directed by Garth Davis. It’s a coming of age story,
    but the story it tells is not one that you’ll see in many movies. (I’m
    sure you could see stories like it every day in Calcutta, but those
    stories don’t usually come to the screen.)

    Sunny Pawar plays the protagonist, Saroo, as a child. By bad luck,
    Saroo is locked inside a railway car at a station near his home. When
    he gets out of the train he’s in Calcutta. He’s trapped in a totally
    different world–urban rather than rural–and a different
    culture–people speak Bengali and not Hindi. By utilizing ingenuity and
    intelligence, Saroo manages to survive. Ultimately he’s placed in an
    orphanage, and adopted by an Australian couple, John and Sue Brierley
    (David Wenham and Nicole Kidman). Wenham and Kidman both do a fine job,
    in roles that don’t really use their talents fully.

    Saroo is portrayed by Dev Patel as a young adult. He has done very well
    in the home of the Brierley family, but he can’t forget that he had a
    home and a family in India. The remainder of the plot follows from
    there.

    To a certain extent, Lion has been billed as a love story between Patel
    and Rooney Mara, who portrays his girlfriend, Lucy. Rooney Mara is
    adorable, but she’s not the co-star. I think the love story between the
    two of them is a fairly awkward plot device. Mara has two
    expressions–loving and happy, and loving and sad.

    The real stars of the film are Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel. You really
    believe in both of their characters, and you can see how the young
    Saroo could have become the young adult Saroo. Both of them portray
    their roles brilliantly, and the movie would be worth seeing just to
    watch them act. (It’s a bright, colorful, noisy movie, but it’s not
    costumes, or cinematography, or hundreds of extras that make this film
    work. It’s the acting of Pawar and Patel.)

    This movie will be better watched in a theater than on the small
    screen, because of the vast expanses of scenery in all of the
    locations. We saw this movie at the excellent Little Theatre in
    Rochester, NY. On Christmas/Chanukah day, 2016, the Little Theatre
    showed Lion, Fences, Manchester by the Sea, and Jackie. What other
    theater in New York Skate could match that combination?

  • quinimdbDecember 27, 2016Reply

    Lion

    ”Lion” is the touching and heartfelt true story of a five-year old
    Indian boy named Saroo Brierley who gets lost and far from his family,
    eventually being adopted by Australian parents. Twenty years after this
    incident, Saroo becomes determined to find his mother, brother, and
    sister, despite the lack of information that he has. The film is pretty
    much a perfectly executed feel good movie. It is a deeply human film
    that pretty much anyone can connect to.

    What really made this film so good is that it is consistently from the
    point of view of Saroo. It is a pretty tightly constructed film. The
    first scenes of the film establish the strong relationship he has with
    his family, and what surprised me about this movie is that the entire
    first half is focused on Saroo being lost as a child. The child actor
    performs incredibly well, and the film simply wouldn’t be nearly as
    emotionally involving without his performance. Since the film is from
    his point of view, all of the big, scary things that happen to him
    while he is lost that he doesn’t quite understand are not directly
    explained. One night, while Saroo is sleeping with other children in a
    train station, he is forced to move because men suddenly appear and
    begin to physically drag the children away, against their will. Saroo,
    of course, just runs, and their is never a mention or explanation for
    it, because Saroo himself doesn’t understand it. As a result, the
    audience member is along for the same ride that Saroo is, and that
    allows us to feel more emotionally connected to him throughout the
    story.

    While Saroo eventually gets two loving Australian parents, he still has
    troubles in the form of his emotionally challenged adopted brother, and
    when the film cuts to 20 years later, his brother seems to have nearly
    disappeared from his life. Now that Saroo is 25, he is going to
    college, and he soon gets a girlfriend, but after being reminded of his
    real family and telling his story to his friends, he can’t seem to
    shake the feeling that he needs to find his family, and that becomes
    his main goal. In fact, he begins to become obsessed with that goal. He
    has frequent and sudden flashes of memory of his town and his
    childhood, and this is almost all he can go from, besides the train
    station he ended up at after getting lost. His obsession pretty much
    puts all of his relationships on hiatus for years, and although he
    seems determined to find his real family, he completely forgets about
    his adopted family, and because of his reclusive behavior his mother
    feels as if she is losing her children. Nicole Kidman delivers a great
    performance as Saroo’s mother and an emotional monologue describing
    this. Why Saroo decides not to tell his mother that he quit his job to
    look for his family remains a mystery to me, but perhaps it is because
    he didn’t want to make her feel unwanted, or build up expectations and
    then never actually find them.

    What eventually happens is that those flashes of memory that Saroo has
    of his hometown that also gave us a deeper emotional connection for him
    and his family also end up leading him to his home because of
    recognition of a certain spot on google maps that he then traces to his
    house. His actual visit to his hometown after over 25 years is one of
    the most emotionally involving scenes of the year, considering we as
    the audience have been through this rough journey with him. When Saroo
    walks through certain spots that both the audience and Saroo recognize
    from his memories, we share the anticipation of the main character.
    That means we also share his frustration, then relief, then sadness,
    and ultimately his overwhelming sense of joy. The music in these scenes
    also adds to their emotional impact.

  • jsharmaDecember 27, 2016Reply

    love, faith, courage

    The movie Lion directed by Garth Davis is awesome. The movie is about a
    5 year old boy Saroo and his teenage brother Guddu who do whatever they
    can to bring home food for their mom and little sister. And then Saroo
    gets separated from his brother and is lost. Ends up getting adopted by
    an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman as Sue Brierly and David Wenham as
    John Brierly).

    The story is sad and happy, beautiful and mean . Even after living away
    from home for 25 years, Saroo remembers his first 5 years of life
    clearly, life filled with Guddu’s caring and loving presence and mom’s
    loving embrace. Mom, brother and sister made his life lovable and
    something he longed for again. One of my favorite scenes is when young
    Saroo prays to Goddess , eats the blessed food and after that manages
    to run away from a ”nice” lady who feeds him and cleans him up to sell
    him to a child peddler. Saroo is blessed because he had excellent
    upbringing from a mother who loved him and taught her 3 kids how to
    care and look after each other. Excellent acting, especially Sunny
    Pawar as young Saroo is terrific and Dev Patel(slumdog millionaire, man
    who knew infinity )as adult Saroo is excellent, both are Oscar worthy.
    Script is perfect. Cinematography is nice. Excellent Direction. Oscar
    worthy .

  • sofiamoroDecember 28, 2016Reply

    less than I expected

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • rustystpeteDecember 28, 2016Reply

    A Rare REAL Movie

    Everything except special effects. Thank Heavens because I’m tired of
    face eating creatures, spaceships, and juvenile dialogue. This movie
    should be viewed by everyone over 16. It’s an opportunity to see the
    real world and real human emotions. Our youth watches comic book movies
    and thinks and acts out like that’s the real world. Sorry Kids, LION Is
    the REAL World. Whether a movie goer seeks a love story, life values
    coaching, cinematic views of the world, good acting with mature
    dialogue, actors doing their best work in front of a camera and not a
    green screen, on & on, take it all in with this movie. I thank
    Narrative Capital and the Weinsteins for bring me this movie.

  • wisal-albulushiDecember 29, 2016Reply

    Young Saroo is amazing, I could not stop crying!

    This film makes you think of the blessings that are taken-for-granted
    for most of us; family, welfare, food, and shelter. It sheds a light on
    the street children issue. The boy who played young Saroo was
    brilliant, as he was capable of portraying a critical crisis. He is
    amazing, I loved how his face expression changed to match the events.
    So, he was capable of expressing love when he is with his mom,
    expressing pride when working with his brother, and expressing fear
    when he is lost… amazing! The fear, danger, and desperateness that
    Saroo has been through are an illustration of what 100 thousands of
    street children are facing every day. In fact, this story represents
    one of the best case scenarios of how a street child might end up.

  • bobbobwhiteDecember 29, 2016Reply

    Liked it, but overly sentimental

    Liked the India part way best, with little Saroo lost and bewildered
    trying to get home. In Tasmania, to me, the story faltered and was
    inconsistent with a lot of logic and story flow flaws. Not getting
    overwhelmed by emotion, I looked for the bits and pieces that told a
    complete story of a lost kid’s almost divine rescue from probable
    tragedy. Little Sunny was great as Little Saroo, and Dev Patel was good
    as older Saroo. Nicole Kidman was also really good as his adoptive mom.

    As an internet researcher, I found that older Saroo was not very good
    at connecting the dots in order to find his home and his Mum in India.
    If I did it, first I would best figure how far he traveled by time and
    train speed, find a town name that was closest to what he remembered it
    to be, find if it had a water tower, then a covered rail station, sited
    next to woods and a rock quarry, on and on. Wouldn’t take long,
    certainly not as long as it took him, so that was a very weak part to
    me, but it added to movie drama, of course. And, I must allow that he
    was delayed in his search by his dreams progressively telling him more
    details about his childhood home that led him further into his search.

    Sorry to get so scientific about such an emotional movie, but I saw too
    many realism flaws to make it a more rewarding story to me in the
    second half. And, after I saw the harshness of poor India the closest
    thing I had to an tearful emotional moment was……….God Bless
    America.

  • rayclisterDecember 31, 2016Reply

    A beautiful film on so many levels

    This film has been on my to-do list since I first noticed it a couple
    of months ago. FirstlyI must praise Sunny Pawar as the five-year-old in
    the film. His facial expressions and the sheer reality of his
    circumstances could not have been brought to the screen any better.His
    instinct in realizing when things were not quite right when dealing
    with the adults around him was astonishingly portrayed. Dev Patel was
    also excellent in his role as the adult Saroo and a special mention to
    his uncanny ability to pull off the often difficult Australian accent
    was flawless. The support actors notably Kidman, Wenham and Mara were
    all excellent but perhaps all surpassed by the performances of the
    Indian actors in the film with special mention to Priyanka Bose who was
    extraordinary. Interesting to hear that the two actors who played the
    brothers in the film, Sunny Pawar and Abhishek Bharate have already
    made another film together where they also play brothers titled Love
    Sonia. The film is all about human emotions, the complexities that
    adoption can bring to a young person’s life, and the need to discover
    your roots, whilst having obviously developed a close and enduring
    relationship with those who were able to bring some safety and
    stability to life and the recognition of the birth mother and how to
    deal with all these emotions while remaining true to yourself. A
    remarkable film.

  • velutha1December 31, 2016Reply

    Great Story, not a Great Film

    Lion is an a amazing story of an exceptionally lucky child grown up to
    be a man. Lion is not a great film however. It becomes overbearingly
    melodramatic and overwrought in the second half. I felt like screaming
    at the main character, go to India and see your family already! This
    would have been a good documentary. Spare us the Aussie attempt at
    angst, it just doesn’t work. Here we have a lucky young man with a
    loving family, all grown up in the ”lucky country”. What’s the problem?
    He can figure out where to go in India to see his birth village, but we
    have to endure an hour of film with him being moody around his
    supportive girlfriend and family. Talk about manufactured drama. The
    scene with Nicole Kidman and Patel seemed pointless – just a
    contractual opportunity for her to show off her acting chops and make
    this sellable overseas. Don’t be fooled. This is a great story, but
    poor filmmaking in my opinion.

  • Dave McClain ([email protected])December 31, 2016Reply

    ”Lion” is an emotionally-engaging and fascinating true story that is not to be missed.

    We all have a family. You may live with the family of your birth, with
    a family which adopted you or with a family that you have made through
    getting married and having children. It doesn’t matter which. You have
    a family. Since we can all relate to having family, it also follows
    that we can all understand what it means to be separated from family.
    And you can probably imagine what it would be like to have a family
    that is lost to you, to desperately desire a reunion, but be unable to
    make it happen. A person in that situation may become part of another
    family, even one that is full of love, but still never stop thinking of
    his original family. That’s what the main character is facing in the
    Australian-produced drama ”Lion” (PG-13, 1:58).

    The film is based on the true story of Indian-born Australian
    businessman Saroo Brierley, as told in his 2014 book ”A Long Way Home”.
    As a 5-year-old, Saroo was abandoned by his older brother in a train
    station near his home in central India. Saroo wandered onto another
    train where he got locked in one of the unoccupied cars and was unable
    to get out until the train stopped for good in Calcutta, over 900 miles
    from his home. Saroo couldn’t tell the authorities enough about his
    hometown or his family for them to help him find his way back home, so
    he was declared ”lost” and put up for adoption. He was soon adopted by
    John and Sue Brierley, an upper middle class couple who lived on the
    southeastern Australian island of Tasmania. It was there that he grew
    up as a member of a happy family. When he became an adult, he began
    thinking more about his family in India and how they must still wonder
    what happened to him – and if he’s even still alive – if they are still
    alive themselves. He began using satellite images from Google Earth to
    look at train stations he might have passed through 25 years earlier –
    and desperately hoping to match something in those images with any of
    the details he could still remember.

    That was the bare bones of Saroo’s factual story, and here’s how it
    plays out in the film ”Lion”: Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is a happy 5-year-old
    from a poor family living in a neighborhood of the city of Khandwa,
    India. Saroo’s mother, Kamla (Priyanka Bose), is a single parent who
    works moving rocks at construction sites, in order to feed Saroo, his
    younger sister and their teenage brother, Guddu (Abhishek Bharate).
    Saroo is very close to Guddu, following him everywhere. Guddu tries to
    help his mother by stealing and selling coal from passing trains and
    Saroo helps. When Guddu announces late one night that he’s going to
    take the train to a nearby city to get temporary work moving bales of
    hay, Saroo convinces Guddu to let him come along. When the boys arrive
    at their destination and get off the train, Saroo is so tired that
    Guddu lays him down on a bench to sleep while Guddu goes to see about
    the job. Before Guddu can get back, Saroo wakes up and, looking for his
    brother, wanders onto another train, but gets locked inside one of the
    cars. This train doesn’t make all of its usual stops and Saroo is
    unable to get off or get help.

    Saroo ends up in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata), on the other side of
    India. Saroo is so far from home that the locals speak a different
    dialect than he does. Even with the help of a translator, Saroo can’t
    tell anyone exactly where he is from and can only identify his mother
    as ”mum”. After living with other homeless children in or near the
    Calcutta train station for a few days and escaping some potentially
    dangerous situations in the city, he ends up in a center for missing
    children. After exhausting every effort to find where Saroo belongs,
    the center allows him to be adopted by Sue Brierley (Oscar winner
    Nicole Kidman) and her husband, John (David Wenham). John and Sue are
    loving parents who soon also adopt another Indian boy named Mantosh. As
    an adult, Saroo (now played by Dev Patel) begins a search for his
    original family. He doesn’t want to hurt the Brierleys, but he agonizes
    over what the past 25 years must have been like for his Indian family,
    especially for his birth mother and for Guddu. As Saroo prepares for a
    career in hotel management, he falls in love with a classmate named
    Lucy (multiple Oscar nominee Rooney Mara), who is sympathetic to
    Saroo’s emotional need to find his family, but is frustrated by Saroo’s
    growing obsession with a search that has little chance of success.
    Understanding that he is looking for the proverbial needle in a
    haystack and is distancing himself from those closest to him, he still
    cannot stop searching for answers to who he is – and to find the family
    who loved him first.

    ”Lion” is a fascinating, emotional and very entertaining film. It
    showed more of Saroo’s life in India than I would’ve expected and it
    sometimes seems like a bit much, but it’s that background that gives
    this film its emotional heart. It’s also helpful that most of the story
    is told chronologically, with flashbacks used only sparingly and for
    surprising reveals. The film’s ending won’t be a surprise to anyone
    familiar with the story, but it still makes for the most emotional 5-10
    minutes in recent cinematic memory. And the last few shots and
    information revealed during the closing credits are both surprising and
    satisfying. With such an emotionally engaging story so well told and so
    well-acted, ”Lion” is not to be missed. ”A”

  • akdubois-34734January 1, 2017Reply

    Dickens meets ”Central Station”

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • vnb010January 1, 2017Reply

    Saroo wanders around India after losing track of his brother. As he tries to find home, he ends up finding a new one and wondering about the one he lost.

    Sunny Pawar, who plays young Saroo, is magnificent. His performance of
    being lost, but still strong is inspirational. His big eyes show much
    expression and bring the character to life. I hope to see him in future
    films.

    Dev Patel, older Saroo, has transformed since his ”Skins” days. In this
    new role, he takes on a further developed younger Saroo, but still the
    same lost boy trying to find his way.

    Despite these profound performances, the film dragged towards the end,
    until the very very end. . The beginning was interesting and engaging
    as the boy traveled across the country as well as gave a new
    perspective of India. But the portion that had Patel as the star was
    not as compelling, but crucial to complete the story.

    I would love for Patel to win for his role as Saroo, but I doubt he
    will. It’s a great film, but not enough for either him nor Kidman to
    win.

  • bkrauser-81-311064January 1, 2017Reply

    Surprisingly Hollow

    Born in rural destitution, the 5-year-old Saroo followed his older
    brother to the local railway station one night. He fell asleep in a
    train car, and woke up 900 miles away edging towards the bustling city
    of Calcutta. After weeks of scavenging for scraps near the rails, Saroo
    was brought to a center for abandoned children and quickly adopted by a
    an Australian couple who raised and took care of him for 25 years.

    Lion’s Dickensian tale of a displaced child who is adopted, brought to
    a faraway land and decides to trek back in search of his real family,
    is all the more harrowing when you consider the whole thing is a true
    story. While Saroo’s ”A Long Way Home” never really caught fire in the
    west until, well until just now, the story was all the rage back in
    India and Australia. In addition to being a challenging but ultimately
    heartwarming story of loss, reunion and renewal, the tale also works as
    a rallying cry, by drawing attention to India’s indignant, indifferent
    and sometimes predatory policies towards impoverished children.

    Yet despite the story’s obvious appeal and the anchored authority of it
    being true, there’s still something about Lion that rings a hollow
    note. Part of might have something to do with director Garth Davis’s
    approach to the material. As a fairly green feature length director,
    Davis injects the screen with liberal amounts of stylistic bravado, as
    if to show the audience what he as a storyteller can do. He uses a host
    of not just visual motifs but story devices to achieve his ends
    including prolonged fever dreams of the older Saroo (Patel), struggling
    with the penumbras of his young brother Guddu (Bharate) desperately
    searching for him. This of course is all set to a score that plucks on
    the heart strings like the licks of a wistful sitar.

    It’s dapper film work to be sure, but it does surprisingly little as
    world building technique. That problem that is compounded when the
    young Saroo (Pawar) travels to Australia to meet his new parents
    (Kidman and Wenham). The camera likes to doddle on Saroo gingerly
    touching a TV for the first time and seeing a full fridge for the first
    time and ignores the multitude of micro-expressions that the cast is
    trying convey. At many points Lion felt less like a movie about people
    than about moving parts.

    The best parts of the film are the parts that feel the most honest. The
    scenes involving the budding courtship of college-aged Saroo and Lucy
    (Mara), all have a certain giddiness to them. On the opposite side of
    the emotional spectrum, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s minor role is so
    effectively creepy that you almost forget he’s one of the most
    recognizable pacesetters in modern Bollywood. There is also a quiet
    scene in a classmates kitchen where for the first time as an adult,
    Saroo realizes there is something dolefully missing from his bourgeois
    life. It is at that moment Patel truly shows he’s got a range that few
    movies would allow him to exercise.

    Yet every time Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara transcend to do
    some of their most compelling work, we’re once again distracted by the
    shorthand version of truly effective film making. Sadly at these
    moments, you become aware that you’re not watching the best version of
    this story but merely an inauthentic distillation. A white dude’s
    version, of a white dude’s script adapted for white people looking for
    the same high they got watching Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

    Unfortunately Lion leaves a little too much to be desired as a
    cinematic experience. It dances frustratingly close to the edge of
    being not just good but great, but ultimately leans on cliché and
    hackneyed movie-of-the-week dramatics to pull its story through. Those
    inclined to see Lion, should definitely wait through the credits.
    Surprisingly you get more of an emotional payoff watching the Brierley
    family home videos than you do watching everything else.

  • Arun145January 2, 2017Reply

    A beautiful story shown through a solid film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • sunraiderJanuary 2, 2017Reply

    Emotional Tear-Jerker

    Make sure you bring a box of Kleenex to this one! You will shed
    heartfelt tears or spend an inordinate amount of energy trying to hold
    them off. But, while I truly enjoyed the movie, I don’t think the movie
    was structured as well as it could have been. Basically, the first half
    of the film follows a young Indian boy lost in a strange city and then
    transitions to Australia 20 years later where the boy was raised by an
    adopted family. Instead, I would have preferred starting with Dev Patel
    (the lead character as an adult), seeing him struggle with his identity
    and gradually show us through multiple flashbacks his experiences as a
    lost child in India. His growing awakening and recollections about his
    past would have been a journey both character and audience were making
    together and would have given the film more heft. Still, this was an
    uplifting and, at times, bittersweet movie held together by charming
    leads.

  • Nathaniel, haakerJanuary 2, 2017Reply

    Not just a story about a lost boy and Google – It’s a potential Oscar contender

    When I watched this movie, it was rather unplanned. Rather to kill
    time.But, boy! was I in for a surprise. Almost half of the movie is non
    English , but the powerful portrayal by a relatively unknown kid actor
    and than the accomplished actors like Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman
    completely raises the film to new heights. The film engrosses you from
    the very beginning – A different world from what we know in the west,
    but yet the same emotions of love between brothers, how a separation
    cannot be forgotten and how incredibly a technology which we now use
    rather ubiquitously can be used to re-connect lost bonds. But then the
    story is much much more than that. The emotions, the motivation and
    love for the son which connects the two mothers. The journey itself
    cannot be expressed but needs to be watched on the big screen. Actually
    , my decision to select this movie while I was in the theatre was
    because I chanced on an answer to Quora, as I typed each movie’s name
    and the actor in search on google. Here is the external link :
    https://www.quora.com/Why-did-the-movie-Lion-starring-Dev-Patel-and-
    Nicole-Kidman-get-a-wide-release-of-just-15-theatres-in-the-United-
    States#

    Yes, Oscar contender – definitely. I wonder who though? Looks like all
    of the actors and the movie deserves the award.

  • rannynmJanuary 2, 2017Reply

    A Captivating Story about Family and Perseverance

    Lion is a beautifully produced film that truly captivated my heart and
    became one of my favorite movies. This film captures everything that I
    look for in a film. It is filled with emotional, heart-touching scenes,
    a powerful message and wonderful cinematography. It is very unique and
    special, very different from what you ordinarily see at the cinema.

    The story tells about 5-year-old, vulnerable Indian boy Saroo who gets
    lost on a train and travels thousands of miles across India away from
    his dear family. Saroo faces many hardships of life all by himself.
    Eventually he is taken in and adopted by a caring Australian couple.
    Years later Saroo feels a part of himself missing and is filled with
    murky memories of his past as a young child in India. Using Google
    Earth, Saroo is determined and passionate to find his lost family
    through the use of this tool.

    The lovable and kind Saroo is played by the talented Dev Patel who also
    had the leading role in the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Dav
    Patel portrays Saroo’s passionate determination to be reunited with his
    family and country in the most believable way. Rooney Mara plays adult
    Saroo’s girlfriend who aids him finding his family. Sue Brieerley,
    Saroo’s adopted mother is portrayed by Nicole Kidman in another
    stunning performance.

    The film runs 120 minutes and I have many favorite scenes, but what
    touched me most is watching the passion that drives Saroo to find his
    family. Although he faces many hardships and issues, his love and
    passion for his family drives him to not quit but overcome every
    obstacle. Seeing his dedication to be reunited with his roots is
    inspiring.

    The message of this film touched my heart, due to similar personal
    experience I share with Saroo. As someone who also left their
    motherland at age six to come to a country with better opportunities I,
    like Saroo, know how it feels to be reunited with your motherland and
    have only mercury memories from where you come from. So I relate very
    deeply to the message of not forgetting your origin and staying true to
    your background and roots. In addition, the film portrays the message
    of family and unity which are dear to me as well.

    I highly recommend this film and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. I give
    this film 5 out of 5 stars and expect to see this film be nominated for
    an Oscar.

    Reviewed by Maria G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews by
    youth visit kidsfirst dot org.

  • Thomas DrufkeJanuary 2, 2017Reply

    A Journey Worth Taking

    Lion isn’t the most tightly directed film, nor the most emotionally
    impactful. But it’s one of the most unique films I’ve seen this year.
    So much like Captain Fantastic, I really like the film as a whole, but
    I appreciate the film’s originality even more.

    I always love sitting down for a film that’s structured entirely
    different than your prototypical movie thrown in theaters every
    weekend. I love blockbusters as much as the next guy, but there’s
    something to be said about smaller and more independently made
    features. Lion is based on a true story about an adopted boy, Saroo,
    who uses google earth to try and find his original family from India.

    As happens sometimes with true stories adapted into feature length
    films, it’s difficult to structure a 2 hour story from events that took
    place over the course of several years. Lion begins when Saroo is only
    five years old, and spans over 20 years. To say this was a difficult
    story to adapt is an understatement, and I think this is the only area
    where the film really has some faults. After spending significant
    screen time with a young Saroo, you are asked to then follow a late
    20’s Saroo, played by Dev Patel, and it’s not the smoothest of
    transitions. Granted, I got over it after a few scenes, but the very
    nature of this story makes it difficult to keep the flow even
    throughout.

    Patel, along with his young counterpart, Sunny Pawar, are terrific. As
    a first time actor, Pawar, had to take on an entire first act by
    himself, and you’d think he’d been doing this for years already. It’s
    unlikely he’ll come close to winning, but he should be considered for
    best supporting actor. You can’t find that much charisma at that age
    easily.

    When Lion hits emotionally, it really hits. I think it’s the time in
    between that takes the overall quality of the film down a notch. Some
    sporadic pacing and a story that calls for a wandering plot makes for a
    mediocre experience. But when the film chooses to sink your teeth into
    an extremely engrossing journey into what it feels like to be lost, it
    contains some of the most emotionally impactful sequences. The last
    shot says it all. I just wish it wasn’t so few and far between.

    +Some heavy, heavy stuff here

    +Pawar is a young star

    +A Journey worth taking

    -Pacing

    -Story sometimes strays away from where it should stay

    7.8/10

  • smijatov89January 3, 2017Reply

    Emotional yet aloof

    Going into an ‘Oscar baity’ film during the Oscars winter season is
    always an experiment: is this going to be one that will allow you to
    fully immerse yourself into the fibre of the story or will you be
    severely frustrated by all the teary closeups followed by the string
    score? Lion, for better of for worse, does both. The first half of the
    film is absolutely splendid. Raw, poignant, emotional. It has it all. A
    fabulous lead actor in the young Sunny Pawar and a heart-wrenching
    story to go with him. Things go a bit wonky once the film shifts time
    and place to Australia.

    While Dev Patel is splendid here, after Sunny’s performance, it is
    difficult for him to live up to what has been presented. Rooney Mara is
    excellent, albeit rather tangential (potentially, actually unnecessary
    as a character). And that is where the problems lie. That strained
    relationship they have is just not meshing well. It does not progress
    the story anywhere. There are glimmers of hope in that Australian
    section, though. The dinner scene when Patel’s character has a fit and
    Nicole Kidman, playing his adoptive mother, has one of the most
    expressive 30 second performances seen in a long time. Her ”big scene”
    is also quite good but was too much of a tear-jerker moment for my
    taste.

    From the technical side – the cinematography is excellent (again,
    especially in the first part of the film), and the original score is
    mesmerising and gives a wholly new dimension to the film. The bottom
    line is that this film is all well-intentioned, and that is the problem
    probably with it. It veers on the edge of being fully committed to the
    story and characters, but then kind of drifts away to be ”a film”.
    Basically, it is overly obvious and cliché at times. And I bet that the
    real-life story was not a cliché at all. The film just does not fully
    realise itself as an excellent one. A good film, definitely. A very
    good film, surely. But not an excellent one.

  • martinaorsJanuary 3, 2017Reply

    An incredibly emotional, yet unbalanced, journey

    I’ll start by saying that I’m an incredibly emotional person myself,
    which means I’m capable of feeling great empathy for most of the
    characters on screen, but this time I could clearly hear the whole
    crowd in the projection room crying their hearts out, or at least
    feeling sad for that little, genuine and brilliant kid played by Sunny
    Pawar, whose first performance on screen was pure gold.

    The first half of the movie would deserve a solid 9, with a rhythmical
    and powerful editing, mostly long shots (which will most likely make
    you want to visit India right away) and the tough, indifferent and
    unscrupulous reality Saroo finds himself fighting against. A strong
    journey of survival and nostalgia, filled with moments of pure disgust
    and decay as well as moments of relief and hope.

    The second half, tho, is barely comparable to the first one. The script
    gets slightly weaker, even tho Dev Patel – whose accomplished maturity
    is unbelievable – is incredibly real and fragile in a wonderful
    performance, as long as the classy and subtle Nicole Kidman. Rooney
    Mara is a short, but very pleasant, add to a great cast. Saroo’s search
    for his biological family is way slower and way less powerful than the
    tough struggle for survival in the first part. But in the complex,
    Garth Davis’ debut on the big screen is more than successful, and the
    suggestive cinematography, with a wonderful soundtrack and a genuinely
    good story, make this movie more than recommended.

    7/10 is a democratic average between first and second half of the
    movie.

  • Paul AllaerJanuary 4, 2017Reply

    Riveting first half but movie loses luster in second half

    ”Lion” (2016 release from Australia; 118 min.) is ”based on a true
    story”, we are reminded at the beginning of the film, and brings the
    incredible story of Saroo. As the movie opens, we are in ”Khandwa,
    India, 1986”, and we see 5 yr. old Saroo and his older brother doing
    whatever they need to do to get by, hustling and bustling. During one
    of their outings, they get separated and Saroo mistakenly ends up on a
    train bound for Calcutta, 1000 mi. away. He desperately looks for his
    mom and his brother, to no avail (for one thing, the boy speaks Hindi
    and not Bengali), and eventually ends up being adopted by a couple in
    Tasmania, Australia… To tell you more of the story would spoil your
    viewing experience, you’ll just have to see for yourself how it all
    plays out.

    Couple of comments: this movie is the big screen adaptation of Saroo’s
    memoir ”A Long Way Home”, and is directed by Australian newcomer Garth
    Davis. The movie can be roughly divided into two parts: in the initial
    50 or so minutes, we follow the young Saroo as he gets separated from
    his family and eventually ends up in Calcutta. The second half of the
    movie brings us the grown-up Saroo, now fully integrated in Hobart,
    Tasmania in his adopted family. I personally LOVED the first half of
    the movie, which is truly heartbreaking as we follow young Saroo. There
    is little dialogue to speak of (remember, Saroo doesn’t speak or
    understand Bengali), and in a way this is the truest survivor story you
    will ever see. The young actor portraying 5 yr. old Saroo is nothing
    short of sensational. The photography is gorgeous throughout. Things
    are not nearly as interesting in the movie’s second half. Dev Patel
    (Slumdog Millionaire; Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) portrays the grown-up
    Saroo, and does so with pained passion. The same cannot be said of
    Rooney Mara’s performance. I love most of the stuff she does, but here
    she looks strangely aloof in the proceedings, like she wasn’t
    interested at all in this role (other than it being filmed on location
    in Tasmania). Nicole Kidman plays the adoptive mother. And am I the
    only one who was bothered with the way the movie becomes one long
    advert for Google Earth? On the plus side, there is an outstanding
    orchestral score, courtesy of Hauschka (!) and Dustin O’Halloran which
    I intend on seeking out (the movie also features a brand new Sia song
    ”Never Gives Up” which plays over the end credits). A few weeks ago I
    heard an interview on NPR with the real life Saroo, discussing the film
    (and unfortunately giving away the entire story including how it all
    ends). Despite that, I was eager to see the movie.

    ”Lion” opened at the Toronto International Film Festival to good
    critical acclaim, and it finally opened in theaters in late December.
    The New Year’s weekend matinée screening where I saw this at was
    attended quite nicely. I thought that the first half of the movie was
    nothing short of riveting, if heartbreaking, but the second half of the
    movie is too obvious and predictive too keep my attention all the way
    through. Still, this is an incredible story that is worth seeking out,
    be it in the theater, on Amazon Instant Video, or eventually on
    DVD/Blu-ray.

  • Nathaniel KleinJanuary 6, 2017Reply

    One Man’s Journey

    LION (2016)

    Garth Davis’s feature film directorial debut is an absolute wonder of a
    movie. LION chronicles the life of Saroo (Dev Patel), a young boy from
    rural India who gets separated from his family. The film explores
    Saroo’s journey from the streets of Calcutta to his adoption in
    Australia, and his journey as an adult to locate his lost home.

    LION is a beautifully told and masterful piece of cinema. The film is
    gripping from start to end with a handful of intense emotional moments
    that will dampen even the driest of eyes. The first act of the movie
    follows Saroo as a young boy and is almost 100% without a hint of
    English and it absolutely works. The viewer is fully immersed into
    Saroo’s world and you feel deeply his turmoil and strife. The film also
    has an incredible aesthetic appeal that starts with the opening shots
    and does not let up. The cinematography is gorgeous and the reoccurring
    piano theme fits the tone and feel of the movie perfectly.

    The acting was spot-on. Dev Patel was extremely convincing as was
    Rooney Mara with Nicole Kidman being the real standout. The Indian
    actors were lovely as well and held up fantastically against the more
    mainstream actors. But the movies main focus was Saroo and his physical
    and spiritual journey. His arc in the film was incredibly moving,
    especially in the 2nd and 3rd acts.

    I only have some minor issues with the film. I felt that Sunny Pawar,
    the actor who plays Saroo as a child, lacked a little bit and could
    have been more convincing, and I wish the film developed Saroo and his
    family’s relationship with Mantosh a little more. It felt a little
    forced and the payoff would have been much greater with just a little
    more development. But, the most frustrating thing for me were the title
    cards throughout the film. They were overused and cliché and took me
    out of the movie. There are ways to explain the passage of time and
    location without spelling it out for the audience.

    Other than those minor grievances, I thought the film was absolutely
    lovely and wholeheartedly recommend seeing LION in theaters. This has
    Oscar’s written all over it.

    Fav. Scene: The dinner scene towards the end of the film

    My Rating: 9/10

  • dellannalucianoJanuary 6, 2017Reply

    I do not wanna put any summery, because a movie has to be discover in front of big screen.

    A wonderful movie. I don’t know about others new movies, but this
    should win an Oscar🏆. Sometimes a movie is wonderful when it teaches
    you something important about life, like this movie did to me. Half of
    the movie is in Indian and this give a lot of credibility to the movie.
    The children and his brother act very well. These two thinks help me to
    understand something that with my life comforts were not easy for me to
    understand, we hear that we are lucky for living in America, French,
    German, Italy, Spain and other rich countries like these. We hear that
    there are people who are adopted and don’t know their true parents, we
    hear that there is a lot of poverty in the rest of the world, that
    there are people without a roof, children that work, adults who stole
    children, and many other bad news about this wonderful and ugly world
    that we have created. However, these reality seems far away for many of
    us. Thanks to this movie it easier easier to understand how life is
    hard and how the destiny could be cruel, but even all of this there is
    hope and love in this world. To conclude, I strongly suggest to watch
    this wonderful movie, because it can teach you something about life
    that many people think to know, but they don’t really understand. Have
    a sit and Good vision.

  • Ben_CapJanuary 8, 2017Reply

    Don’t Miss Out on One of the Best Movies of the Year!

    Lion is a movie that flew under my radar for most of 2016. It was not
    until it started getting some awards season buzz that I really ever
    started seeing it brought up around the internet and I was honestly a
    little skeptical. Being that I did not know much about it anyway, I
    decided to keep myself in the dark a bit other than looking at the
    short IMDb summary and looking up the director, who happens to be
    making his feature film debut, I did not know much going in. I was
    happy to find that Lion is definitely a movie that belongs on year end
    lists and may just pull off some upsets when the awards are handed out.

    Lion tells the story of Saroo Brierley who when the movie starts is a
    young boy in an incredibly impoverished small town in India. His mother
    works moving rocks, so they are basically the poorest people in the
    world. One night Saroo wakes up as his older brother Guddu is leaving
    to go to work. Saroo begs to be brought with Guddu, but ends up getting
    lost at a train station, and then accidentally falls asleep on a train
    that takes him far away from his hometown. The movie takes you through
    the frightening trip Saroo takes and into his adult years after being
    adopted by Australian parents. Saroo then tries desperately to track
    down his family and find his way back to his home.

    Director Garth Davis is a rookie to feature films, but he does not show
    any signs of being a rookie in Lion. Lion is a beautifully filmed
    movie, and Davis gets some incredible performances from not only child
    actors, but complete unknowns who do not even speak English. I cannot
    put into words how proud of these child actors I am. They captured
    something about childhood that is so far beyond normal acting ability,
    and this is also a real testament to Davis as well. The movie moves
    really well and comes up just short of 2 hours which is always
    appreciated. Lion is not an easy first movie to tackle, but Garth Davis
    has put up one of the most impressive efforts of the year.

    The rest of the performances are really good as well. Dev Patel has
    already proved himself to be a great actor and he brings his A game in
    Lion. Adopting a convincing Australian accent and the fact that he is
    really only in about half of the movie would make a lot of lesser
    actors turn the role down. He owned this role and while he probably
    will get passed up for awards this is a great addition to the
    filmography. Most of the rest of the characters are in decidedly
    supporting roles, but Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara both come pretty
    strong while not trying to take the movie over.

    Lion is also one of the better written movies of the year, while there
    are some times in the middle to latter points of the movie that lag, it
    is still a compelling journey and stands as the only movie of 2016 that
    got be to cry pretty openly, and more than once. Most of the movie is a
    bummer to be honest, but the good moments make up for that and those
    depressing moments make the happy ones that much better. I highly
    recommend Lion to any true movie fan. It is a fantastically made movie
    with heart and drama in it, but also some really great moments of
    boyhood that are genuine in any language. I don’t see Lion stealing
    many awards away from Manchester by the Sea or Moonlight, but it
    certainly deserves to be in the race, and if it did snag some awards I
    would not make much of an argument.

  • David Ferguson ([email protected])January 12, 2017Reply

    finding roots on google earth

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • gdozanghiJanuary 14, 2017Reply

    An intense and emotional story successfully made into a film

    Lion is a compelling and very emotional film.

    It is beautifully shot and well told. On a visual level, the
    photography wax great, capturing the beauty, but also the poverty which
    is characteristic of India. On what I would define as an ”intellectual”
    level, meaning story-line and screenplay, I would say that the writers
    did a good job in transposing a true and extraordinary tale into a
    strongly moving picture. The story is cleverly balanced between the
    youth and the adulthood of the protagonist. In addition to this the
    soundtrack was also very beautiful and well suited. A final note goes
    to the actors: the protagonist was egregiously portrayed both by Dev
    Patel and Sunny Pawar.

    In conclusion, I would definitely recommend viewing this film, as it is
    a an excellent piece of work which will definitely move the viewer and
    that raises awareness of the condition of children in India.

    Definitely worth a cinema ticket and will definitely buy it on DVD.

  • jadepietroJanuary 14, 2017Reply

    Little Boy Lost

    (RATING: ☆☆☆☆ out of 5)

    THIS FILM IS RECOMMENDED.

    IN BRIEF: An uplifting and riveting story, given even more credibility
    due to a strong performance by Dev Petal in the central role.

    GRADE: B

    SYNOPSIS: An adopted child searches for his biological mother.

    JIM’S REVIEW: Garth Davis makes an impressive directorial debut in
    Lion, the true story of a little boy lost. Through a series of
    unfortunate incidents, five year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar, giving a
    lovely performance) is forced to use his wiles and survival instincts
    as he is abandoned in the street jungle known as Calcutta, India. He
    perseveres and grows up to become the child of loving adoptive parents
    in Australia, all the while yearning to find his way home and the
    family he left behind.

    The story elicits an empathetic reaction from any moviegoer and Mr.
    Davis mostly resists the melodramatic hyperbola and concentrates on the
    more personal view of a man trying to come to terms with his past. The
    director tends to overuse cross-cuts of the past and present images to
    advance the narrative, but emotionally, it’s always embraces his
    audience as we journey along with this child’s plight.

    The screenplay by Luke Davies is based on Saroo’s own autobiography, A
    Long Way Home, and seems to stick to the facts rather well, although
    some of the minor supporting characters are in need of more depth.
    Except for Dev Patel as the older Saroo and Nicole Kidman as his
    adoptive mother, who are both superb, others play a more peripheral
    role. Especially underdeveloped is Saroo’s relationship with (Roma
    Downey). Also, some of the build-up of Saroo’s traumatic upbringing
    seems spotty, as if some scenes were missing or excised during the
    filmmaking which could have explained more clearly his sudden
    behavioral changes and mood swings.

    Yet the underlying story is still quite powerful and moving. Lion is a
    well made and thoroughly engrossing film that has enough impact to
    satisfy the most jaded of viewers.

  • artmania90January 16, 2017Reply

    One of the best of the year. A true tearjerker

    The holiday movie season continues to dazzle with LION, one of the most
    emotionally rendering movies I can remember. A story based on a real
    event that follows a lost boy reuniting with his mother, this is a film
    that exists purely on merit and a powerful combination of imagery and
    sound. It’s like a Hollywood movie that’s so unbelievable you can’t
    believe could happen. It’s magic.

    There are two distinct parts to the film, a front-half that follows our
    hero through the slums of western India. There is very little dialogue
    and the language we do hear is local dialect. Saroo (Dev Patel playing
    as the adult and the wonderful Sunny Pawar playing the child) lives in
    a small shack with his mother, brother, and younger sister. They work
    as laborers, lifting rocks and earning little to survive. At night
    Saroo volunteers to help his brother Guddu in earning more money. With
    little sleep and a crowded train station to navigate, Saroo is soon
    lost. The boy is stuck on a train for days, trapped with no idea where
    he is going or where his brother is. Once he manages to escape, he
    wanders the streets of Calcutta calling for his mom in a language that
    locals can’t even comprehend. His story moves slowly, tragically, and
    we follow this small child disappear amongst a mass of crowds and
    commuters.

    It’s a wonder he manages to escape, but fortune would find Saroo in an
    orphanage in the heart of the city. His story makes the local news, but
    with the memory of an 8 year old and little recollection of his town’s
    name (he doesn’t even know his mother’s real name), he is doomed to
    exist as a lost boy nearly 1,000 miles separated from his home. Fortune
    would find him adopted by two Australians (David Wenham and Nicole
    Kidman) who fly Saroo to Tasmania and raise him with love. They adopt
    another boy from the same orphanage a year later, and immediately we
    see the mental disturbances that could be inflicted on these innocent
    children. How Saroo managed to grow up so normal is a wonder in itself.

    The last half of the movie follows adult Saroo (Dev Patel in a showy
    role that is at times a bit too flat but never fails to impress) as he
    slowly realizes these memories of his childhood. He meets a girl
    (Rooney Mara) while attending college who encourages him to try and
    trace down his mother using Google Earth and the few visual cues he
    recalls. Simple math puts his search area within 1,500 kilometers of
    Calcutta. Painstakingly, he searches the grainly online images of train
    station after train station.

    Here is where the movie develops into a more complex story, where Sue
    (Nicole Kidman in a heartbreaking role) admits her wishes to adopt, and
    how she has no regrets about never having children of her own. There is
    a scene spoken almost entirely in whispers where Sue tells Saroo all
    that she believes and hopes for her son. Saroo, in turn, finds new
    insight into this woman and the beautiful sacrifices his parents made
    for him. Saroo keeps his search hidden from his parents, fearful of
    what they may think and worried that it will all amount to nothing. As
    unbelievable a story as this is, we can identify with these worries and
    what it means to have guardians in our lives.

    I will admit that this movie packs a punch, and the last 45 minutes are
    filled with incredibly-written scenes one after the other. Saroo on the
    verge of giving up hope stumbles onto a familiar sight: a water tower
    near the train station he first disappeared. We know it’s the same
    tower too, with winding stairs and a distinctive roof. He can retrace
    his steps down the rails, through the trees, and back to his village…
    Zooming in on a pixelated brown spot, at last he has found it: his
    home. This scene alone is so powerful with only the fuzzy Google
    images, a tight closeup on Patel’s eyes, and the music. The film score
    by Volker Bertelmann and Dustin O’Halloran deserves much praise through
    melancholy sounds created on the piano, unique themes and a perfect
    marriage to the story at hand.

    It shouldn’t be a spoiler to learn that Saroo an his mother reunite in
    one of the most beautiful scenes one can imagine, an embrace that is
    earned so fully that I doubt there was a single dry-eye in the packed
    theater I saw it. Stuck with no tissue I was caught with tears
    streaming down my face in a scene of pure electricity. I tremble with
    the memories of this moment, amazed by the story and more so by the
    accomplishments of these filmmakers to achieve something so wonderful
    and heartwarming. I wept at the end titles, which revealed more facts
    about this story including insight from Saroo’s birth mother who never
    moved from her town and never gave up hope of finding her son. We learn
    the meaning of the film’s title ”Lion,” which had me puzzled until the
    screen went black and then gave the film an entirely new meaning.

    On merits alone this movie is a masterpiece. There isn’t a dense plot
    with side stories and miscellaneous characters. This is a story of one
    boy who never gave up his search to find his mother. In a country of
    over 1 billion people, the odds were insurmountable. For this story to
    be told with so much craft should instantly put this on the top of your
    must-see movie list.

  • niyati-37613January 16, 2017Reply

    A must watch for anyone involved with adoption (and others too)

    As an adoptee myself, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants
    to understand adoption better. The movie beautifully reflects on all
    sides involved in adoption: the adoptee, the adoptive parents and the
    birth mother. And then there are the friends, lovers and others who are
    more on the sideline, witnessing their journey. I am almost inclined to
    recommend to watch this movie to anyone who overwhelms me with
    questions about my adoption. Watch this movie first and then come back
    🙂

    All adoptees are different with different stories, but the bottom line
    is the same for most of us. The message of this movie is one to
    remember, and I am happy this movie creates more awareness for adoption
    (cons and pros) overall.

    One last major compliment to the young 8-year old actor Sunny Pawar.
    Being in the first part of the movie, he had to do the job to create a
    bond between the viewer and the story. He succeeded flawlessly.

  • swillikyJanuary 17, 2017Reply

    A beautiful story of hope and family

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • billweinerJanuary 18, 2017Reply

    Best Movie This Year By Far!!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Robin StolkJanuary 18, 2017Reply

    Heartbreaking, magnificent, SuperB

    Normally I never comment or write on movies.. but for the first time I
    am definitely going to compliment, and thank for this incredible,
    touching, heartwarming movie. It is probably my favorite movie I have
    ever watched. It touched me in so many ways, it does not get over
    sentimental but it follows you.. and I keep on thinking about it how
    much I loved it.

    If you are not sure if you want to go… I bet you would love it. The
    superb acting from Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Sunny Pawar as little
    Saroo.. but also Nicole Kidman, it gave my goosebumps literally the
    whole movie.

    Thank you Garth Davis for this incredible nice journey through India
    and Saroo Brierley for sharing his story.

    Astonishing, with a capital A.

  • HellmantJanuary 18, 2017Reply

    Definitely one of the year’s best!

    ‘LION’: Five Stars (Out of Five)

    Another upcoming Academy Awards hopeful is this drama, directed by
    debut feature filmmaker Garth Davis. It tells the story of a 5-
    year-old Indian boy, that falls asleep on a train car and is taken 1600
    kilometers from where he lives. He is later adopted, by an Australian
    couple, and 25 years later he decides to track down his birth family,
    by using Google Earth. The film is based on the 2014 non-fiction book
    ‘A Long Way Home’ (by Saroo Brierley), and it was scripted by Luke
    Davies. It stars Dev Patel, Sunny Pawar, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman and
    David Wenham. The film has performed well at the Box Office, and with
    critics, and it’s also been nominated for multiple respected awards
    (and it’s also won some). I loved it.

    Saroo (Pawar) goes with his older brother, Guddu (Abhisek Bharate), to
    work at a train station one night. When Saroo is then too sleepy to
    help, he waits at a bench, for Guddu, while his brother goes to work.
    When Guddu doesn’t return though, Saroo goes looking for him. He then
    falls asleep on a train, while looking for his brother, and the train
    takes off with him sleeping inside it. It takes Saroo 1600 kilometers
    away, to Calcutta. Having no idea how to get back home, or how to tell
    anyone where he’s from, the boy is forced to live on the streets. He’s
    later put in an orphanage, and then adopted by an Australian couple
    (Kidman and Wenham). 25 years later, Saroo (now played by Patel)
    decides to track down his biological family, and finally return home.
    He uses Google Earth to help him do this, although at first it seems
    impossible.

    The movie is very involving, and quite fascinating; I was hooked on it
    from the very start. The characters are all lovable, and the
    performances are all topnotch (especially Patel and Kidman). It’s also
    a very emotionally moving film, and in some ways it’s quite inspiring.
    I look forward to seeing what Davis directs next; this movie is
    definitely one of the year’s best, and it deserves all of it’s awards
    recognition.

    Watch our movie review show ‘MOVIE TALK’ at:
    https://youtu.be/B4EI2AvkLgo

  • Zbigniew_KrycsiwikiJanuary 18, 2017Reply

    Extremely well acted

    Lately I’ve been avoiding the ”based on a true story” genre completely
    because I find it to be manipulative and exploitative, and lately there
    has been a spate of those titles (Deepwater Horizon, Sully, Hacksaw
    Ridge, Snowden, Patriots Day, etc. etc., ad nauseum) and some of them
    recount stories which are so recent that I remember when the true story
    happened, making it feel like I’m watching a rerun, but this, Lion, is
    one of the better of its kind.

    It effectively tells a story which I am unfamiliar with, and haven’t
    seen/ heard/ read dozens of stories about, and does so with great
    acting from all participants, especially first time actor Sunny Pawar,
    about a young man attempting to trace his roots, find his tiny village
    in India (which he was lost from a quarter century earlier) and find
    his family, with the help of Google Earth.

    The first half of the film shows him as a child (played exceptionally
    by Pawar, who relies on facial expressions, and movements, with little
    dialogue used) getting lost, and on an abandoned train travelling cross
    country, and, creepily, nearly getting caught up in child sex
    trafficking. The second half deals with him as an adult (played equally
    well by Dev Patel) in his search, and how wanting to find his past
    affects his present day life, and relationship with Rooney Mara (who
    also does very well in her role)

    Well acted, and beautifully photographed in India, and Australia, my
    only issue with this film is its slightly uneven, overlong two
    hour-long run time. I feel there was about fifteen minutes or so which
    could have been left out.

  • eddie_bagginsJanuary 19, 2017Reply

    A heart-warming true life tale, wonderfully bought to life in this film

    On the back of the Australian led Hacksaw Ridge, locally tinged Lion
    represents another fine feature film of equal emotional resonance to
    Mel Gibson’s standout World War 2 film which will likely see the two
    products competing alongside each other at next month’s Academy Awards
    ceremony.

    Lion, which see’s first time feature director Garth Davis (a wise
    choice after his work on many of the episodes of the fantastic TV
    series Top of the Lake) tackle the true story of Saroo Brierley, an
    Indian man that was adopted at a young age by a loving Australian
    family after being tragically separated by his family back home, is a
    film that feels ripe to be a cliché by the numbers finding my family
    bio that is instead a heart-warming tale filmed with a stunning visual
    palette and grace and filled with award worthy performances from its
    cast of seasoned professionals and newcomers alike.

    Davis tells Saroo’s story in halves with Lion’s first act bringing us
    into the harsh, unforgiving, yet often beautiful surrounds of India as
    Saroo (played wonderfully by newcomer Sunny Pawar, who could just be
    the films acting MVP) finds himself thousands of kilometres from home
    and thrown into a dangerous procession of events, then switching the
    action to an older Saroo (now played by the ever impressive Dev Patel,
    mastering an Australian accent like many others could only dream of)
    now at home with his adoptive parents in Hobart but ever wondering
    about his blood family back home.

    It’s always a danger with these type of narrative set ups, that one
    section will trump the other but Davis keeps everything in Lion in
    check and each component of the film fits perfectly in with each other.
    Saroo remains a constant and likable presence throughout as both a
    young boy and an adult coming to grips with what has happened to him
    and his families and with solid supports from the likes of Rooney Mara,
    Nicole Kidman and the king of great supporting turns David Wenham, Lion
    packs a carefully developed emotional wallop that in the wrong hands
    could’ve come out as manipulative and twee but instead comes forward as
    true and full of heart, just like the story it is telling.

    One of the awards seasons most likable and crowd pleasing experiences,
    Lion is a heart-warming true life tale that is delicately handled by
    its crew behind camera and masterfully acted out by those in front of
    it. Filled with touching moments, Lion is a film that will resonate
    with all from young and old and Lion is another shining example of the
    films that can be produced here on our fair shores.

    4 ½ jalebi’s out of 5

  • sol-January 20, 2017Reply

    Vast Landscapes

    Essentially a film in two parts, the first hour of ‘Lion’ covers the
    struggles of a young Indian boy who gets separated from his family in
    the 1980s, while the second half deals with the boy now grown up,
    living with an adoptive family in Australia and keen to track his birth
    mother and actual family down. With a significant chunk of time omitted
    in between these time periods, ‘Lion’ never quite feels cohesive,
    however, both time periods are encapsulating and the film therefore
    manages to tell two compelling tales within the one film. With large,
    expressive eyes, first time actor Sunny Pawar as excellent as the
    protagonist as a boy who finds himself weary and unable to trust anyone
    after the separation from his family, and eerily enough, none of the
    authority figures he meets have even heard of his hometown. Equally as
    good is Dev Patel as the boy grown up who, after learning about Google
    Earth, becomes ‘A Beautiful Mind’-like obsessed with tracking down his
    Indian family, quitting his job, walls covered in maps and pins, etc.
    This section of the film may have benefited from a greater depiction of
    the toll his quest has on his health (physical and mental) and
    livelihood, driven nearly over the brink by his unwillingness to tell
    his foster parents of his search, lest they be offended – however it is
    all interesting to watch all the same. Nicole Kidman is also solid in a
    small but pivotal role as his foster mother and the aerial photography
    throughout appropriately captures the vastness of not only India but
    Australia, emphasising just how significant an achievement his search
    is.

  • nathannicolarobertscoukJanuary 20, 2017Reply

    Lion’s warm and inspirational true story doesn’t translate perfectly to film

    Lion’s warm and inspirational true story cannot be faulted or labelled
    as anything less than powerful or moving, yet the film doesn’t always
    manage to capture this essence in its purest form and somehow loses
    twenty years of the story along the way, leaving the rest of the
    narrative a little thin on the ground and thus disengaging. It
    absolutely has its moments of real greatness, with a really solid start
    that renders a young Saroo’s journey as a profound one – but the second
    half begins to undo that with too many coincidences and
    conventionalities that prevents the story’s translations on to the big
    screen from being a wholly successful and effective one. It’s a real
    shame that it cannot maintain the goodwill of its first half, as the
    general cast do a really tremendous job of making us feel sympathetic
    towards the characters they bring to life and the hard work put in by
    the writers and director is unquestionable. A few errors in this piece
    really has prevented it from ascending to greatness or award season
    worthiness, but I am absolutely sure there will be many more out there
    who are more impacted by this piece of filmmaking than I was.

    FULL REVIEW –
    http://perksofbeingnath.blogspot.com/2017/01/lion-2017-review.html

  • tigerfish50January 20, 2017Reply

    A Prodigal Lost in a Labyrinth

    Apparently 80,000 children go missing in India each year – ‘Lion’ is
    the story of one of these lost multitudes called Saroo. One evening,
    this 6YO boy accompanies his older brother who is searching for work in
    a nearby town. Left alone at a deserted railway station, he wanders
    into a stationary carriage to sleep, and awakens to find himself locked
    inside an empty moving train. One thousand miles later, he disembarks
    in Calcutta, and quickly loses himself among the teeming masses. For a
    while Saroo exists on the streets of this vast megalopolis, ignorant of
    his own full name and that of his home town. He survives human
    predators and other misadventures, before he’s taken in by a sinister
    orphanage. Eventually he’s sent for adoption to Australia, and many
    years later begins the search for his original family.

    Producers are well aware what kind of ‘real’ stories appeal to mass
    audiences, and like so many other biopics, ‘Lion’ is hemmed in by
    facts. The narrative arc is so predictable that the entire story can be
    easily deduced from the trailer. The film is rescued to some extent by
    excellent acting, but nobody should expect any element of surprise or
    suspense. The script milks the material for maximum emotional impact,
    aiming for a warm glow which encourages the viewer to forget about the
    fate of the other 79,999 lost souls.

  • brankovranjkovicJanuary 21, 2017Reply

    Grown Lions Will Cry

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • manders_steveJanuary 21, 2017Reply

    Google Earth is an unlikely saviour to wonderful characters

    This film tells a convincingly true story of how a five year old Indian
    boy, adopted to Tasmanian parents, found his original village and birth
    mother some twenty five years later, via Google Earth. (Tasmania is the
    picturesque mountainous south eastern island state of Australia, which
    commonly gets left off maps of our country).

    Dev Patel as the older Saroo shines again and Sunny Pawar as the five
    year old Saroo is just wonderful.

    Yet another piece of evidence that fact can be stranger than fiction, I
    found this film intensely engaging once the initial set up was
    completed. The initial third of the film did seem slow, but the later
    structure of the story justifies this.

    The landscape and city photography and locations chosen in India,
    Hobart, country Tasmania and Melbourne are wonderfully evocative of
    these places – well they are of the Australian ones, and the Indian
    ones seem just as good.

    Nicole Kidman as the adoptive mother is a standout, and David Wenham
    makes the most of minor opportunities. Rooney Mara feels at home as the
    older Saroo’s girlfriend. Australian audiences might recognise Todd
    Sampson in a brief but convincing role as a vocational training school
    principal.

    The strength of the movie is in the characters, and the parts of their
    lives the story tells. The concluding photos of the people on whose
    story the film was based provides evidence of the veracity of the
    factual base of the story, and the effort the producers have made to
    present an accurate portrayal.

    If you like films that are based on characters, their lives, how they
    unfold and locations, this may well be a standout.

  • Tim MeadeJanuary 22, 2017Reply

    Not for the Cynical

    Lion is the story is of a very young Indian street boy (Saroo)
    separated from his mother and brother and falling into destitution
    after an involuntary train journey of 1600km takes him to the Bengal
    area of India where a different language is spoken. His life turns
    around when he’s adopted by a loving and wealthy Tasmanian couple
    (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham) and flown to a new life in Australia.

    The film skips 20 years and we find Saroo, now played by Dev Patel, a
    happy and well-educated young man on the brink of a promising adult
    life. But a minor incident causes a flashback and he becomes obsessed
    with finding his original family to the detriment of his career and
    Australian relationships.

    The direction is solid and acting good – Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel
    particularly; the story rarely falters.

    Most films are manipulative to some degree, and Director Garth Davis
    occasionally lays it on a bit thick. But when you leave the theatre and
    find you’re in a majority of the audience with swollen red eyes, who
    cares?

  • ross-547-585754January 23, 2017Reply

    Beautiful Film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • george.schmidt ([email protected])January 23, 2017Reply

    A Sort of Homecoming – Poignantly beautiful; heartbreakingly uplifting – one of the year’s best.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Vasco CidJanuary 23, 2017Reply

    Intelligent, sensible and uplifting

    Slow, thoughtful and intelligent, Lion expertly and refreshingly avoids
    the typical clichés of the based-on-a-true-story-for-awards-season
    formula.

    The narrative, aptly split into two disparate narrative and linguistic
    halves, follows the real life events of Saroo, a young Indian boy who
    is lost on a train heading to Calcutta, wandering lost and alone for
    two months until he was brought to an orphanage and eventually adopted
    by an Australian family and relocated to Tasmania. Growing up
    forgetting is own mother tongue but never his family, his search for
    the exact whereabouts of his hometown and family, increasingly take a
    toll on his priorities.

    Garth Davis and Greg Fraser expertly capture the essence of loss and
    despair as well as familiarity and passion, in both Indian and
    Australian contexts, accentuating their intrinsic contrasting
    characteristics, while maintaining the characters’ guiding thread.
    Films like Lion are hard to come by; the true story at the base is
    equally as important to the narrative as the way it is told: prudently
    and gratifyingly, supported by a minor yet powerhouse by Kidman.

  • padaJanuary 24, 2017Reply

    10/10 And the Oscar for best film goes to ……

    GO SEE IT .Films just do not get any better than this . Truly
    exceptional . Everything you could want in a film , No lions were hurt
    during the making of this film but make sure you take a box of tissues.
    Where do I start ? The story is heartwarming and will have you crying ,
    smiling and cheering . The acting was superb , Dev Patel is superb as
    the mature Saroo and Sunny Pawar was magical as Young Sarro.

    Although it would be wrong to compare this to Slumdog Millionaire ,it
    has all the hallmarks that made that film enjoyable to watch and has
    all the hallmarks that make it deserve to win the Oscar for best film ,
    if Lalaland wins it’ll be a travesty .

    The Weinstein company have the Midas touch , and this is a worthy
    addition to their incredible success in backing winning films . How
    they made this film for only $12m is a miracle especially with a major
    star Nicole Kidman in a supporting role. David Wenham and both actors
    playing Mantosh deserve credit .

    The cinematography was amazing and will make you want to visit India
    and Tasmania .

    10/10 need I say more ?

  • Ada MoroianuJanuary 24, 2017Reply

    Saroo’s destiny changes from lost to adopted by a well-to-do family from Tasmania. A Proustian moment makes the adult Saroo start an arduous quest for his roots.

    A little boy who bears a striking resemblance to Chaplin’s kid in ”The
    Kid”. A tear-jerking story bordering on melodrama, but inspired
    directly from reality. A Tasmanian couple who altruistically decide
    there are enough people on the face of the Earth, so instead of having
    their own decide to adopt children already in existence. Beautiful
    cinematography. A soundtrack that accompanies the action impeccably.
    Excellent acting skills. We had no idea of all these when we decided to
    go and watch ”Lion”. We only wanted to watch a film and it seemed the
    best option at the moment. We enjoyed it tremendously, mainly due to
    the fact that it is depicting a real life story-otherwise it would be
    melodramatic. Plus all the reasons stated above. We got home- it is
    January 24- and were stunned to realize this film had just been
    nominated to six Oscars! Apart from having our choice so majestically
    justified by the Academy, the film offered us truthful images of rural
    India, bustling Calcutta and a glimpse of Tasmanian shores. In spite of
    its length of almost two hours, ”The Lion” has you stuck in your seat
    because it is a story well told , flowing coherently, although the
    flashbacks are numerous. The tension of the quest is constantly
    mounting towards the denouement-no spoiler here, since the story is
    well-known already from the book.The final footage of the real moments
    of re- connecting was unfortunately lost to many from the public, who
    were already on their way out of the cinema hall. Too bad for them. At
    least there were no people left to see me with teary eyes…Long live
    Google Earth!

  • davidgeeJanuary 25, 2017Reply

    Schmaltz overkill

    As so often these days, the trailer for LION gives too much of the
    story away, including the ending, which robs it of any chance to
    surprise us. What did surprise me was how involving the story was.
    Sunny Pawar who plays the 5-year-old Paroo, marooned in Calcutta 1500
    miles from his home village, is the most appealing and compelling child
    star since Joel Haley Osment. Both in India and in the early scenes in
    Australia after he is adopted by Nicole Kidman and her husband, he is
    gut-wrenchingly convincing as a lost little boy. Not just likable, this
    kid is utterly lovable.

    Dev Patel is someone we already like thanks to the MARIGOLD HOTEL
    movies, and here as the 30-year-old Saroo he comes pretty close to
    being lovable as well. Ms Kidman delivers one of her best-ever
    performances as the Aussie mum with a heart of gold. The script
    slightly loses its edge and some pace as Saroo wrestles with his
    memories and with Google Earth before embarking on the trip to be
    reunited with his lost family. His brother in Tasmania, another adopted
    Indian but with behavioural issues, gets forgotten in the final scenes
    – a careless oversight in a movie about abandoned siblings.

    The postscript, offering us glimpses of the real Paroo and his two
    mothers, comes close to schmaltz overkill but this is a picture that
    sets out to warm the cockles of our cold cynical hearts – and warm them
    it does (if your cockles aren’t warmed you might want to think about a
    transplant).

  • Troy_CampbellJanuary 25, 2017Reply

    A riveting drama that steers clear of biopic clichés.

    This Australia-India co-production has been a heavyweight in the awards
    season, having picked up multiple Golden Globe and Oscar nominations,
    and it’s not hard to see why. Based on an incredible true story, Lion
    opens with the harrowing journey of 5-year-old Indian boy Saroo
    Brierley, who is separated from his family after being trapped on a
    cargo train that terminates in Calcutta, some 1600km away from his
    hometown in Khandwa. Anchored by an outstanding turn from newcomer
    Sunny Pawar, the first half is a devastating look at how easily
    children can become lost in the over-populated India, and how the
    terror is amplified when so few people—even those charged to protect
    citizens—seem to care. It’s a relief to Saroo then, albeit tentatively
    and sceptically at first, that he’s saved from his prison-esque
    orphanage by a sweet Tasmanian couple who, through genuine love and
    care, wish to provide him a fruitful childhood he otherwise would have
    missed. When we meet adult Saroo (Dev Patel) two decades later he is
    about to head off to university in Melbourne, blessed with a wonderful
    upbringing, a loving family and bright future ahead. Yet there’s
    something nagging him, an underlying issue of identity and loss that is
    bubbling away underneath the surface. Saroo’s search for home could
    have bogged down the second half in cliché and melodrama, but Patel’s
    performance is so full of complexity and charisma that it grounds the
    unbelievable sequence of events in heartfelt realism. Despite sharing a
    cute chemistry together, Saroo’s complicated romance with American
    exchange student Lucy (Rooney Mara) feels like an unnecessary subplot,
    but his unique relationship with adoptive mother Sue (a terrific Nicole
    Kidman) is captivating. Refining his trade on the haunting mini-series
    Top of the Lake, Aussie director Garth Davis’ leap into feature films
    is a successful one; Lion is a riveting drama worthy of all the awards
    attention it has received.

  • jenninessJanuary 25, 2017Reply

    Sunny Pawar is the true star of this movie. Spoilers.

    I am slightly annoyed here. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this movie to
    the core. I am very happy that Garth Davis, Creig Fraser and Luke
    Davies recognized the importance of this story being told. It got me
    running back home to start donating to Magic Bus & Childline India,
    which by the way, the LIONMOVIE.COM promotion site does NOT facilitate
    the actual links to the aforementioned organizations (why? are you
    really helping then?!).

    I cried throughout the movie, from the moment little Saroo and his
    beloved brother Guddhu were introduced. You could feel the chemistry
    between these two actors, solidifying the wonderful bond of the
    brothers.

    What made this movie great, is the first half of the movie. It’s the
    moment Sunny Pawar stepped into the train and you know his life will
    never be the same. It’s when he hopefully starts to look for Guddhu, to
    find out that his brother is nowhere to be found. What follows is a
    horrifying journey, where we can see through the eyes of this (luckily)
    street smart kid, who managed to outsmart the dangers and horrors of
    his life as orphaned child. The emotional punch is delivered here and
    echoed throughout the movie.

    I respect Dev Patel, but his delivery was flat, bored and blasé. Did he
    really wanted to be in the movie? I miss the emotional burden the real
    Saroo Brierley carried in the six years he was trying to find back his
    family home. All Dev delivered was a flat, one- dimensional, tired
    spoiled brat with messy hair and a beard. Is that how you convey an
    emotional burden that has haunted you your whole life?

    I do think Nicole Kidman and David Wenham (the Tasmanian parents)
    delivered a wonderful performance – so gentle, so loving. After this
    horrendous turmoil in Calcutta all I needed (excuse, Saroo) was a warm
    blanket to spoil me and to never let me go.

    Rooney Mara. Why? Beautiful actress, the supporting girlfriend, all
    good, but was it necessary to have her in the movie?

    So, in my opinion, things got mixed up here. While I cheer that Dev
    Patel endorses this movie, I really feel that Sunny Pawar and Abhishek
    Bharate are the true heroes of the story. It’s their bond captures you,
    leading you to follow Dev’s grown up finding-back- home-journey.

    It’s only fair that they are credited equally on the movie posters. Not
    only the big known names. Don’t mess up your good intentions,
    producers!

  • s-hicksJanuary 25, 2017Reply

    Thoughtful and thought provoking

    This film presents the dilemma of the adopted child. Did my parents not
    want me? Did they search for me? Will I upset my adoptive parents if I
    seek my birth parents? But it also presents more. The grinding poverty
    in India and the plight of lost children. Why they are lost does not
    matter – they fall prey to abusers and the system itself creaks and
    strains to cope.

    Of course, these issues will pull on the emotions, but the film never
    presents situations simply to give an emotion rush. The situations it
    portrays are real and with is today. They deserve to evoke an emotional
    response.

    The acting is top notch – the writing of the characters and the
    performances are engaging.

  • dsharp-4January 26, 2017Reply

    Outstanding – this is what movies are for

    There’s been a lot of hype for this movie and Lion lived up to the hype
    for me – in fact exceeded my expectations.

    Beautifully filmed and acted, with a moving true story that is simply
    incredible.

    It’s a movie for all ages, well, at least kids 10 and over. This film
    deserves to scoop awards in many categories, not the least of which is
    Nicole Kidman’s acting which was so real and captured the period
    precisely.

    This film touches all emotions, is masterfully put together, and is
    highly recommended. I look forward to watching it again.

  • wnnzJanuary 26, 2017Reply

    Worth the time.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • bob-the-movie-manJanuary 26, 2017Reply

    Lost in Train-station.

    India’s vibrant and teeming tapestry of life is a natural gift for
    film- makers, without a word needing to be spoken, and director Garth
    Davis – in an impressive feature film debut – utilizes that backdrop to
    the max.

    In a true life story, five-year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar, in an
    astonishingly adept child performance) is accidentally separated from
    his family in the Madhya Pradesh region of Western India and goes on a
    journey by train of hundreds of miles to Calcutta: a city full of
    people who don’t even speak his language.

    Lost, alone and facing the perils of a street child in a dangerous
    city, Saroo is eventually adopted by a kindly Australian couple (played
    by Nicole Kidman (”Before I Go To Sleep”) and David Wenham (Faramir in
    ”The Lord of the Rings”)).

    Growing up in a comfortable, loving, but not – ultimately – idyllic
    home environment, Saroo (now Dev Patel, ”The Best Exotic Marigold
    Hotel”) grows up and in his late teens goes to Melbourne University to
    study Hotel Management (Dev Patel? Hotel Management? What were the
    odds?!). While there, memories of the past resurface and an obsessive
    need to trace his Indian origins takes hold, disrupting both his career
    plans and his relationship with the love of his life Lucy (Rooney Mara,
    ”Carol”). But with a remembered home-town name that doesn’t exist, only
    hazy memories of the train station he departed from, and thousands and
    thousands of train stations across India, how could he ever succeed?

    India is enormously photogenic and cinematographer Greig Fraser (”Rogue
    One”, ”Foxcatcher”) takes the maximum advantage of that with some
    memorable and dramatic landscapes: work that has been Oscar nominated.
    Also Oscar nominated and contributing strongly to the look and feel of
    the film is a well-judged and effectively used piano score by Volker
    Bertelmann and Dustin O’Halloran.

    In the acting stakes, Dev Patel gives his best ever performance and his
    Oscar nomination – curiously for Best Supporting actor since, I
    presume, Sunny Pawar has the most screen time – is very well deserved.
    A moving performance, particularly at the tearful end of the movie, for
    which a box of tissues is recommended.

    Nicole Kidman, not an actress I have ever hugely warmed to, is
    excellent here as the fragile adoptive mother, despite having to sport
    a crazy red curly wig. Another Oscar nomination.

    Also worthy of note is young Abhishek Bharate as Saroo’s brother Guddu:
    the touching chemistry between the thieving young rascals at the start
    of the movie grounds the whole family relationship that’s sets up the
    emotional heart of the subsequent quest.

    Luke Davies’ adapted screenplay is also Oscar nominated, although
    perhaps not as deserving to win as some of the other nominees. I would
    (naively perhaps) assume that adapting a screenplay from a true-life
    story must be an easier task, since the facts have to speak for
    themselves. But besides that, while the first half of the film, with
    the scenes in India, is exceptionally good, the Australian section
    became a more patchy with the motivations of Saroo’s actions and the
    impact they have on his adoptive family not feeling completely fleshed
    out.

    While I’m sure being a street urchin in Calcutta in the mid-80’s was a
    horribly difficult and perilous existence, the screenplay paints the
    sense that that almost EVERY male in the city is either a paedophile or
    hopelessly corrupt: something that if I was a Calcutta resident I would
    likely take offence to.

    However, this is a hugely involving and enjoyable movie, and a ”Best
    Film” rounds off the impressive haul of six Oscar nominations. You
    might be cynical and view the subject matter as being comfortable
    Oscar-bait… but you can hardly argue about the absolute quality of
    the film-making on show here.

    By the way, if you are curious as to where the title of the film comes
    from, you need to wait until the end titles: a masterly touch that I
    really liked!

    The end titles also lay out the fact that the perils of street kids in
    India is still real and present, and the film is supporting charitable
    work to help. If you were moved by the film (as I was) you can make a
    donation at http://lionmovie.com (as I did)!

    Highly recommended.

    (For the graphical version of this review please visit bob-the-movie-
    man.com or search for One Mann’s Movies on Facebook. Thanks)

  • 2karl-January 28, 2017Reply

    getting lost from a family is traumatic experience and a challenge is finding them again is a mammoth needle in a haystack t

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Prismark10January 28, 2017Reply

    The lost child

    Lion is a film of two halves. It starts with the story of 5 year old
    Saroo in India who with his older brother Guddu tries to make ends meet
    for his mother by stealing coal from train trucks.

    One day Saroo pesters his brother to take him to work some distance
    from their home but Saroo gets tired and falls asleep on a train and
    ends up in Calcutta, hundreds of miles away from his village. Unable to
    speak Bengali, unsure of where he is from, his mother’s name, he
    survives with other street children and fend of sexual predators. Saroo
    is then placed in an orphanage before he is adopted by a well to do
    Australian couple.

    In Australia the now grown up Saroo (Dev Patel) haunted by visions of
    his brother and mother searching for him starts to search for his
    family, home and identity. The search becomes an obsession, he gives up
    his job, becomes distant from his adopted parents as he goes through
    Google Earth looking for clues based on vague childhood memories.

    Director Garth Davis made the underwhelming television series Top of
    the Lake in 2013. Here he has a surer touch, maybe because he has a
    better and more coherent screenplay.

    The second half of the film is not as strong or powerful as the first
    half, even clunky in places. Saroo’s other adopted brother has
    emotional problems, it his hinted in the film that some of the kids in
    the orphanage might had been sexually abused but we never find out why
    Saroo’s adopted brother is the way he is.

    However the film is well paced and we see the contrast from the
    tumultuous scenes in India to the more tranquil scenes in Tasmania.

  • davidneateJanuary 28, 2017Reply

    Go and see it!

    We went to see ”Lion” with only a hazy idea of what it was about. I
    won’t divulge the plot (does a biopic have a plot?). You know this one
    is true to life as Saroo Brierley (main character) wrote the book on
    which it’s based,and was involved in production. A heart-warming,sad,
    joyful and thought-provoking film, with a capable cast, especially the
    boy who plays the young Saroo. The settings, 1980s through to 2000s
    India and Tasmania, are evocative in their contrasting beauty. No
    gratuitous violence, explosions, or in- your-face profanity – if that’s
    your idea of good cinema, ”Lion” will move very slowly for you. But if
    you like a movie that invites you to think – issues as diverse as
    trans- national adoption, child labour, cultural identity and finding
    one’s roots – then you’ll find ”Lion” richly rewarding. Go, see it!!!

  • Red_IdentityJanuary 28, 2017Reply

    Very straightforward, but heartwarming

    It’s not a surprise at all that a story like this was made into a novel
    and then a film. It’s the kind of thing audiences eat up. For that
    reason, the film follows a very predictable path that ends exactly
    where you expect. On one hand, it’s hard to deviate too much because it
    is based on a true story. However, I still believe that the screenplay
    and director could have added so much more to make this a truly great
    film. As it is, it’s still a very good one. A flawed one, but one that
    manages to effectively convey what it wants to. The acting is really
    good and I am really happy that Dev Patel got so many award nominations
    for this.

  • HerbieStretchJanuary 28, 2017Reply

    Soulful tearjerker

    Good, understated acting in a gripping human interest story against a
    backdrop of modern day real world grit which should shame and anger us
    all. I was actually moved to tears, after initially fearing that the
    film would be a weak and slushy, sentimental drama so typical of the
    genre. Sure, there are moments when the viewer’s emotions are
    manipulated – as in every film – but who wouldn’t be moved by these
    events? Sensitively handled, the story is so well told that we are with
    Sheroo all the way and left wanting to know more about the real story
    and characters. This happened so recently. More films like this,
    please.

  • harish kumarJanuary 28, 2017Reply

    How to triple your money? By watching this film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • zanecoker15January 29, 2017Reply

    A Sentimental & Harrowing Journey

    LION is the story of a boy, Saroo, who goes missing for 25 years from
    his Indian home.

    This film plays on the emotions of loneliness, sadness, regret, and
    acceptance to convey the journey that Saroo is experiencing. It may
    teeter on the edge of over-doing it with it’s grand and sweeping score
    and crying followed by hugs, yet it ends up being quite justified,
    considering this is an extraordinary true story.

    The acting in the film is very well executed. Nicole Kidman shines as
    the loving and confused mother of Saroo and his brother, Mantosh.
    Kidman smiles through the pain of the absence of Mantosh, and sometimes
    Saroo, as well. Sunny Pawar holds his own very strongly for the first
    hour of LION. He’s fun-loving and charismatic, and also distraught,
    closed off, and alone. Pawar is virtually the only character for a good
    part of this film, up until Kidman comes into play, and he is
    phenomenal. Dev Patel is able to to portray the still-lingering
    feelings of loss and abandonment while trying to stay true to his
    adoptive family. Patel wrestles these emotions and emotes frustration
    off of the scree. Finally, Rooney Mara’s character. I am a firm and
    unmoving Rooney Mara supporter; I believe she is a fantastic and
    understated actress who knows how to pick a film to star in (exlcuding
    PAN). There’s no doubt that she is great in LION and that she does all
    the she can with what she has here; the problem is that there’s not a
    lot there. Mara’s character barely progresses the story along and is
    only there to add frustration and support to Dev Patel’s character. I
    understand she was an important figure in Saroo’s life so the film
    can’t just completely exclude her, yet it almost brushes her aside,
    just like the adoptive father character. It’s a shame to see Rooney’s
    full talent go unused.

    Overall, this is crowd-pleasing, emotional, and investing film that
    uses all of it’s emotion button-pushing with just the right amount.
    Paired with beautiful cinematography, a riveting score, powerful
    performances, and an ending that will stay with you; LION proves to be
    one of the better films of 2016.

  • Jackson Booth-MillardJanuary 29, 2017Reply

    Lion

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • meeza ([email protected])January 29, 2017Reply

    Not a Lion King of a picture but close…

    There has been a vast amount of roar about the touching drama ”Lion”,
    and now I know why it roared with critics. ”Lion” features the true
    story of Saroo Brierly, a five-year old Indian boy who gets lost in the
    streets of an Indian city very far from home. Via events that followed,
    Saroo gets adopted by an Australian couple John and Sue Brierly. Twenty
    years later, Saroo decides to come down to Google Earth to help locate
    his original mother and brother in India. Director Garth Davis provides
    an authentic emotional landscape that viably transports you into
    Saroo’s incredible story. Luke Davies’ screenplay also feeds the ”Lion”
    with a genuine verbal touch. Dev Patel was no thespian slumdog with his
    credible performance as the adult Saroo; Sunny Pawar also provided a
    little sunshine with his loving performance as the child Saroo. Nicole
    Kidman’s work as Sue Brierly was solid, but not of Oscar caliber; but
    who am I to believe, I’m just a corny pun kidman. Rooney Mara did not
    add anything relevant to the picture as Saroo’s girlfriend Lucy; so
    yea, I did not Love the Lucy character here. Nevertheless, I am not
    lying when I say to feed this cinematic ”Lion”. **** Good

  • anzacprincessJanuary 29, 2017Reply

    Non stop tear jerker

    I have watched many movies and read many amazing stories of people who
    have battled and overcome personal situations in their lives, many of
    these stories i have been touched by them being told, but this story
    was so beautifully told, from the moment the movie started it took me
    through the eyes of this child how he lived and walked through life,
    the struggles he had to overcome to survive which shows how much we
    take for granted. I felt, as i watched it there was so much realism in
    it with out any Hollywood b.s. to boost the story, it felt raw, real
    and equally beautiful and sad at the same time. What an amazing journey
    this young man has travelled. God bless to him and his family.

  • Adrian CallanJanuary 29, 2017Reply

    Outstanding

    Every once in a while a film comes along which stands out from the
    pack. A film where all of the elements come together to create a visual
    storytelling work of art. It doesn’t happen often, perhaps once a year
    if we are lucky. And it nearly always happens with true stories like
    this one.

    The cinematography is beautiful, and whilst the locations perhaps made
    this easy. Add a musical score that is one of the best I have heard in
    years, and you are still only halfway to making a masterpiece. The cast
    and direction complete the recipe. With brilliant performances from all
    involved.

    If there is one film you see this year it should be this one. It is an
    emotional journey with moments of sadness and anger, mixed in with joy
    and relief. A good movie makes you feel something, this one makes you
    feel everything.

  • thesar-2January 29, 2017Reply

    The Boy on the Train

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Pam Ho (vrajabhumi)January 29, 2017Reply

    A great movie wanting to come out of the editing room didn’t make it.

    The first part of Lion I would give a 9, unfortunately the second part
    is in the minus numbers, dragging this whole affair into a frustrating
    thing where you see greatness just out of reach because it appears the
    studio wanted a shorter movie. That could be wrong about the studio
    being the cause, but the problem is there anyways. The second part of
    the movie where we meet up with the big award hype around Dev Patel and
    Nicole Kidman’s parts in the movie is equal parts confusing and overly
    melodramatic. The melodrama is caused by the audience not being given
    enough to understand why they are acting the way they do, and the
    confusion is caused by the same. It jumps all over the place without
    allowing enough to fill in their stories. How can you follow a story
    when big chunks of the motivation are were left on the cutting room
    floor? I imagine there is going to be a directors cut that will flesh
    out the second part of the movie and make that part watchable, because
    as it stands it is not. The first part is really well done in every
    way, but maybe it also could have been a bit longer in certain parts
    because there was just so much great drama there. So it is hard to
    understand the acting accolades for Dev Patel when most of his scenes
    have him acting in ways that left me feeling like I was only hearing
    one side of a phone conversation because his emotional tone was all
    over the place, his concerns were all over the place, the drama was all
    over the place – and we are not given much to know the details on why?
    That was less so for Nicole Kidman, but her part also left a lot to be
    desired.

  • bankofmarquisJanuary 29, 2017Reply

    Strong First Half, Weaker Second Half

    You will be tempted, when thinking about whether or not to see the
    Oscar nominated film, LION, to recall back to another Oscar nominated
    film set primarily in India – SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.  Don’t do it.  This
    film does not hold a candle to SLUMDOG.

    That doesn’t make this a bad film.

    LION tells the story of Saroo, who, as a child, is separated from his
    family and becomes a homeless child on the streets of Calcutta.
     Eventually, he is adopted by a couple in Australia.  25 years later,
    he is haunted by his past and sets out to find his hometown, and his
    birth family.

    Sounds like a heartwarming tale that will fill you with love and tears
    in the end, doesn’t it?  If only that were the case.  This film spends
    A lot of time watching our hero search the Internet (perhaps the
    appearance of a search bar in the films poster should have been a
    giveaway).  To be fair, this is a truthful way of showing how this
    ”based on a true story” film played out in real life.  The only problem
    is that this is not very compelling for a film audience and this bogs
    down the film at the crucial 2/3 part of the film, thus washing away
    most of the good performances, good filmmaking and good will that this
    film had built up 

    But the build up is quite good.

    I usually start with the performances, but I think this film needs to
    start with the atmosphere, setting and mood.  Director Garth Davis is
    known primarily as an Artist and Designer and it shows.  The mood that
    is reflected in the pictures that he shows on the screen are strong
    (especially at the beginning), his use of music to reflect what is
    occurring is an aide to the story he wants to tell and the colors he
    employs help to bring forth the story.  This is both a blessing and a
    curse, for there are stretches of just ”mood” and, after awhile, it
    bogged the story down.

    As for the acting, Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman both, rightfully,
    achieved Supporting nominations for their work here.  Patel  is growing
    stronger as an actor and is the anchor of the second half of this film
    as the older Saroo.  In limited screen time, Kidman, is very good as
    Saroo’s adoptive mother and has the ”Academy Award Scene” of this film.
     Both are helped by strong performances by Rooney Mara and David Wenham
    as Saroo’s girlfriend and adoptive father.  The problem is that all 4
    of these performances are in the 2nd half of the film, the weaker half.

    The stronger first half of the film is anchored by a charming
    performance by Sunny Pawar as the young Saroo.  He moves through his
    adventures with aplomb, grit and a sense of ”moving forward’ that
    instantly gets you rooting for him, so you are thrilled when he
    succeeds by getting adopted.

    There are missteps in this film – almost all in the 2nd half.  As I
    stated, we spend a good deal of time watching Saroo search the
    Internet.  His obsession with finding his birth location turns this
    lovable character into something less than lovable.  While it is ”true
    to life” it is always disappointing to see the change in someone.  This
    change was so jarring that I wasn’t rooting for him at the end and the
    climax was anti-climactic for me.  There also is a sub-plot involving
    Saroo’s adoptive brother that never really goes anywhere and Rooney
    Mara’s character becomes bland.

    But,despite these, this is a film that you should see.  It brings the
    American audience into a world that we haven’t seen much of – and that
    is fascinating, and guided by a charming young presence that makes this
    journey that is worth taking.

    Letter grade:  B

    7 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank (ofMarquis)

  • emshortJanuary 29, 2017Reply

    Very well done

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Theo RobertsonJanuary 30, 2017Reply

    A Roaring Success That Might Spring A Surprise At The Oscars

    As soon as I heard about LION I instantly got it in to my head that I
    might be watching a reincarnation of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE . Let’s face
    it , India , street urchins ,rail journeys lasting days , Dev Patel
    trying to find a special woman in a sub-continent of over a billion
    people . Seen it all before in an Oscar winning movie from Danny Boyle
    . If nothing else the challenge of Saroo Brierley trying to find his
    mother after a gap of 20 years and thousands of miles mirrors that of
    director Garth Davis trying to make a film that won’t have the audience
    shout out ”Final answer” . And yet Davis succeeds in a film that might
    just surprise the Oscars this year

    You might have to meet the film on its own terms in order for it to
    work fully . By this I mean straight from the opening scene I was
    expecting a caption to crop up at any moment proclaiming ”Australia 20
    years later” as the pivotal moments in India are shown through
    flashback . This isn’t a film that uses a fractured narrative to tell
    its story . Instead it’s very linear and the first half plays out
    entirely as a foreign language film . Perhaps I’m misleading you
    because there is very little dialogue in the first half , instead the
    audience are asked to feel for the plight of young Saroo and nothing
    needs to be said . The second half then concentrates on Saroo as a
    young man in Australia only half complete as a human being as he tries
    to find his long lost mother and brother

    One genuine criticism I have at this years Oscar nominations is that
    many of the contenders feel rather poetic , slow and aloof compared to
    the in your face stylised LA LA LAND . Not to discredit it LION too has
    a strangely poetic feel but unlike MOONLIGHT which becomes cold and
    uninvolving after a while LION continues to keep its slightly hypnotic
    quality . Some people might claim this might be down to a slightly
    manipulative soundtrack by Bertelman and O’Halloran but I found the
    score haunting . Indeed the entire film is a haunting experience and is
    the film I hope will cause a couple of shocks at the Oscars this year .

  • hems-edwardJanuary 30, 2017Reply

    An incredible true story. Given the beautiful portrayal it deserves!!

    An incredible true story. Given the justice and portrayal it deserves
    through beautiful cinematography, acting and story telling.

    The two young Indian boys are magnificent the youngest especially who
    did not start learning English till after filming.

    The opening hour or so uses minimal dialogue but harrowingly beautiful
    well shot scenes and cinematography to highlight the intensity of a
    child going missing, the deep loneliness and the need for survival. As
    well as emphasising the uncomfortable reality of childhood poverty and
    missing children in India.

    From there the film builds on this unbelievable true story. Dev Patel
    and Nicole Kidman once again at there best. Highlighting the mental
    strain, the anguish and emotional drain caused when the story behind
    Dev Patel’s character eats away at him, testing the family’s
    relationship.

    Despite this seemingly depressing plot the film fills you with
    overwhelming feelings of love and happiness, for life and family. Along
    with gratefulness for what we have and the desire to help those less
    fortunate

    Free up 3 hours of your day and go and see this film. You will not be
    disappointed

  • sumitpradhan93January 30, 2017Reply

    It is truly praiseworthy.

    I am totally moved by LION. What an extraordinary cinema. Sunny Pawar
    as Sharoo (junior) is a magnificent discovery by LION team. His
    outstanding performance cherished the film start to end and stunned
    everyone. Dev Patel did a astonishing work. His emotion touched
    everyone and i am overwhelmed with his performance. Nicole Kidman was
    great. Her expression was excellent. Rooniey Mara was good. The scene
    between Riddhi Sen (the restaurant boy) and Sunny Pawar was surely one
    of the best scene of this movie. The way director Garth Davis created
    the emotional scenario, it able to emote every scenes and touched
    everyone. And, the last scene, after movie end – how it signify whole
    matter is pretty awesome. The way it moved me, it is truly
    praiseworthy.

  • Ashutosh SinghJanuary 30, 2017Reply

    This movie moved me!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Najeeb HasanJanuary 30, 2017Reply

    Compelling, astounding and brilliance

    When I started watching this movie, I was wondering why so much focus
    on the young Saroo but the camera was just brilliant and background
    score held me up and I was kind of glued to the whole movie. Superb
    acting, brilliantly directed and those flashbacks were just
    outstanding. Finally something really nice and Mature acting from Deb
    Patel and I will be looking forward for some more brilliant
    performances like this in future. This movie made me realize or it’s a
    wake up call for me to somewhere I have to also get those dead ends
    open and move on. Hats off. Not to mention Nicole, she was just
    fantastic and fabulous, there was a moment when tears started flowing
    and I did not realize why but that was just something amazing what an
    actress has an effect on you.

  • nama chakravortyJanuary 31, 2017Reply

    Remarkable Performances Lead A Decent Film!

    Based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley with
    Larry Buttrose, ‘Lion’ tells a true-story so heartbreaking (though
    beautiful eventually), you’d be heartless not to be moved by it. And
    despite that fact, cinematically, ‘Lion’ is a decent film, that never
    becomes a triumph due to its uneven Writing. But, the Remarkable
    Performances lead the show!

    ‘Lion’ Synopsis: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of
    Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many
    challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years
    later, he sets out to find his lost family.

    ‘Lion’ has a heartbreaking first-hour, that arrests you & emotionally
    drains you. Sunny Pawar as the young Saroo, the protagonist, delivers
    such a realistic performance, you actually believe the kid is lost in
    the big bad world. Pawar adds such depth to ‘Lion’, its hard to keep
    your eyes off him, as he struggles with being lost, homeless or later
    smartly dodging a pimp who sells children. The first-hour works without
    any stops!

    Its the second-hour, however, when ‘Lion’ results into monotony. Dev
    Patel is remarkably complex in his role of the older Saroo, but his
    journey to get back home after living 25 years with his adoptive
    parents in Australia, is repetitive. And by the time Saroo actually
    gets home, the emotions are done by. The first-hour has a addictive
    feel to it, but the second-hour is monotonous & drags itself for a bit
    too long!

    Luke Davies’s Adapted Screenplay is excellent in the first-hour, but
    slows down right after. One truly wishes if the Writing remained
    superior, as this is a true-story that’s nothing less than a triumph.
    Garth Davis’s Direction is well-done. Cinematography is sharp. Editing
    is fair. Art & Costume Design are perfect.

    Performance-Wise: Sunny & Dev are obviously the winners here, but that
    doesn’t mean the supporting players don’t leave a mark. Nicole Kidman,
    to begin with, is masterclass as the Saroo’s adoptive mother, who
    portrays true feeling without every over-doing it. David Wenham as
    Saroo’s adoptive dad & Kidman’s husband, is another topper. He’s
    first-rate! Rooney Mara as Saroo’s girlfriend, is precisely natural &
    owns the part with dignity & restraint. Priyanka Bose as Saroo’s
    biological mother, also, is quite good. Deepti Naval is in top-form!
    Tannishtha Chatterjee is remarkable. And Nawazuddin Siddiqui is
    terrific in that one scene he appears in.

    On the whole, ‘Lion’ is an uneven film, about a triumphant true-story.

  • Dansmith14January 31, 2017Reply

    Technical

    I’m not going to criticise the artistic side. The technical aspect was
    wonderful, full vision, 5.1 Sound Surround; echoing FX cues: truly a
    modern masterpiece and a technical achievement. The camera-work was
    superb and lured and lulled the viewer. Really enjoyed it and it showed
    the complexity of film. The titles were clean and alluring with none of
    the gimmickry associated with other titles.

    There were lenses on some of the cameras and some tricky camera pulling
    which added to the film rather than detract from it. Never laboured,
    but with sleight of hand, Lion delivered a satisfying whole which is a
    compliment to the Producers, Studio, and Production Team.

  • jtindahouseFebruary 1, 2017Reply

    A powerful and emotional experience

    Foreign films can sometimes be a trying experience. They can be hard to
    relate to and appreciate, often through no fault of their own. So when
    you come across a foreign film that features none of these problems,
    you know it is something special and must be excellently made. ‘Lion’
    is certainly one of those films. It has deservedly been nominated for
    Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and while I don’t expect it to
    compete for the actual win, its still good to see a film like this get
    the recognition it has earned.

    Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman have also both been nominated for Academy
    Awards in supporting roles. Both were very strong in their roles,
    without perhaps ever blowing me away. It sounds like Patel fully
    immersed himself in the role, and the only thing holding him back was
    probably a couple of very strong scenes that he could show his true
    acting talents off in. He was strong in every scene he was in, but
    nothing that was overly memorable. Kidman probably falls into the same
    category. Consistently strong, but never gets a chance to completely
    show off the vast talents we all know she has.

    The film is very different from what I was expecting going in, however
    I would have to say that that turned out to be a good thing. The way it
    went about telling the story actually worked very well. There is a lot
    of emotion behind the story and the characters, and the fact that this
    is based on a true story is nothing short of heart-breaking. There’s
    also some terrific pacing throughout and it all results in a fantastic
    final product. A film not to be missed.

  • abobaggingsFebruary 1, 2017Reply

    Tastefully unromanticised and beautiful memoir

    Unalike memoirs such as Mask, Lion never seeks to romanticise its
    characters beyond their real life counterparts in order for us to see
    them as worth while. Sheru is not remarkable for his intelligence (or
    if he is, we never see it). Instead he is remarkable in that after
    everything he goes through, he smiles.

    The emotions he is going going through and the strength required not to
    rise above them but simply survive them are shown in a style mid way
    between Tarkovskys ”The Mirror” and Lynchs ”The Elephant Man”. The
    lynchian ambivalent details such as a room of children singing in the
    night remind me of my own memoirs of childhood by their particular and
    incredibly human emotion. Not grandiose, but human and all the better
    for it.

    It is very restrained in some details though, at one point a young
    Sheru is chased through a tunnel; we don’t know who by or why, because
    neither did he. It reminds me of when a WWII survivor told me of
    Kristallnacht, ignorance grounds these moments in reality, it is this
    reality that makes each moment endlessly enthralling.

    One moment that sticks out is the simple shot of an approaching bridge
    from a train and many many voices calling out. The actors speaking the
    native language, the genuine child actor and the aforementioned reality
    makes this simple shot one of the most ominous I’ve seen for a very
    long time. All in one movie we see absolute horrors of the worlds in
    which some live and the genuine love and beauty in life, all in the
    unforgettable, bittersweet and yet unromanticised reality of a memoir.

    We see fear in the eyes of people, in handfuls of city dust. We see
    love in the eyes of others and in handfuls of beach sand. All on a
    journey, a long way away from home.

  • billcr12February 1, 2017Reply

    Heart Breaking

    From the grinding poverty of Calcutta to the serenity of Tasmania,
    Australia, Lion takes the audience on a tour of the world culture as
    well as I have ever seen. Dev Patel(Slumdog Millionaire) is the star
    here, as a thirty year old man haunted by his past as a five year old
    street orphan searching for his mother. It begins with the little boy
    riding a train to Calcutta and winding up at a prison like shelter
    surrounded by other orphans. Saroo (Patel), as the child, has the good
    luck of being adopted by a loving Australian couple. Nicole Kidman is
    excellent as his mother and Rooney Mara is also good as his American
    girlfriend. The story is heart wrenching with a cast that includes a
    few very young kids who are nothing short of amazing. Lion may well be
    the best film of 2016.

  • svorvaFebruary 1, 2017Reply

    2017 Oscars: 100% Cheap Emotional Manipulation Free

    I am happy to announce that no Best Drama for Housewives Honorary Oscar
    will be presented this year.

    This semiannual disgrace is bestowed on syrupy films that garner
    widespread critical praise or awards. They contain emotionally
    manipulative plots with absolutely no interest in real world
    consequences. Room earned this distinction last year.

    I make this announcement during my Lion review not just because I could
    not of a clever introduction. The comparison is just too obvious and
    proves Lion was a potential disaster averted by more refined creators.
    Both films are adaptations, Lion from the book A Long Way Home.
    Adaption is a tricky process for even the great filmmakers. One common
    problem, narration, murdered Room and even gave legend Scorsese trouble
    in the first act of his 2016 film Silence. Additionally, both movies
    uses the Child in Peril. An age old technique to manipulate audiences
    and grab their attention. This method’s effectiveness is rooted in
    human nature and has depreciated in bygone decades. Maybe India’s
    exoticness acted as a distraction, but Lion never felt cheap. Although
    the film begins to coast after the first act, Lion is the emotional
    experience we hope to get out of our best drama. I didn’t laugh. I
    didn’t cry. But my elation was real and my eyes might have been a bit
    moist.

    Lion is based on the real life story of Saroo, introduced as a 7-8 year
    old boy (Sunny Pawar) living in the village of Ganesh Tali, India. He
    is the middle child in a family existing between survival and poverty.
    The father is absent and Saroo’s mother works as a labor to secure a
    living. Saroo reveres his elder brother Guddu, not many years older,
    but already working and stealing to survive. Guddu frequently brings
    his brother on these excursion, but one evening Saroo falls asleep on a
    decommissioned train. Saroo is trapped on a 1000+ km journey across the
    subcontinent. After escaping in Calcutta, Saroo is alone and unable to
    speak the common language in a city filed with predators. Through both
    misfortune and luck, Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple the
    Brierleys (Kidman, Wenam). Years later, Saroo (Dev Patel) is beginning
    a career when his forgotten past suddenly reenters his life.
    Traumatized, Saroo must reconcile with his past, his family, and his
    girlfriend (Mara).

    The first act is sublime. I honestly have no idea how to evaluate child
    actors, but Pawar commands more love and best wishes than just any cute
    face. His innocence and filial devotion toward his brother makes him
    unforgettable. This purity exists in sharp contrast with the world
    around him. Village slums are bearable with family, but watching him
    alone in the streets of Calcutta is excruciating. Our perception of the
    child carries the film going forwarded. There is a natural affinity for
    older Saroo. His filial devotion remains, making him unmistakable from
    the child Saroo and still likable. We want this character who is still
    a child in our eyes to be spared suffering. As of writing, Dev Patel is
    nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. His performance is
    certainly notable, but the nomination is more a result of underselling
    the role. Patel is the lead for 2/3 of the movie. That is beyond the
    scope of a supporting character, but Supporting Actor is much less
    competitive than Best Actor where Patel would have no chance. Kidman
    has her own nomination and her role is opposite. She sticks to the
    background, but then steps up and carries one crucial scene. She has no
    chance at hardware, but her performance provides some energy to
    otherwise bland acts. The actual goings on in the second half involve
    Saroo investigating his roots online, pretty uninteresting. Really the
    second half is devoted to character emotions, which considering nothing
    else is happening, are not complex. Obviously Saroo is damaged from his
    ordeal and simply forgetting his past is not psychologically
    satisfying. Lion tries working these feelings in the context of family,
    but by the time Saroo makes breakthroughs this attempt at an emotional
    tapestry becomes a throw rug. Instantly forgettable. A letdown,
    considering young Saroo and the cinematography are great film caliber.
    Lion might not be infallible, but it is the rare honest drama well
    worth a winter’s evening.

  • Trevor Pacelli ([email protected])February 2, 2017Reply

    We’ve Seen This Before. But Hey, it’s for a Good Cause!

    Eighty-thousand children go missing each year in India. Saroo Brierley,
    author of the autobiography, ”A Long Way Home,” was one, and he tells
    about his incredible journey from India to Australia and back again.
    The result of the adapted indie drama, Lion, is a well-intended attempt
    which utilizes a ”been there, done that” approach to prove how the
    community can pitch in to help families across the globe.

    Sure enough, being a depressingly heartwarming weepie, Lion starts on a
    heartbreaking note. Saroo as an adorable little five-year-old
    oversleeps and loses his way in a dark train station, separated from
    his older brother. He hops onto a train and arrives at another station
    far away, and sees no options available other than to sleep on
    cardboard with other lost kids. The stay gets cut short though, as
    several kidnappers force him out. He then comes across new parts of
    India’s culture he never knew existed beyond his mother’s work as a
    rock-hauler. A hospitable Hindu couple helps Saroo out until he runs
    away out of desperation. Soon, with hopes of locating his parents, an
    orphanage takes him in, where beatings occur daily.

    Eye-swelling in these first moments are guaranteed while watching a
    vulnerable little tike lose his innocence before reaching his full
    development of memory cells. When also considering how everyone in
    India speaks in their native tongue with English subtitles, an extra
    step authenticates the true story. However I must admit: the boy cast
    as Saroo, Sunny Pawar, acts precisely how any young actor would in his
    first role. Nobody cheers him on because of his talent, but because of
    his cuteness.

    A kind Australian couple eventually adopts Saroo, with some English
    lessons included to help him with the transition. As investing as it
    all feels, the very next event is, ”20 years later.” So did nothing
    interesting happen within twenty years? This sort of leap in time
    happens constantly throughout the picture, limiting the story
    possibilities and minimizing Saroo’s motives of returning to India. So
    proof exists in why Lion would prefer to tug on your heartstrings over
    structuring the story to deserve the countless awards it campaigned so
    hard for.

    Speaking of awards, my complements go to the Academy Award nominated
    performances of Nicole Kidman (The Hours, Moulin Rouge!) and Dev Patel
    (Slumdog Millionaire). Both portrayals standout satisfactorily well,
    carrying the second half of the film to maintain the audiences’ tears.
    Although I ought to complain about Kidman’s distractingly obvious wig.
    Yes, I realize they needed to cast a talented actress, and yes, I
    understand she needs to look like the real-life counterpart, so why not
    cast someone whose natural hair looks like the real life counterpart?
    Or maybe dye Kidman’s hair? Oh, right. They needed an already nominated
    actress to guarantee a nomination, and she has to still look pretty in
    her natural silky blonde hair for those expensive interviews and
    campaigns.

    Yet like any other Oscar-bait picture, the production crew still put in
    tremendous effort. Saroo’s growth into manhood blooms to life through
    various scenic shots meant to highlight memories of home, such as moths
    illuminated by the sun, or the infinite route of a railroad track. Then
    as things turn more personal and distanced from youth, the camera pulls
    in closer to the human face. The minds and hearts of everyone involved
    were in the right place, even if Lion turns out no different in quality
    than the summer released indie crowd-pleaser.

    Clearly, Lion will fall out of the public’s memory after the 2017
    Oscars ceremony. But the #LionHeart campaign it started will last much
    longer. It exists to raise donations to benefit the 80,000 lost
    children in India, and worldwide. I encourage you to offer them a small
    donation; even just a little can travel a long ways to make a
    difference.

  • monstermayhem32February 2, 2017Reply

    A touching tale

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • bvirik-58077February 3, 2017Reply

    Outstanding Fact based film

    Fact based film with exceptional portrayal of realism in most scenes
    shot. The story is such that the chances of a happy ending is the
    proverbial one in a million. Yet it happened. The acting by the child
    actor, Sunny Pawar,is superb. But the experiences such children endure
    still go on today. Poverty, corruption, and paedophilia meet charity,
    sacrifice and kindness while Calcutta shows one of its dark sides.
    Google, Tasmania and Indian Railway play prominent roles. The main
    actor is the hero from Slumdog Millionaire, Dev Patel, now grown up. No
    Bollywood stunts here. See it! You will certainly enhance your life
    experiences.

  • Guy JeffriesFebruary 3, 2017Reply

    An Incredible journey of rediscovery and the maternal, family spirit

    TV and commercial director, Garth Davis gives an exceptional main
    feature debut with a touching true story about a young boy getting
    separated from his family and lost in Calcutta to then be adopted by a
    family in Australia at the tender age of five, who then has the sudden,
    obsessive urge to find his real family.

    It’s based on the published memoirs ”A Long Way Home” by Saroo
    Brierley, the boy, now grown up man, who embarks on a mission to find
    the family he got lost from all those years ago. It tackles conflict of
    loyalty, love and determination, a truly heart-rending story, not just
    of Saroo, but of all involved.

    It’s superbly balanced, basically in two parts. Firstly the origin of
    separation, a Saroo at 5 years old going through a hellish ordeal of
    being completely lost, not understanding the language, hungry, tired
    and just wanting to get home. The second part being the adult Saroo,
    now fully integrated into Tasmanian society and surrogate family,
    leading a privileged life compared to the one he lost.

    Young Saroo is played astonishingly by Sunny Pawar who manages to
    convey emotion and feeling with little dialogue. He’s truly amazing,
    being totally believable and the chemistry he shares with the other
    actors is beyond incredible. He actually steals the show from the other
    leading actors, even though all give brilliant performances.

    Dev Patel plays the adult Saroo, those emotional torment is different,
    it’s still portrayed greatly, racked with guilt with a sense of
    possible betrayal for all involved. Not wanting to hurt anyone, but to
    fulfil his need to find his original family. Patel did a lot of
    research for his role, travelling to India to visit the orphanage and
    to ride the same train journey trying to imagine what nightmare it must
    have been for young Saroo.

    Nicole Kidman was chosen by the real life Susan Brierley, the surrogate
    mother of Saroo and adopted brother Mantosh. Kidman and the film show
    just how remarkable the real Susan Brierley is, at first being kind and
    understanding beyond measure, brave and loving only to then become
    something greater when you discover her motives and reasoning. She’s
    become an inspiration to myself.

    Dustin O’Halloran and Volker Bertelmann, better known as Hauschka,
    compose a fitting score for the film, with strings conveying themes of
    loneliness, discovery and enlightenment in both child and adult. Sia’s
    busy year of end credit songs doesn’t end in 2016, providing another
    great track ”Never Give Up” which includes ethnic music.

    Davis does an exceptional job, directing names such as Kidman, Patel
    and Rooney Mara. He has a graceful, elegant style with brilliant use of
    light and composure. It’s a tough story with perfect portrayals that
    embellishes the meaning of family, love and the maternal spirit. Really
    looking forward to see what Davis gives us next.

    Running Time: 8 The Cast: 9 Performance: 10 Direction: 10 Story: 9
    Script: 9 Creativity: 10 Soundtrack: 9 Job Description: 8 The Extra
    Bonus Points: 10 for Sunny Pawar’s performance.

    92% 9/10

  • HitchcocFebruary 5, 2017Reply

    A Gripping Story That Could Have Been Better

    To start with, I really enjoyed the film. It impressed me, even though
    I already knew the whole story. That takes some doing. The story of the
    young boy, the first half of the film, gives us a view of the sadness
    that takes place because of over-population. People live on a
    subsistence, but somehow many manage. Of course, many do not. Saroo
    goes with his brother to steal coal off the trains. It is utterly
    dangerous with possible death around each corner. They manage to trade
    their coal for a couple small bags of milk which they take home. The
    older brother can work and Saroo is a pest. He manages to talk his
    brother into taking him to a new job site by train, but he gets
    separated and the rest is history. We see the little guy trying to
    figure a way to get back to his village but he can’t name it or his
    mother’s name (he calls her Mum). He manages to get away from some
    nasty people, probably avoiding being sold into prostitution. Through a
    series of events, he winds up with an Australian family which adopts
    him and another boy who is severely, emotionally disturbed. If someone
    had done a little script work to bridge a twenty-five year gap, it
    would have helped tremendously. We now have Saroo as a man. He has been
    accepted into white (and brown) society. He has an attractive
    girlfriend played by Rooney Mara. But he is conflicted. He hates his
    brother because he shows disrespect for their adoptive parents. He has
    also begun to long for his original home. Bits and pieces of his life
    before the age of five have crept into his mind. Had there been even a
    few minutes for us to get to know when this longing started. Also, some
    of the specifics of life with the second brother. A psychological
    framework for his feelings. There is so much angst in the older Saroo.
    It could have been sold better. It would have made very good film a
    great one and could have been done without making it too long. The
    little boy who played little Saroo has such an expressive face.
    Beautiful.

  • pamma09February 5, 2017Reply

    80000/yr. lost

    An amazing film on so many levels – the story, the cinemaography, the
    acting and the ending. Based on the true story of a young Indian boy
    who is separated from his brother and end up 1500 miles from home. He
    is adopted by an Australian couple and thereby rescued from a orphanage
    with horrendous conditions. In his twenties he starts a search for his
    mother and brother – aided by the electronic help of Google earth. Of
    course this becomes his obsession. And finally he finds the street
    where he lived and returns to his village. You want a happy ending and
    there is one. And at the end you find out that his adoptive parents
    also visit India. This is a quiet film – told a lot by just facial
    expressions. It does not need much dialogue – the photography is well
    representing the face of India. And that this is a story of many
    children – only this one has the happy ending. Dev Patel’s performance
    is so well done – he is a talent.l

  • rogerdarlingtonFebruary 5, 2017Reply

    Prepare to shed tears

    Essentially film-making is about story-telling and sometimes – as in
    this case – the story is so remarkable that only the fact that it is
    true makes it credible. In the north of India, five year old Saroo
    finds himself separated at night from his older brother, finds a place
    to sleep on an empty train, and finishes up 1,600 km (1,000 miles) away
    in Kolkata (Calcutta). His inability to speak the local language – he
    is from a Hindi-speaking part of the country while Kolkata uses Bengali
    – plus his young age and poor recollection of place names all render
    him utterly unable to find a way back to his family. Only a couple of
    decades later, by which time he has had an adopted childhood in
    Tasmania can Saroo – with the add of Google Maps – find a way of
    reconnecting with his past after an interval of 25 years.

    Little Sunny Pawar is wonderful as the young Saroo, while Dev Patel
    enhances his growing reputation with a solid performance as Saroo as a
    young man. Nicole Kidman, as always, is excellent as Saroo’s adoptive
    mother. First-time feature director Garth Davis delivers a fine piece
    of work, enhanced by location shooting in India and Australia. Only in
    the final seconds of the tale do we learn the reason for the title of
    the film. My only reservation about this worthy work is that, for all
    its emotional punch, it lacks a certain edge since we know how the
    story is going to unfold and there are no surprises along the way.

    I saw the movie in my local multiplex in Harrow in north-west London
    and there was a certain piquancy to this, since Dev Patel was brought
    up in Harrow and around two-thirds of the audience were local Asians.
    We all took home the end of film message that in India over 80,000
    children go missing each year and there are over 11 million children
    living on the streets.

  • Eden RabatschFebruary 6, 2017Reply

    A man has to reflect on hist true origins after being adopted from an orphanage in Calcutta.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • amitanshukjainFebruary 6, 2017Reply

    a True story based on an Autobiography

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Jane ZhangFebruary 7, 2017Reply

    A film of stirring emotions

    When the source story is a compelling story, it makes it a little
    easier for it to be a powerful film. Lion is a film of stirring
    emotions. It depicts a real life story of Saroo Brierley, who after 25
    years of being separated from his family, miraculously finds them with
    the help of modern day technology Google Earth. It took 6 years of
    painstaking search.

    Saroo (whose birth name name is actually ‘Sheru’ meaning ‘lion’) grew
    up in Ganesh Talai, a village in the city of Khandwa, India. His mother
    is a labourer carrying bricks for a living and young Saroo (Sunny
    Pawar) desperately wants to help out by joining his older brother Guddu
    (Abhishek Bharate) foraging for money at train stations. One night,
    when he was 5 years old, he took a nap and woke up to find his brother
    missing. In an attempt to search for him, he boarded a departing train,
    which ultimately took him on a 1,600km journey to the city of Calcutta.

    The young Sunny Pawar gave a magnetic and immersive performance as the
    young Saroo. He blends in so naturally with the life that is portrayed,
    and we as the audience are instantly drawn in by his innocence and
    on-screen charisma. Alone, defenceless and frightened, we follow him as
    he struggles through perils, before he is finally put in an orphanage
    and adopted by an Australian couple John (David Wenham – ‘Lord of the
    Rings’) and Sue Brierley (Nicole Kidman – ‘The Railway Man’). It was
    delightful to see those two Aussie actors being cast in their
    respective roles.

    Pawar effortlessly carries the first half of the film and sets the
    perfect tone and foundations for the remaining half. In the present
    day, the grown up Saroo (Dev Patel), is now at university studying
    Hotel Management in Australia, where he meets girlfriend Lucy (Rooney
    Mara). We see him living a very different life than he otherwise would
    have. At a friends’ gathering, he stumbled upon a plate of ”Jalebi” – a
    sweet dessert popular in India, and it triggered a childhood memory of
    him and his brother Guddu back home. This was an extremely profound
    scene, as it is incredibly relatable. We all have those moments where
    something little like that can prompt us to reminisce about our
    childhood memories we keep close to us. For many of us, ‘home’ evokes
    sentiments that are familiar, tender and nostalgic. Perhaps when it
    comes to our childhood memories of home, we, like Saroo, are not afraid
    to show our vulnerabilities. The memories we have may be faint
    gossamers of the past, but they do leave indelible marks on us and the
    bonds we have with those we love are perpetual.

    The second half is comparatively weaker. The film loses a little of its
    momentum but it is quiet understandable as it is somewhat difficult to
    propel the narrative forward with excitement when the search for home
    is all via Google Maps on a computer screen. The result is that when he
    finally found his home on the map, it happened quickly and seemed
    relatively easy, compared to the many years spent in real life. And let
    me just say, the idea of using Google Maps to try and match the mental
    pictures in his mind of his home is just ingenious. Without it, the
    search would have been almost impossible.

    Nevertheless, Garth Davis (‘Top of the Lake’) manages to harness its
    energy of its brilliant cast and the story never ceases to move us, up
    until the final reunion. Kidman, in particular, portrays Sue’s
    fragility and strength with sensitivity and density. Patel is equally
    solid, matching her fear and uncertainty with his own quiet conviction
    and understanding. He has matured immensely since his ‘Slumdog
    Millionaire’ performance, bringing a sense of stability and trust in
    his character.

    A relatively unknown Australian director, Davis does a fine job in
    finding a comfortable balance between heaviness and warmth, and gives
    us a film that is touching, but not excessively lachrymose. It is not
    only a film about searching for our identity and our roots, as it also
    touches on the theme of cross-country adoption. The cinematography by
    Greig Fraser (‘Rogue One’, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’) is magnificently real,
    and his most effective shots echo those of a satellite, giving us a
    bird’s eye trace of Saroo’s footsteps back home.

    Lion made me ponder, why is it so important to all of us that we know
    where we come from? Perhaps the answer is simple. When we are pulled
    apart from our origins by the vicissitudes of life, we would innately
    embody a kind of unrelenting determination to learn and connect with
    those that had an impact on us and made us who we are. To find peace
    and to know where we are going, we might first need to know where we
    come from. Saroo’s bond with his family, particularly with Guddu and
    his birth mother was unbreakable. One can only imagine the years of
    anguish and torment he went through not knowing what happened to his
    family. Now, he can finally put those questions to rest.

  • bliss66February 7, 2017Reply

    Lion Roars

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Martin Bradley ([email protected])February 7, 2017Reply

    Intelligent and moving

    ”Lion” is the kind of inspirational movie I normally shy away from but
    first-time director Garth Davis treats the material with a harder edge
    than I expected. The potential for sentimentality is, of course, high
    in this true story of a five year old Indian boy separated from his
    family by 1600 kilometers when the train he is sleeping in
    ‘accidentally’ takes him to Calcutta forcing him to live on the streets
    until a kindly Australian couple, (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham),
    adopt him and raise him to adulthood in Tasmania.

    As a child he is played by the remarkable Sunny Pawar and as an adult
    by the equally remarkable Dev Patel in a film full of fine
    performances. The tragedy of the early scenes are that they will
    immediately remind you of Dickensian London, (complete with a Fagin and
    a Nancy), though mercifully these children encounter as much goodness
    as they do evil. This is, after all, a film about hope.

    Of course, one of the risks involved when Western filmmakers make
    movies in such ‘exotic’ locations as India is the temptation to
    prettify them out of all recognition. This is fine in a movie like ”The
    Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” but a movie like this needs to look at
    least more ‘realistic’ and Greig Fraser’s excellent cinematography does
    go some way to rectifying the problem; there is a darkness here,
    literally and metaphorically. Ultimately this is a moving and
    intelligent picture that could easily have been so much less; a film in
    which even the obligatory romantic entanglements, (here involving a
    fine Rooney Mara), work. Hardly Best Picture material but worth seeing
    nevertheless.

  • alindsay-alFebruary 7, 2017Reply

    A good emotional true life story

    This film has been nominated for best picture at the 2017 Oscars so I
    thought I would give it a watch and I did enjoy this film. The premise
    of this film sees a young boy’s journey after he goes missing in India
    and ends up in Australia 25 years later. Dev Patel plays the older
    version of the kid in this film and he is really good in this film, he
    gives a very emotional performance that makes you really buy his
    characters situation and makes you care about it. Nicole Kidman and
    David Wenham play his adopted Australian parents in this film and they
    both give good performances. Kidman especially gives a strong
    performance and her chemistry with Patel is really good and you buy her
    characters development throughout the film. Rooney Mara plays his love
    interest in the film and i thought she did a good job in the film
    adding a bit of life to patel’s life and i thought at first their
    relationship worked. Also the kid actors did a pretty decent job in the
    film for what they are needed to do. The story of this film has some
    great emotional tones to it as you see this person’s story as he tries
    to be accepted with his life despite his past. However, I did find the
    first 40 minutes focusing on his childhood to be pretty boring and slow
    paced and I feel like they could have been used more effectively as
    flashbacks for Patel’s character as the film progresses. The script
    also has some really good dramatic dialogue that helps make some of the
    situations more intense and heartfelt then they would have been.
    However, the film tries to use comedy at some points, especially at the
    start of Mara and patel’s romance and it didn’t work at all and hurt
    the film a little bit. The style of the film has some excellent emotion
    and if you don’t get close to tears at a point in this film I do
    question your emotions. But as mentioned before I feel like the first
    half of the film was poorly paced and could have been done better in my
    opinion. Overall this is a good film with allot of emotion involved in
    it that may be worth a watch if you like true stories with emotion in
    it.

  • michaeljtrubicFebruary 7, 2017Reply

    I gave this film my highest rating at 2017 tiff – my only 9

    Unfortunately, at the second screening there was no Q&A.

    I had a great question.

    It was about the young boy.

    The central character that this film was entirely about.

    He was either very carefully selected or was actually groomed for the
    part.

    That was my question. Did you groom a young Indian boy over years for
    this role?

    I think that they did.

    An emotional roller-coaster to be sure. I was a young boy once, and
    when I think of a lost boy meeting his long lost mother after all those
    years my eyes well up with tears, as they do now, as I am writing this.

    During the film festival I repeatedly said the best film I had seen was
    this one. When asked why, I did not, for fear of ruining it for the
    people that asked me.

    Additional screenings were added for this film I hope because of my
    praise for this film.

    Harvey, this might be your greatest achievement in film making.

    Get ready.

  • szadhikFebruary 7, 2017Reply

    sex scenes necessary?

    The film was awesome especially only few sentimental films are built
    around the time. It appears that Dev Patel really matured in his role.
    He was quite loud in his late two movies-slumdog millionaire and a
    hotel movie. The highlight of the movie was the last scene when the son
    meets his natural mother. The movie was also able to keep secret of
    wheabout his real brother, until the last scene we never know the fate
    of his brother.

    The movie could have been justified for theater admission for all ages
    has those sex scenes not included in the movie. The movie could have
    corrected as it could have potential to reach to the wider audience.

    Nicole Kidman was looking gorgeous on the first part of movie. It was
    wrongly generalized that kids from third world countries are not
    privileged. The children from middle and higher class of developing
    countries are privileged in a sense that parents are not poor on time.
    Children don’t have to go to day care centers. They are always with
    parents and they do not have to work for $ at KFC, Mackers.

    The film was able to send a powerful message that materialistic life is
    ephemeral. The movie could score all well in Oscars.

  • neil joesphFebruary 8, 2017Reply

    Unbelievable film! One of the very best that I have seen.

    This movie is truly exceptional. Everything about it is perfectly done.
    The way the story is told, the acting, everything is outstanding.

    Lion really resonates with you for a while after seeing it. The story
    is an epic tale of how one tiny decision can change the course of your
    entire life. The acting is impeccable. It reminds me a lot of Slumdog
    Millionaire, however, the story could not be more different. Lion is
    the true story of a boy who begs his brother to go to work a night
    shift with him and he falls asleep at the train station. When he wakes,
    he finds that the station is deserted. He goes onto the train in the
    station and falls asleep. When he wakes up the train is moving and does
    not stop for 1600 Kms. By the time he gets to the destination, he does
    not know where he is, where he is from or what his mothers name is. He
    is eventually taken to a center for street kids and is one of the very
    lucky ones who is adopted by a well-to-do Australian family. When he
    grows up he decides to look for his real Mom and tracks down the place
    with Google earth.

    This movies should win Best Picture at the Academy awards. I personally
    think that ion and Hacksaw Ridge are the best of the year. 10/10.
    Definite watch!

  • snpereraFebruary 8, 2017Reply

    great!!

    Right from the trailer I knew that I wanted to see this movie! I love
    true stories about hope and I love stories where people find their
    loved ones after years apart. This is such a great story. The kid
    acting is great and you really feel for the little boy and you want him
    to find his mom. Dev Patel is so great and so strong in this role. He
    is a likable guy and you also want him to finally find his biological
    mother. This movie has such heart and it such a beautiful story. The
    world needs more stories of hope like this. I love this movie and I
    love the message of the movie. I would recommend this story to anyone
    who says that there is no hope or good in the world. I love that this a
    true story and that we got to see the people the movie was based about
    at the end of the movie.

  • Danny BlankenshipFebruary 8, 2017Reply

    A film of loss, courage, memories, and a search to reconnect after a new life.

    ”Lion” is one of those feel good movies of hope and love that has you
    as the viewer seeing how life can take different directions and new
    paths in an unexpected way, yet with memories it becomes a journey to
    go back to one’s roots and once again experience love and belonging.

    The story is pretty simple set in the mid 1980’s a young Indian boy
    becomes lost from his brother on the Calcutta streets as a train
    leaves. It then becomes a journey and test of the will to live, only it
    takes a turn when he’s adopted by a wealthy Australia couple and life
    becomes different only still the memories of his early life flash back
    and fourth only to come full circle and 25 years later this young man
    finds his mom after many different experiences of love and hope.
    Overall okay film of love, memories, and hope and the performances from
    Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, and Rooney Mara make the film an A okay
    watch.

  • Walter BrynjolfsonFebruary 8, 2017Reply

    Memorable and Potent(ially a Big Winner)

    Like a Lion, this film balances the seemingly contradictory traits of
    ferociousness and cuteness. It powerfully hits the empathetic part of
    your soul while at the same time giving an overwhelmingly adorable
    portrayal of a child’s tragic journey. Unlike other films on this
    year’s list of Best Picture Nominations, Lion is not as polarizing. It
    has a very wide appeal for mass audiences. The score is enthralling,
    the acting is brilliant, and the story draws you in along every step of
    its beautiful journey. I would highly recommend it to everyone and,
    though I don’t think it will win Best Picture, I predict potential
    awards for Score and Acting.

  • mike davidFebruary 8, 2017Reply

    Good, a couple great scenes, and one of the better ones the year has to offer, but not great

    Lion is a very well done film about a young boy who gets lost from
    home, separated from his family more than a thousand miles away. After
    several adventures and subjected to dangerous circumstances, he is
    found and sent to a couple from Tasmania who adopts him. They raise
    him, but he still wonders what happened to his family…

    The first half of the movie was well executed. The boy who plays him
    deserves an Oscars nomination as well All of the acting is top notch,
    even the Indian actors- especially the Indian actors.

    I mostly liked the first half more than the second. When it first cut
    to him as an adult, the film lost some momentum and some heart at
    first. A new film, it wasn’t as interesting. But I know they had to lay
    a foundation down to get acquainted with the older Sheru. However, it
    wasn’t too long until it got good again, and the ending was very good
    and well done. This is a good movie, almost great. It’s based on a true
    story that really happened, and I would place it in the top ten movies
    of 2016 at about #7.

    7/10

  • Movie ParadiseFebruary 8, 2017Reply

    Dev Patel Shines in Lion!

    I was surprised with how much of this film just focuses on the
    character of Saroo. I mean, he is the main character, so I figured he’d
    be the center of the movie. But I thought the film’s actual focus would
    be of him searching for his family. Instead, it develops Saroo as a
    child, played beautifully by Sunny Pawar. We then transition into him
    as an adult, where the film then focuses on his relationship with Lucy
    (Rooney Mara). They had unbelievable chemistry, and I really bought
    into their relationship. It wasn’t some stereotypical boy/girl thing,
    but it was a human and compelling dynamic that I thought stole the
    film. Saroo traveling to India to find his family is actually a small
    portion of the film. On paper, that sounds like it would be
    disappointing and anticlimactic, but is incredibly effective in the
    context of the movie. Director Garth Davis does a magnificent job
    helming this film, and really knew how to navigate it in order to make
    it work. Because of his foresight, we buy into the human character of
    Saroo, instead of the situation. We understand this character, and
    that’s what really makes this film work…

  • Michael_ElliottFebruary 8, 2017Reply

    One of 2016’s Best Films

    Lion (2016)

    **** (out of 4)

    A young boy named Saroo (Sunny Pawar) goes with his older brother for a
    job when he becomes lost and before long he’s thousands of miles away
    from his home. He’s eventually taken off the streets of India and given
    to adopted parents (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham) who raise him.
    Twenty-five years later Saroo (Dev Patel) starts wondering what
    happened to his brother and mother and tries to find them.

    Garth Davis’ LION is certainly one of the best films of 2016 and it’s
    really amazing to see it all unfold. Going into the picture I actually
    knew very little about it other than its central story so the journey
    that the lead character goes on is quite remarkable to watch and it’s
    even more amazing to see how well-balanced the film was and how
    emotional it all plays out.

    I think the most impressive thing for me was the first hour as we see
    the young Saroo getting separated from home, the horrors of being that
    young and alone and then him trying to survive the streets before being
    adopted. The film certainly tries to get a point across about homeless
    children in India and the film can get this across without any
    preaching. Instead, it really does show you how scary a world would be
    to a child lost in it.

    What makes that first sequence even greater is the fact that Pawar is
    so wonderful in the film. His performance here has to go down as one of
    the greatest that you’re ever going to see from a child actor and there
    wasn’t a single moment where you feel as if you’re watching an actor.
    The performance is so fresh and so raw that you really feel as if
    you’re watching a documentary. The supporting cast is terrific as well.
    Patel really packs an emotional punch with his strong performance and
    Rooney Mara, Kidman and Wenham all doing great work.

    LION features a terrific music score, some very good cinematography and
    there’s no question that the screenplay hits all the right marks as the
    story plays itself out.

  • mgrguric-70100February 8, 2017Reply

    The most emotional movie in a decades

    There are movies that have great acting, great sound effects, great
    camera, great story, great lines. But just few have the strength to
    impact the soul like this one. I saw it last night, I woke up in the
    funny feeling that I want to speak with someone about it, like
    something very important happened to me. Strange and powerful.

    Just breathtaking, keeps you on the edge of your seats from minute one
    to the end, and keeps you thinking about it for days. It punches you,
    thrills you, makes you cry. More than great.I will remember it forever.
    The characters are unique, the acting is so natural. Music grabs you
    into the atmosphere and you cannot get out. The cutest child actor
    ever. Just watch it, and let the movie drags you into it.

  • Matt GreeneFebruary 8, 2017Reply

    Gentle and Uplifting

    Our society is flooded with think-pieces about the migration of people
    from one country to another. Still, we rarely get a thorough glimpse of
    what a person who makes this trek goes through, losing connection to
    their blood and culture. Lion, a purely human film that quietly draws
    you into the true-story of a lost Indian boy adopted by an Australian
    couple (Kidman, Wenham), provides us with a harrowing tale of discovery
    & rediscovery. A gentle epic about the mistakes we make in family &
    love, and the second-chances we long for. In the first half, we’re
    introduced to 5-year-old Saroo, a financially-impoverished but
    family-rich boy lost thousands of miles away from his home. The world
    is never so overwhelming as through the eyes of a lost child; that
    perspective is our tour guide here. We are rarely given information
    outside of his naïve ignorance, allowing mystery and fear to bloom up
    in unexpected places. Even his eventual life-saving adoption by a kind
    Australian couple is blanketed in confusing culture shock (expensive
    houses, nice transportation). Pawar is perfectly casted, his sweet
    voice and heavy eyes perfectly capturing the complexity with which we
    try and reconcile his new privileges with his stunned sadness. In the
    second half, Saroo (Patel) is 25-years-older & more accustomed to his
    Western life, though still longing for a connection to his past. Some
    of the complexity fades here: the dialogue is more awkward, the
    side-characters are less-natural, and the narrative is clumsily pushed
    along. Still, the performances are strong, the score is gorgeous, and
    the story is enveloping. Lion is a gracious tearjerker that makes you
    wanna go out, live life and cling tight to the ones you love.

  • Movie ParadiseFebruary 8, 2017Reply

    Dev Patel Shines in Lion!

    I was surprised with how much of this film just focuses on the
    character of Saroo. I mean, he is the main character, so I figured he’d
    be the center of the movie. But I thought the film’s actual focus would
    be of him searching for his family. Instead, it develops Saroo as a
    child, played beautifully by Sunny Pawar. We then transition into him
    as an adult, where the film then focuses on his relationship with Lucy
    (Rooney Mara). They had unbelievable chemistry, and I really bought
    into their relationship. It wasn’t some stereotypical boy/girl thing,
    but it was a human and compelling dynamic that I thought stole the
    film. Saroo traveling to India to find his family is actually a small
    portion of the film. On paper, that sounds like it would be
    disappointing and anticlimactic, but is incredibly effective in the
    context of the movie. Director Garth Davis does a magnificent job
    helming this film, and really knew how to navigate it in order to make
    it work. Because of his foresight, we buy into the human character of
    Saroo, instead of the situation. We understand this character, and
    that’s what really makes this film work…

  • Moseme MorapeliFebruary 9, 2017Reply

    A compelling and emotion provoking story about an eternal belonging.

    This is truly an amazing film, it did not only grip and hold on to my
    emotions but it has the whole time kept me in the narrative. I simply
    enjoyed It. I wiped tears occasionally from my eyes as i watched. The
    film is full of intense substance that is relevant to me. Struggle –
    poverty, family bonds, coming of age, perseverance, purpose,fulfillment
    and many more vital and relevant issues are raised by this film that
    questions who i am and what i want out of life. Young Saroo – Sunny
    Pawar’s performance on this film is outstanding; a down to earth and so
    good to be true performance!

    I also would like to get a bit technical about this wonderful piece, I
    loved one of the opening shots: The establishing shot where we see
    Saroo really small in a frame running. This shot for me really speaks a
    lot about the journey of Saroo from the onset. It speaks of the freedom
    he had, his whole world that is soon about to change forever but remain
    with him.

    I must as well comment the director Garth Davis for simplicity and
    remarkable, amazing outcome. As an aspiring director this film has
    challenged me a lot, to work more with first time actors and not fear.
    What he has achieved in directing this little guy is terrific. I also
    love the yellow color grading of the film with its high contrast
    images. It really draws our attention to important details such as
    eyes.

  • Dan HardenFebruary 9, 2017Reply

    Planes, Trains and Aussie Mobiles

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • dsaloukFebruary 9, 2017Reply

    Beautiful and emotional

    Lion is an incredibly made film, using gorgeous set scenes and a
    powerful cast.

    Sunny Pawar is incredible at expressing emotions with nothing but his
    eyes and actions. Watching Pawar create young Saroo as vulnerable
    against the treacherous world, and flying to the whims of destiny
    creates a roller-coaster of emotions and intrigue. To then be
    transformed into a Saroo portrayed by Dev Patel is incredible and
    consistent with the film’s aims. Patel does a wonderful job at Saroo’s
    identity crisis, his want to know and find more, and his alienation
    from the current social scene.

    The flow of the film and where it ends really brings to light numerous
    questions revolved around identity, family, and ancestry. Garth Davis
    does very well in combining the cast with such a well developed story,
    and using scenery and music to really evoke the needed emotions to hit
    real life problems to an audience seeking genuine and raw goodness.
    Lion is a dime a dozen, and more so impressive to find out it’s
    Australian roots and low budget.

  • sir-mauriFebruary 9, 2017Reply

    The only 2016’s film that got me close to shedding some damn tears.

    It’s a story that normally would find its place as a Hallmark Movie of
    the Week or a crass commercial television production but in the capable
    hands of director Garth Davis and a great cast, Lion manages to bypass
    the easy sentimentality of many of its kind to provide a cinematic
    experience that is intensely moving and emotionally true. The first
    half is an incredible example of pure cinema when, in scenes almost
    devoid of dialogue, the young Saroo (played by the wonderful Sunny
    Pawar) is separated from his family. The second half doesn’t quite
    reach the same cinematic heights as the first but the acting of Nicole
    Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and a top-form Dev Patel anchor the
    narrative in a way that never renders a false note. All in all, a
    beautifully executed tug at the heartstrings.

  • Chintul ShahFebruary 9, 2017Reply

    A Journey of Emotions. Potent Tear-jerker.

    Saw its trailer quite a while back and it made me excited for the
    movie, today saw it and was overflowing with emotions. The climax
    seemed like a sea of emotions that immersed me from the inside
    out(cried like a b****, seriously, hands down.) have never felt such
    emotion since last some of the movies I have seen. TRULY magnificent
    movie experience. Very well acted by the little Saroo : Sunny Pawar.
    Dev Patel makes it very believable, the agony and the hurt touches the
    cords. No words needed for Kidman, Kamla Bose aptly plays the estranged
    mother. Very well made and woven story-line, couldn’t have been better.

    Highly Recommended! Lion of A Movie.

  • Lord_OrsonFebruary 11, 2017Reply

    Lion Review

    With a mixed critical reception I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect
    here. However, it turned out to be an absolutely outstanding,
    captivating tale. The first half is an extremely morbid story of a 5
    year old Indian boy who gets separated from his brother, ends up lost
    and homeless, and has to survive in brutal conditions in impoverished
    India. Not only this, but he also has to become road runner as just
    about every man seems to want to kidnap and molest him, and it really
    creates a harrowing portrayal of India. The performance from young
    Sunny Pawar is stunning and Oscar worthy in itself. It then flashes
    forward 20 years to Australia, where Dev Patel also puts in a good turn
    as the lead, still searching for his lost family.

    The melodic music throughout links excellently with the stylish
    cinematography and sombre, sentimental tone. It really is just a thing
    of beauty. There’s obviously similarities between this and Garth Davis’
    previous directorial efforts on Top of the Lake. The intensity of the
    movie really starts to build, with Nicole Kidman also putting in an
    impressive performance. There’s a particular critical scene where Dev
    Patel searches online for his family and as he does so he reminisces of
    being back home as a child, then breaks down. It’s incredibly powerful
    and immersive stuff, but the movie has a plethora of scenes like this.
    The conclusion is extremely intense and as emotive a finish as I have
    ever seen.

    There is no doubt in my mind that this should be getting best picture.
    However, there’s no black people or retarded singing, so nobody’s
    interested.

    9/10

  • Ger van GentFebruary 11, 2017Reply

    An amazing movie with a very strong message

    ‘Lion’ is a movie that is truly one of a kind on many levels;I
    especially like the story because it raises awareness of the urgent
    situation of millions of homeless children in this World;I would like
    to compliment Harvey Weinstein,Unicef and all the people that have
    given their creativity and positive energy to the realization of this
    great movie …. if only more people would be like you this World would
    be a much better place!Also this movie shows the importance of the
    internet to (re)connect with other people’s … the internet can be a
    true symbiosis of positive energy flows if you just give it a chance
    … The fact that this movie will be shown to millions of people all
    over the World through internet is a proof that a medium that is being
    used to spread hate and intolerance can also be used to bring people
    together from all over the World!

  • Rakesh CFebruary 11, 2017Reply

    Riveting

    Riveting first half but movie loses luster in second half, still an
    incredible story worth seeking out.Sunny Pawar deserves a special
    mention for his performance as a young Saroo, lost and alone in such a
    unfamiliar place. It’s always a risk to have such a large portion of
    the film led by such a young actor but it’s ultimately one that pays
    off greatly in Lion. There’s also fine support on offer from Rooney
    Mara, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham, ensuring the quality runs right
    throughout the film.This Film has awards written all over it.Based on
    the novel A Long Way Home (2014), this film adaptation is a richly
    textured essay on the primal human need for belonging that will
    resonate with anyone who has ever wondered who they are.

  • bbewnyloracFebruary 11, 2017Reply

    Good, but could have been great

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Pravesh Mishra ([email protected])February 12, 2017Reply

    A movie that intrigues deepest emotion!!

    This movie will surely make you cry if you go deep along with the
    movie. Just like Manchester by the Sea this movie too is a emotion
    intriguer. A well written adaptation of a Novel based on a true story
    the movie Lion will leave you in awe. This is such a powerful and
    wonderful movie to watch and surely it will make you to put yourself
    into the main characters place and feel for him. A well written, well
    directed and well acted presentation makes the movie Lion a must
    watch.Surely a contender for the Oscars.Dev Patel has narrated his
    character Sheru in the best possible way. I just could not control
    myself from bursting into tears during the movie. Its a treat for
    Cinema Goofs where as non cinema goofs may find it too dramatic and
    emotional that lacks entertainment but for me its a 8.

  • timitullisFebruary 12, 2017Reply

    It was all I expected and more… Be ready to Cry

    I knew the story and I still cried throughout the movie. The first half
    with Saroo as a child is a 10, the second half, though good is not as
    good as the beginning. The young Saroo won my heart in the opening
    scene, I just wanted to change my mind about being a mom and adopt him
    on the spot, You simply want to just grab him and hug him. As you watch
    this movie it becomes move touching when you remember it is based on a
    true story. You can’t make up this kind of story. The movie moved along
    well, and you could feel the pain at each stage of Saroo’s life. It
    brings to light how many of small children in India are in need of love
    and families. This movie will stick with me for along time and those
    are the movies I rate highest.

  • chrstphrtullyFebruary 12, 2017Reply

    Remarkable Tale of Love, Obsession, Guilt and Family

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Asif Khan (asifahsankhan)February 12, 2017Reply

    Nicole Kidman, if unfortunate, right now, the ”Best Supporting Actress” Oscar must be hers to lose.

    Real stories of a somebody-got-famous are a dime in a dozen and about a
    thousand in couple of thousand in Cinema history. But the one in this
    film, involves no one you’ve ever heard of, doesn’t star a soul you’ll
    recognise for its first 40 minutes, and will rip you into a thousand
    pieces before it’s over. ”Lion” tells the story of a lost boy: a
    five-year-old Indian called ”Saroo,” who grew up in the 1980s in the
    area around Khandwa. The film begins with him pilfering lumps of coal
    off a train with his older brother, ”Guddu,” and selling them to buy
    food. By the end of the first reel, these two are thousands of miles
    apart, wholly by mistake.

    Left sleeping one night on a railway station bench, Saroo woke up alone
    and scared, and stumbled onto a decommissioned passenger train. Before
    he knew it, he was speeding his way to Calcutta, with no one to help,
    no Bengali to explain, and a place name for his home town that no one
    at the other end recognised. This is a true story; a pretty inspiring
    and incredible one at that. It’s a story of two halves, the first half
    full of the colour and drama of young Saroo’s Indian childhood, with
    the second half (covering the adoption by a compassionate Sue and her
    husband John; Portrayed by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham respectively)
    focusing on the psychological toll of dislocation and loss of identity.
    Handled with intelligence and subtlety, this is a powerfully engaging
    drama.

    The excellent script, by the Australian writer Luke Davies, sticks
    rigidly to Saroo’s own point of view as days, months, and eventually
    whole decades elapse with him effectively orphaned through freak
    circumstance. It’s derived from a 2012 memoir by the grown Saroo
    Brierley, called A Long Way Home. He can only imagine the agony his
    mother and brother must have gone through, endlessly searching. So
    twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his
    unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as
    Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to
    his first home. While Rooney Mara has a fairly limited function as
    Saroo’s girlfriend, Nicole Kidman enriches the film enormously. It’s a
    sterling, supportive performance by Kidman (who is one of my most
    favourite actresses).

    The script never lunges for cheap drama by forcing Saroo into a binary
    choice between mothers, and the most complex beats are about tip-
    toeing around, often counter-productively, to avoid hurt or betrayal.

    Patel in a role (and film) which infinitely improve on his breakthrough
    in Slumdog Millionaire. But Nicole Kidman is a fascinatingly strained
    figure, often barely keeping her grip. Right now, the Best Supporting
    Actress Oscar must be hers to lose.

  • stonedraimFebruary 12, 2017Reply

    Namaste

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • orlakelley10February 12, 2017Reply

    A film that blew away the whole family.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • noni-82695February 13, 2017Reply

    A stunning and emotional watch

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Johnmen1999February 13, 2017Reply

    Average

    I found this movie to be average. Starting off with two boys on a coal
    train, stealing coal, it seemed like the film was going to be similar
    to Slumdog Millionaire, but while the film takes some familiar themes-
    child poverty, parenting in third-world countries, and living in a
    country with an enormous population like India- it is an entirely
    different film. The first half of the film is very good, set in India
    as young Pawar puts in a fantastic performance as he wanders around
    looking for his brother and mother, but the second half is just awful.
    Set in Tasmania, Australia, the film gets boring very, very quickly as
    we are introduced to a character 20 years later who is going to
    Melbourne to study and seems to be happy, then abruptly his life starts
    unraveling, he suddenly has this yearning desire to find out what
    happened to the family he left behind in India some 20 years ago. There
    is a scene with his foster mother in Australia that made me physically
    cringe as Nicole Kidman goes off on a tangent about how she had a
    ”vision” that could have been interpreted as a ”mental breakdown” and
    saw two brown boys and knew that this was her calling in life…Dev
    Patel also has a foster brother that he is wildly inconsistent with in
    his relationship. One minute he hates him, he’s ruined his mother’s
    life, the next he loves him. The whole half in Australia just ruined
    the film for me. We all know he will and needs to go back to India, but
    instead he spends his time getting upset at his girlfriend, quitting
    his job and avoiding his parents. There is a general feeling of: why
    doesn’t he just go back to India and look for them for goodness sake?
    So he can finally find the clarity he’s looking for? His sudden desire
    to find his family in India is so bizarre as he seems content then boom
    at mid- twenties, he needs to go back, its perplexing. Perhaps the
    first half and the ending when he finally returns to India makes the
    film worth watching, but the second half was intolerable and ruined
    what was a extremely promising first half.

  • mmunierFebruary 14, 2017Reply

    And a hankee for me too!

    Heard of it ”Lion” with ”our” Nicole Kidman, so was looking forward to
    see it. I forgot it was the story of this Indian boy who got adopted
    but many years later had the urge to look for his mother. I had seen
    some excerpt of that story on TV and realised I was not going to see
    any safari! But what I saw was great. Dave Patel has become a true blue
    Aussie, but some memory about his youth come to haunt him and he has to
    act on it. At time it’s very emotional. I always enjoy Nicole Kidman
    and was please to see the laconic David Wenham. Here he has not much
    screen or character time but it was good to see him. As for the young
    actor who plays the part before D Patel takes over, he’s a joy to
    watch. You experience the life in a big city in India comparing to a
    privilege area in Australia and the contrast his huge, not that
    Australia does not have areas that you’d rather avoid. But it makes you
    ponder.

  • Gordon-11February 14, 2017Reply

    An emotional journey

    This film tells the remarkable story of a young Indian boy who is lost
    because he got on an empty train that travelled for days. He has no
    idea where he is from, where he is at or how to get home. He is adopted
    by an Australian family subsequently, but he has not forgotten where he
    is truly from.

    I remember reading about this news story years ago, about a man who
    found his home using Google map. Just imagining what his journey could
    be like is already touching me to tears. Watching his journey makes my
    imagined scenario real, and touches me deeply. It must have been very
    terrifying for a five year old boy to go through such an ordeal. The
    film conveys the ordeal brilliantly. His time at the orphanage isn’t
    that much better, though it is not because of anyone’s malicious
    intent. The scene when Saroo asks whether the orphanage has tried to
    search for his mother is touching, and there are lots more touching
    degrees to come. It is a great emotional journey.

  • jacobhunt6February 14, 2017Reply

    Very emotional and powerfully executed

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • mallaverackFebruary 15, 2017Reply

    Let’s be frank about this…

    This is not a great movie – its faults are there for all to see.

    So why so many gushing reviews and 10 star ratings? Primarily, I think
    many reviewers are confusing the great heart-warming story being
    depicted and the actual qualities of the film. Yes, it is a wonderful
    story and even more dramatic when considering the fate of young Saroo’s
    brother. But this was a film with two distinct parts and apart from the
    climax of Saroo’s reunion with his mother, the second part was very
    low-key film-making.

    Nicole Kidman played her part well (apart from the most annoying
    monologue which was delivered in barely a whisper) but hardly 15-20
    minutes on screen must surely disqualify her from any Oscar
    consideration. Her on-screen husband played by David Wenham appeared on
    screen for seemingly less than 10 minutes with no hope of any true
    characterization being offered. The adopted brother of Saroo was
    emotionally and mentally handicapped, yet we know nothing of his plight
    once again, through lack of exploring character. The inclusion of Roony
    Mara as Saroo’s love interest in the second half of the film appeared
    almost pointless. Her presence did almost zilch for plot development
    and it makes you wonder why the producers went to such expense in
    casting her in the first place.

    This second ‘Australian’ section of the film displayed some lovely bush
    and seaside settings but really paled in comparison to the exceptional
    performance of Sunny Pawar as young Saroo in the first half of the
    movie. To be honest, apart from the pertinent facial expressions, Dev
    Patel had little to do and less to say. The reputation of this film
    gains its notoriety almost wholly from the search and final reunion of
    mother and son in India but the lack of character development, a very
    average script and the inclusion of too much filler material has
    resulted in an overall disappointing film

  • rdpublicFebruary 16, 2017Reply

    A gripping visual and visceral ride with its heart in the right place!

    What could I say? I was utterly blown away by how good this movie was.

    From the opening scene, the score and cinematography was just
    outstanding, bringing us into Khandwa with the characters. The young
    actor Sunny Pawar did a phenomenal job by doing a realistic portrayal
    of the character. The editing in the movie is a little too fast for my
    taste but I soon got used to it, although I did think several shots in
    the movie could’ve been cut. But this director definitely had a firm
    hand on the screenplay. I was never bored for a second as the movie was
    so gripping. The sound design throughout the film, editing, mixing,
    whatever it is so immersive and fully utilizes the soundscape,
    including moments of silence and moments of much music.

    Where the movie does dwindle is in the second half of the film, which
    is still really good and better than most movies, but it was a notch
    down as it couldn’t really find a focus for some time. There isn’t much
    conflict happening that we could care about as deeply as what happened
    in the 1st half. We just want this man get home to his place. But once
    that starts, it gets gripping again. But the way he finds it on his
    laptop when he has finally given up felt quite cliché. The Mentosh
    character wasn’t developed enough for us to know what exactly is going
    on, which might be enough but introducing such an integral character to
    the main character’s life and leaving him just like that feels
    unfinished. The movie was slows down, getting a little underwhelming.

    But the last scenes become a saving grace, making us both cry and feel
    happy at the same time. The acting of Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman are
    fantastic. Nicole Kidman is so subtle in her portrayal and I just her
    as the character. That’s true acting. Dev Patel really portrays the
    shitty feeling that people feel when there’s a longing and never-
    ending grief in them. This is a long way from Slumdog Millionaire,
    where he was more of a kid. But in this film, he’s intense. His eyes
    say a lot. When he’s angry in the dinner table scene, you truly feel
    that intensity, because it’s done so realistically.

    Rooney Mara might not have much of a role but for what she was given,
    she did absolutely brilliantly, which isn’t surprising as to how great
    of an actress she is as seen in Social Network, Girl with the Dragon
    Tattoo 2011. The dream sequences that appear towards the second half
    don’t feel forced as it’s the visual incarnation of Saroo’s longing for
    his real family.

    Some may argue the movie portrays India in a negative light but this
    movie shows a poor village boy from Khandwa getting lost in a city, in
    the 1980s, and not even knowing the language. I don’t know how else
    this would turn out. Plus it’s based on a true story so whether you
    like it or not, it happened.

    Moreover, this movie doesn’t go to cheap tricks to make us feel sad. It
    develops the characters before we have to feel something for them. It
    does things visually more than through dialogue, especially in the
    first half. You could turn off the sound and subtitles and still
    understand the film. That’s visual storytelling, which is what films
    are meant to be. Or else we could just be watching plays, or radio
    dramas, or even read a novel, with the same or better effect. Now here
    is someone who understands the medium of film and makes the best use of
    it, although maybe there’s too many cuts and shots, reliance on score,
    which could all just get better with age. So I have high hopes for this
    director.

    This won’t win Best Picture but damn is it a good film. I didn’t think
    a movie could be as close to the visual poetry and masterpiece of a
    film like Moonlight in 2016 but I was wrong. This might be just as good
    as that.

    Personally, I was on the verge of tears for most of the movie, after he
    gets on the train. And whenever that theme song, which is similar to
    Moonlight Sonata but still super effective, just makes me want to cry.
    The cinema hall was rather empty for such a good film. I think more
    people should go out to see this. If you don’t like dramas that much,
    you probably won’t like this but if you like a really emotional ride
    and don’t mind crying while watching a movie, this is for you.

  • vishousFebruary 16, 2017Reply

    The best stories are true stories

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • lucashattersleyFebruary 16, 2017Reply

    A masterpiece that will bring a tear to your eye

    When I chose to watch Lion at the cinema I didn’t really know what to
    expect. I certainly didn’t expect to be walking out of the cinema
    fighting back tears and checking my phone to see when the next
    available showing would be. Sunny Pawar who plays Saroo was given a
    humongous task of carrying the first half of this film, but he did it
    so well and deserves way more recognition for his role than he is
    getting. He is such a talented young actor with a bright future. Dev
    Patel carries the second half of the film as an older Saroo, alongside
    the wonderful Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara and David Wenham. The true
    story is gripping from start to finish and has a few plot twists along
    the way. I loved that the film was split into two halves and we were
    able to see this story unfold in such detail. I’ll definitely be going
    back to watch for a third time! 10/10

  • mishraanirudh-77418February 16, 2017Reply

    Most emotional movie I have watched till date.

    This movie made me cry 5 times till I stopped watching it i.e. I
    couldn’t watch it till end. Most emotional movie I have ever watched
    till date, so if you don’t like emotional movies then don’t go for it
    otherwise its really a very good movie. Go for it if you are a
    emotional lover . The movie depicts a real picture of rural India.

  • Jo whiteFebruary 16, 2017Reply

    Cried for England!

    I first saw Lion on a whim 3 weeks ago and didn’t know what to expect
    as I hadn’t even seen the trailer but I was so incredibly moved by
    Saroo’s story that I decided to watch it again 10 days later. It’s the
    kind of film that stays with you hours or even days after you leave the
    cinema. It’s not just an amazing true story but the acting is superb,
    the musical score haunting and the cinematography stunning. My decision
    to see it for a second time was partly due to how much I’d enjoyed the
    film but also in case I’d missed something of importance through all
    the tears. Well that didn’t work out well as I cried even more the
    second time round as I knew the significance of certain scenes.

    All the adult performances were first class especially Dev Patel and
    Nicole Kidman who shared some very moving scenes together as adult son
    and adoptive mother but little Sunny Pawar’s performance as young Saroo
    was totally captivating. There isn’t much dialogue in the first 45
    minutes but his face and especially his eyes perfectly portray his
    anguish, desperation and loneliness. Unlike some reviewers I enjoyed
    both distinct halves of the film equally and never lost interest for a
    moment.

    I can’t believe for one minute you’ll make it through this film
    emotionally unscathed but if you do then I’m sure the end credits will
    get you. I don’t have anything negative to say about this wonderful
    film and can’t wait for the DVD to be released. I’ll finish by using
    the 2 most used words when reviewing Lion. Take tissues!

  • Vinit ChoudhariFebruary 16, 2017Reply

    Dev Patel is doing some seriously awesome stuff now.

    Starting with his career with a breakthrough performance in Oscar
    winning movie, it must been difficult to keep the pace going. But with
    some flops in his pocket I think now he has understood what he really
    needs to pick up. Lion with its story was a great pick for Dev. Hope he
    continues to do so. Good luck, Mr Patel.

  • Susan PearsonFebruary 17, 2017Reply

    A touching story of an epic journey

    I would describe this film as a wonderful piece of storytelling if you
    are a fan of action movies or comedy it is probably not going to be up
    there with your favourites however for a fan of coming of age or biopic
    tales I would certainly recommend that you see it.

    The young Sunny Pawar is adorable and has a captivating presence for
    such a young inexperienced actor. Dev Patel picks up the role and
    captivates you with the anguish his character is going through.

    Nicole Kidman almost blends into the background and that is a major
    compliment for a Hollywood leading lady. She is clearly putting the
    story before her own presence, something other leading men and ladies
    never quite manage.

    Bravo all concerned.

  • fiona_r_lambFebruary 17, 2017Reply

    Excellent

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Akash MishraFebruary 17, 2017Reply

    No words to say about this movie LION. Deserves every award

    Hello fellas LION (Sheroo) was the movie that literally made me cry. I
    was affected by this movie like for a month this was inside my head.
    You know what I cannot watch this movie again because i don’t want to
    get sad after watching this movie. Greatly presented by actors and
    directors. This is the best movie i watched so far another one was the
    Shawshank Redemption. In my opinion LION was better than the shawshank
    redemption. I think it deserves more than awards. There is no award for
    this movie. Everybody should watch this movie. This is it now i cannot
    explain more i will start to cry again so deep story-line.

    10/10 From me

    CAUTION U CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS MOVIE AFTER WATCHING

  • AmeliexFebruary 18, 2017Reply

    One of a kind…

    ”’Truly Exceptional – Powerful story – An immensely satisfying
    cinematic experience – Gripping and compelling – A movie with a soul of
    its own – An Incredible journey – heartwarming – Remarkable
    Performances – A Roaring Success – A Must Watch – An Emotional Journey
    – It was all I expected and more – A movie that intrigues deepest
    emotion”” ::: These are just some of the reviews people from IMDb.com
    have written, and i have to say these words fit this movie PERFECTLY!!!
    This movie is one of those movies that will forever leave a footprint
    in our hearts/souls. The story that is told in this movie is truly a
    unique story! I absolutely loved this movie and i bet you will too if
    you see it 🙂

  • eagandersongilFebruary 18, 2017Reply

    A journey to meet

    ”Lion” is a film that essentially preaches for simplicity, he wants to
    do his homework, pass on his message, thrill the audience and it’s
    over, but at some point he tries and ends up being deeper than he is.
    Here we have a bibliographical, linear script that does not attempt to
    deceive the viewer with subjectivity or parallel timelines, as I said,
    he preaches for simplicity to tell the story of Saroo (Dev Patel), a 5
    year old boy who gets lost in his Brother at a train station in
    Calcutta, and after being adopted by an Australian family tries to find
    his family 20 years later. The setting of the film in its first act is
    so honest and simple, it is extremely captivating and beautiful,
    director Garth Davis spends an air of attachment and complicity,
    blending the violence and innocence that is a beautiful thing, pity
    that his second act is the Opposite that, with a beautiful photograph
    in its first act, dark and highlighting the elements of the screen, the
    rest of the film opts for something lighter and blending the shades of
    blue with a simple track and a camera that is often used without a
    tripod The film technically only pleases. The performance of Sarro is
    wonderful, but Dev Patel does not impress as Saroo, he does not pass
    the air of lost or desperate and alone does not raise the dramatic
    charge, and were it not for the good construction of the script, Patel
    would not make us dry The eyes at the end of the film. We have here a
    movie that has a great first act, a second act too elongated with many
    repetitions of idea and bad construction of characters (Only Sarro is
    built) and a third that is short, but extremely beautiful and precise,
    and is always very sensitive Of the director showing pictures or videos
    of the events has put film, served to spend more wipes, ”Lion” is a
    good movie that fulfills its role.

  • scifiguy007February 18, 2017Reply

    Authentic, emotional, exceptional

    Dev Patel continues to develop his range and perfect his craft in this
    very well-done movie. Like so many of the best stories, this one is
    simple. It’s based on a true story and by now you no doubt know it.
    This is the kind of movie where you can find find yourself smiling and
    crying at the same time. There’s no action, but it’s hard to even look
    away. There’s no tedious lecturing or moralizing, yet it gives serious
    pause for thought. I loved it as a simple, authentic, human drama. 8/10

  • patsworldFebruary 18, 2017Reply

    An Emotional Journey

    What a fabulous film! The first half has sub-titles which could turn
    some off, but shouldn’t. It’s set in India, they are speaking Indian
    and it’s all when this lad is very young, becomes lost from his
    brother, his family. Some of it is difficult to watch as, in truth,
    this sort of thing does happen to so many youngsters there. But it will
    grab your heart and hold on tight. There should be an Oscar for those
    12 or 14 years old and younger. I thought that when Sixth Sense came
    out and I think it even more with this picture. Sunny Pawar is amazing.
    He, and his voice, will stay with you – well, if like me – probably
    forever. The movie loses the sub-titles and switches to English when
    this little lost child is adopted by a family in Australia where Nicole
    Kidman as his new mother is wonderful. This is an emotional movie from
    beginning to end. Dev Patel is one of my favorites anyway and he
    literally shines in this picture. Perfection. I felt wrung out, but not
    unhappy when I left the theater. And this is not a spoiler but you
    won’t discover why the movie is titled Lion until the very end. This
    one has Oscar winners written all over it.

  • jquinlan19February 19, 2017Reply

    A good tale, could have been a bit better.

    A very engaging story about a small child who becomes lost. His family
    life is extremely hard and the period on the streets is bad, could have
    been even worse. This is definitely a look at the underbelly of India.
    Much of the movie is about his memories of India and the confusion of
    feeling losses he can’t express. The search for his home could have
    been done better and shown much more of how the internet was, and can
    be, used for such a nebulous memory search. The girlfriend angle is
    okay, but doesn’t add much to the story, and the back history of his
    adopted brother could have been explored more fully too. All in all,
    good entertainment and raises some very deep questions about lost
    children and how easy it is for a child to be lost.

  • ArgemalucoFebruary 19, 2017Reply

    Lion

    Lion is the best Google commercial I have seen. Leaving that aside,
    director Garth Davis drives the first hour of the film in quite an
    efficient way, making us share the fear and confusion of the kid Saroo,
    far from his home and overwhelmed by the chaotic environment of the big
    city, in which every kind of dangers are lurking at every corner…
    even from individuals trying to help him. That was the part of Lion I
    liked the most, because it evokes powerful emotions without the typical
    ”creative manipulation” employed by many films to accentuate the drama.
    Lion doesn’t need those tricks… for its first hour only. Then, we
    jump 20 years to the future, and the film loses the honesty which had
    previously captured me. That doesn’t mean that the second half is bad;
    but I personally found it manipulative and occasionally forced and
    cloying. Nevertheless, the performances from Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman,
    Rooney Mara and David Wenham (who all show up during that part) are
    very good. However, that second half can never recover the energy and
    raw realism of the first hour, both obtained due to Davis’ direction
    and the brilliant performance from Sunny Pawar, and that avoided the
    experience from being totally satisfactory in my case, even though I
    can give it a moderate recommendation.

  • peruhealingFebruary 19, 2017Reply

    Overrated. First half worth watching, second half is pure filler

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Justin FirestoneFebruary 19, 2017Reply

    An unchallenging story

    ”Did you mean ‘Ganesh Talai’?”

    Watching the Internet on the big screen makes my skin crawl. Watching
    someone use Google Earth on the big screen made my skin crawl. After 25
    years of searching, it only took a little outside- the-box thinking, or
    rather, beyond an assumed radius, to find home.

    Don’t get me wrong, Lion is a good movie and uplifting. You see, 80,000
    children go missing in India every year, and thanks to some rich white
    people, a couple of them occasionally get back home to their squalid
    existence. Nicole Kidman channels her inner Johnny Depp and delivers a
    performance that is part love, part psychopath. They adopt two lost
    children. The good one, who is also well adjusted considering what he’s
    gone through, is better looking than the other, the mentally disturbed
    one who likes to hurt himself.

    What is home? Where do you belong? Is home posh Tasmanian boat life? Is
    it in a shack with straw and goats? What is the dollar amount you can
    spend on happiness versus the bare essentials of life? Does anyone care
    about you? Does society care about others?

    The answers do not lie withing Lion. It’s little more than the story of
    a boy who gets home after 25 years, and it never spends more than a
    fleeting glance on the underlying issues of the billions of poor people
    in the world who don’t have any meaningful chance to climb an economic
    ladder.

  • CinemaClownFebruary 19, 2017Reply

    Another Middling Story Of Its Kind That Doesn’t Pack A Strong Emotional Punch.

    Capturing a young man’s Google Earth-assisted journey to find who he is
    and where he came from, Lion is a kind-hearted slice of a real-life
    story that handles its content with sincerity & compassion for the
    first hour but turns into exactly what one feared during the second
    hour to finish as another middling story of its kind.

    Lion follows a young Indian kid who, in an unexpected turn of events,
    ends up thousands of miles away from home and finds himself lost on the
    streets of Calcutta. The plot covers his difficult time in the city and
    the many challenges he survives before being adopted by a couple in
    Australia and, after growing up, sets out to find his lost family.

    Directed by Garth Davis in his feature film debut, Lion allots its
    first hour to a newcomer, covering the little kid’s struggle in the
    unknown city with honesty & patience, and paves a solid platform for
    the remaining hour. But then it all goes downhill as it turns into a
    sappy melodrama that unfolds at a sluggish pace before concluding on a
    lame note.

    Coming to the performances, Lion features a fine cast in Dev Patel,
    Nicole Kidman, David Wenham & Rooney Mara but the real star is Sunny
    Pawar who plays the young kid and carries the entire first half on his
    shoulders. Patel always reminds me of that massively overrated Slumdog
    Millionaire but does well here and is wonderfully supported by Kidman &
    Mara.

    On an overall scale, Lion opens on a promising note but loses its
    momentum in the second half, for the way it connects the dots backwards
    is rather too uninspiring, and the emotional finale it then inches
    towards is overly exaggerated. While its heart is at the right place,
    the execution isn’t as spot-on as it needed to be. In short, it has its
    share of impressive moments but as a whole, Lion doesn’t pack a strong
    enough punch.

  • mohitmanFebruary 19, 2017Reply

    What a farce!

    Another Slumdog Millionaire.

    Another Born Into Brothels.

    A little more humane and gentler version.

    A more carefully-done slamming of the ”dark,” ”no-justice,”
    ”no-movement” Third World like Calcutta. A more subtle glorification of
    the savior First/White/missionary World. Huge exclusion. Massive
    cosmetization.

    Another sure recipe for another Oscar.

  • huw-26February 20, 2017Reply

    Decent 10 minutes at start and end….

    Shame about the hour and three-quarters in the middle.

    Lots of lovely stuff in this film, but as a story, it really dragged in
    the middle. Cutting it by 20-30 minutes, all from the middle bit, would
    have improved it tremendously.

    Beautifully shot, the opening part of the film is superb – a real sense
    of the desolation of the young, charming child is established. But as
    the film goes on, and on, and on, and on, we lose all sense of empathy
    with our main protagonist, and the lovely ending is almost lost in the
    rush to leave the cinema because of the sheer tedium and ennui of the
    middle section.

  • Miguel NetoFebruary 20, 2017Reply

    A good drama, which shows the sad reality of many countries like India

    I admit that I was interested in Lion when he was nominated, well the
    film has a beautiful and exciting story, based on real facts, tells the
    story of an Indian who loses his brother, and 25 years older looks for
    his genetic family, the Cast was well chosen, Dev Patel, Rooney Mara,
    Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, and etc, the script is good, even with
    some problems, I found some dialogues weak, but the film has exciting
    moments, especially the last 15 minutes or so Are very exciting, not to
    mention that is a strong drama, has scenes showing the reality of some
    places in India, I found the direction of Garth Davis is good, and even
    with a slow pace, the film is not boring if Lion deserved To be
    nominated for Oscar, it’s another story, I would not indicate, but the
    pro-nomination Patel was fair, Lion is a good drama, with sad and heavy
    scenes, based on an incredible real story. Note 7.7

  • Alexander KleinFebruary 20, 2017Reply

    Lion Roars

    Lion finally helped me complete my viewing of all the best picture
    nominees, and I’d have to agree it deserves a place up there with the
    other great films.

    Lion is the story of a boy in India who gets lost and ends up traveling
    far from home not knowing where he is. He is then adopted into a family
    in Australia where he grows up and decides he wants to find his old
    family. The movie has two distinct parts: young Saroo and older Saroo.
    The younger of the two steals the show and makes you want to see more
    of his young bravery.

    Nicole Kidman plays his adoptive mother and she does a fine job but
    Saroo is the central character the entire way and I felt gripped the
    entire time rooting for him not to give up. The film briefly brings up
    the idea of leaving your past in the past. It asks the question, if you
    don’t like what you find would you continue searching, but neither of
    those points are focused on for too long. Besides that brief discussion
    the main focus of this movie is just watching young Saroo survive
    surrounded by Indian’s but not speaking their native Bengali since he
    is from another part of the country and speaks Hindi. The movie does a
    great job showing what many young children face being alone in the
    streets. As the movie ends, the credits explain there are over 80,000
    displaced children like Saroo which really lends weight to the story
    and makes his one to root for.

    Dev Patel plays the older Saroo and he does a great job playing a man
    who has a conflict of roots. He speaks Australian, almost forgetting
    his Hindi, and assimilates to the culture. In college he meets Rooney
    Mara and some other students and while at a dinner party of an Indian
    friend he sees something that jolts his past square into his present
    making that search for his family the main focus while trying to juggle
    his current family.

    The music was beautiful and really helped push these emotions home
    without feeling forced as it so easily could have. The locations were
    also beautiful, giving a true feel to the streets of Calcutta and the
    wilderness of India along with Australia as well.

    Lion is a must see for this Oscar season with more going for it than
    not. Great performances especially from newcomer Sunny Pawar as young
    Saroo along with beautiful music and a feel good story that will have
    you teary eyed.

  • xcoldflame90February 21, 2017Reply

    This movie was so dreadful to watch.

    I can’t believe I saw this movie till the end. Maybe its because I
    wanted to know how lame a true story can be portrayed. It made me feel
    like drowning and I couldn’t help myself. The sadistic feel was
    consuming me. Why it was like a sudden urge to know where he ”saroo”
    had come from after all these years living happily with his foster
    parents. The play doesn’t made sense to me. All those flashbacks in the
    ongoing seek made me feel sick.

  • Biscuit29February 21, 2017Reply

    As an adopted child, ”Lion” captured it all.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • crozbagFebruary 21, 2017Reply

    Amazing cinematography with an extremely basic plot

    A mixed bag that looks great but cheaply plays on heart strings. There
    is too little deviance from the simple premise and relationships
    between supporting characters are much too uncomplicated and incomplete
    to care about. If only the talent and effort that went into making this
    had gone to a better written screenplay. Instead it hopes and pushes
    for sympathy by boasting about the reality behind it.

  • thefrontporchpeopleFebruary 21, 2017Reply

    Lion feels like two separate films; we liked the first but not the second! (Audio)

    Our Hollywood critics, Les Roberts and Ann Elder, decided that Lion
    feels jarringly like a two part film. They absolutely adored the
    performances of the young Saroo and his brother. However, they felt
    that the grown Saroo (played by Dev Patel) should have moved them to
    tears. This true story, based on Saroo’s search for his family was
    definitely sentimental, but it simply missed the mark. The flashbacks
    were sweet, but they were interjected somewhat jarringly at times.

    Lion feels like two separate films; we liked the first but not the
    second! Overall, Ann and Les gave it a ”yellow” light, meaning this
    movie is definitely worth watching, but approach it with caution. The
    direction is amiss, as are some of the performances. However, the
    cinematography and performance of the young Saroo are breathtaking.

    Ann and Les discuss more aspects of the film in podcast form here:
    https://www.thefrontporchpeople.com/greenlightreviews/lion

  • mennaashraf-17171February 22, 2017Reply

    promoting humanity.

    ”To take a child who’s suffering, and give them a chance in the
    world… Now there’s something.”

    This sentence pretty much sums up everything, the world is full of
    cruelty and to save a child is one of the most modest and appropriate
    decisions to make.

    Thanks for the creator of the movie for promoting the idea and If one
    day I got the chance to do the same, I believe I will.

  • Selena TamiagoFebruary 22, 2017Reply

    Heartbreaking but truly amazing story.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Harry T. Yung ([email protected])February 22, 2017Reply

    Marvellous cinematic re-creation

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • lindseyloonFebruary 22, 2017Reply

    Authentically touching and beautifully done, nearly 10/10

    Zero spoilers: Soulful without being trite, Lion is a journey film that
    explores the tie of family, the way we map our memories, and the
    longing to fully understand identity. Ranging from India to Australia,
    this chronicles a spirited boy becoming a quiet but determined man, a
    focused dreamer. Performances and story are a solid 10, with only a few
    aesthetic choices in camera department and a few issues of narrative
    focus robbing it for what would be a perfect score and one of the best
    films of the past few years.

    Dev Patel is mesmerizing, as are every one of the Indian actors who
    grace the screen for the first half of the film. Beginning with
    phenomenal aerial photography, the camera offers gorgeous visual
    narration and draws us into the themes of place and displacement from
    the first flicker of the projector.

    The editing is also sensational, with beautiful pacing and way–
    creating tension then exploring memory. The film rarely drags or feels
    that it is rushing.

    Really, close to perfect. The aesthetic and narrative adjustments that
    I would have made come down primarily to preference– the lighting,
    framing, and cinematographic choices made during a few scenes drew me
    out of the narrative, and as a fussy film festival director I could
    pinpoint them but it wouldn’t matter.

    A few moments made me loose a bit of faith in the aesthetic
    cohesiveness because of a feeling that things vacillated from a
    ”shooting commercials” look to a more self- conscious indie style shoot
    (which I found unconvincing given the grandeur of the film, and
    unflattering to several of the female actors, there seemed to be an
    unawareness of portraiture in some key scenes that involved women).
    Additionally, it was a sad oversight that there were no female
    characters in the entire film that existed other than to forward the
    male story– while there were fantastic female characters and wonderful
    performances by a number of actresses (NK, RM, and the Indian orphanage
    lady as well as another female key character spring to mind)– still,
    when there is license to translate a real story into cinema there is
    also license to expand some of the characters, Nicole Kidman’s mother
    had such depth it would have been easy to have a scene with her and a
    female friend that showed more of her depth of life outside the frame
    of being ”the mom,” or Roony Mara’s ”girlfriend” who also interacted
    with no other women. In an era in which awareness of the Bechdel test
    is so prevalent, and there are increasingly multi- faceted and
    wonderful roles for women as there are in this film– it would really
    have been thoughtful and expanded the scope of story to include women
    whose purpose did not stop at serving this film– because this is a
    gorgeous human story and not just a star vehicle. Likewise some of the
    camera department aesthetic choices seemed inconsistent and a bit
    insulting to the sensational aerial cinematography and superb editing.
    Truly worth a good watch, I enjoyed Lion on many levels. You’re in for
    a treat!

  • cachorrin70February 22, 2017Reply

    Home is where the mellow heart is

    I will not retell the story because so far is well known. What I would
    like to write about is the real emotional content in the whole plot.
    Myself a child with no father experienced the miracle: at only 3 years
    old, playing by myself on the sidewalk waiting for my 15 year old
    mother to return from work. Suddenly I spotted a guy, sitting on a
    wheelchair taking the sun. I went to talk to him and for the next 3 or
    4 months I speak and speak with him. He was recovering from a stroke.
    Months went by, he was cured and not in that wheelchair any longer. I
    waited and waited….. Some weeks latter he knocked at the door and
    tell my mother: I want to be the father of your child… Would you
    marry me??? 6 months latter I had a family. My father choose me out of
    love beyond the Mexican macho… But the ghost of the teenager father
    that I never met haunted me for years until I knew he died at 17 years
    old. I understand the story of Saruu and in times like this… There’s
    no better story to get us together instead of separate us.

  • sandreneFebruary 23, 2017Reply

    Touching, but suffers from a weak second act

    The first half of this film is practically perfect. Amazing
    storytelling, breathtaking cinematography. How Sunny Pawar was not
    nominated for any of the major awards is beyond me. This boy showed a
    whole gamut of emotions, and we felt what he was feeling. And although
    we know that he eventually gets adopted, we are left in the tension as
    we see all the things he goes through before getting to that place.

    However, once Suroo is placed with his adopted family, the story begins
    to suffer. His motivation behind his quest to find his real family is
    overshadowed with story lines regarding his family and his girlfriend.
    We see what he’s going through, but we don’t get to spend much time
    with him as we did with young Saroo. I still found myself engaged in
    his quest, but only because the movie made us love that young boy and
    want him to find closure.

  • vikasmeena-10379February 23, 2017Reply

    Indeed Oscar Deserving

    First of all I don’t know who and how was the cast decided but each
    individual has given a spectacular performance.Something that blew me
    is how the director Garth Davis was able to capture India better than
    any Indian director has ever done(my opinion).

    The story revolves around a small kid who is lost and is searching for
    his family.If you are a emotional person i would suggest you to keep
    tissues around because this movie is gonna hit hard and i mean really
    hard.Some scenes are just enough for goosebumps.Now i would not give
    much spoilers and would just suggest you to give it a short it’s an
    amazing movie trust me.Though I don’t know whether a non-Hindi speaker
    would enjoy it as much as i did but you should give it a shot.

  • toon_seenFebruary 23, 2017Reply

    I love it you guys have to try

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • MrDHWong ([email protected])February 23, 2017Reply

    This film shows that no matter where we are in this world, we cannot escape who we really are

    Lion is a drama film starring Dev Patel based on the true story of
    Saroo Brierley. Touching and heartwarming, this film shows that no
    matter where we are in this world, we cannot escape who we really are.

    In 1986, a young Indian boy named Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is separated from
    his family while out one day with his older brother. After surviving on
    the streets of Calcutta for some time, Saroo is eventually taken to an
    orphanage where he is later adopted by an Australian couple named John
    (David Wenham) and Sue (Nicole Kidman). At first, Saroo is weary of his
    new adoptive family, but over time, he warms to them. 25 years later,
    the older Saroo (Dev Patel), still haunted by visions of his childhood,
    decides to search for a way to reconnect with his birth family, whom he
    believes are still waiting for him.

    Surprisingly, the film depicts more of Saroo’s backstory in India than
    his actual search for his family, which is fine as this allows the
    audience to feel what he has been missing out on for so long. Dev
    Patel’s portrayal of a young man searching for his birth family was
    fantastic and reminiscent of his role in Slumdog Millionaire. Nicole
    Kidman only really shines in one short scene, although it certainly
    leaves an impression on the viewer.

    I rate it 8/10

  • ManazzFebruary 24, 2017Reply

    A lion with two sides

    A beautiful, emotional movie that looses its touch midway. The story of
    the young boy (played by Sunny Pawar) traveling through India feels
    real and very touching. However, when shifting surroundings to
    Australia 25 years later, the movie looses its grip a little with empty
    and repetitive scenes, saved by brilliant acting from Dev Patel.
    Despite the other half of the movie falling behind, it finishes off
    extremely strong and pure, leaving the viewers with a lot to think
    about.

  • ChattoFebruary 24, 2017Reply

    Nothing less than a masterpiece

    Firstly, I would like to mention that I hardly ever write any reviews
    for any movie. This is one such film, where you start off with no
    expectations at all, and you’re left speechless.

    This movie is a true masterpiece, with exceptional acting, expressions,
    music and story. And all hands down to the child actor, Sunny Pawar.

    This is one rare movie that moved me to tears, and believe me that’s
    one tough job. This is not just a movie. Its a journey. And I can watch
    it again and again and again.

  • Ivan LalicFebruary 24, 2017Reply

    Emotional destroyer

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Claudio CarvalhoFebruary 24, 2017Reply

    Great Film Based on a True Story

    In 1986, in Khandwa, India, the 5 year-old boy Saroo (Sunny Pawar)
    lives a very poor but happy life with his mother Kamla (Priyanka Bose),
    his older brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate) and his younger sister
    Shekila (Khushi Solanki). Kamla works carrying stones during the night
    shift and Guddu also works in the night in the Central Station. One
    night, Saroo insists on going with Guddu to his work and does not
    resist and sleeps. Guddu leaves Saroo sleeping on a bank I the station
    and asks him to stay there until he returns. However the boy wakes up
    in the middle of the night and decides to seek out his brother in a
    train. He sleeps again and he wakes up in Calcutta, West Bengal, and
    1,600 km east of Khandwa. Saroo does not speak Bengali, only Hindi, and
    lives on the street of the big city. One day, a young man brings Saroo
    to the police station and he is sent of an institution for children. In
    1987, Saroo is adopted by an Australian family and moves to Hobart,
    Tasmania. He is raised with love by his foster parents and one day, he
    goes to an Indian party promoted by his Indian mates from the
    university with his girlfriend Lucy (Rooney Mara). He tells the story
    of his childhood and triggers the feeling of missing his family. Now
    Saroo becomes obsessed to find his mother Kamla and his siblings. Will
    he succeed in his search?

    ”Lion” is a great film based on a true story. The first part is a
    masterpiece and the boy Sunny Pawar steals the show. The plot is
    heartbreaking with the 5 year-old boy lost alone in the big city and
    without speaking the local language. There is an ellipsis when he grows
    up and the film turns into a melodrama inferior to the story of Saroo’s
    childhood on the streets of Calcutta. The conclusion is emotional, with
    the reunion of Saroo and his biological mother. Along the credits, the
    footage of the real characters in India will make many eyes brimming
    with tears. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): ”Lion: Uma Jornada Para Casa” (”Lion: A Journey Home”)

  • CosminAgafiteiFebruary 24, 2017Reply

    One of the best movies i ever seen

    Marvelous. The story is impressive and the fact that is based on a true
    story is even more great. I didn’t saw the trailer, I wanted to watch
    it because i heard about it on Oscar nominations and after Dev Patel
    won the Bafta for his outstanding performance. I hope he wins the Oscar
    too! It’s good, it’s great! Very good movie, I recommend it! 10 stars
    is to little to express the greatness of this movie!

  • ahmed-hunain56February 25, 2017Reply

    Absolutely Phenomenal and Tear Jerking

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • luckyfay-34-545425February 25, 2017Reply

    Soars above the Rest

    Up until this morning when I saw Lion, my support was behind LaLa Land
    for the Oscar. Lion chased it off the landscape for me. I started
    crying fewer than ten minutes in and the fountain was never turned off
    after that. And, it’s not as if they went for cheap tears; no, every
    tear was earned The casting was so good, it seemed magical to me. I was
    skeptical about Nicole Kidman to start with but she was the kindest,
    sweetest mom ever. The story is heart rending; even when you know how
    it ends, you are completely caught up till the very last words. I
    absolutely loved it, still thinking about it hours later. I’m resolved
    to donate money to a charity for Indian children. Four of them.

  • Malthe TuxenFebruary 25, 2017Reply

    The most amazing movie you are going to watch in a long time.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • spencergrande6February 25, 2017Reply

    A really good true story that lacks focus

    This is a really good story, but its structure, pacing and editing
    threw me off constantly throughout. I couldn’t completely engage with
    the film as a result.

    Nearly an hour of the film is spent on little Saroo, yet ultimately
    this has no bearing on the film as a whole. The film is about Saroo
    reconnecting with his biological mom, his culture and his heritage. Yet
    none of these scenes further that. They’re from a different movie about
    the entire life of Saroo and the tribulations of all Indian orphans
    which this film clearly is not.

    I really think this film benefits from a less chronological structure –
    if his past as a young boy were something he was remembering in pieces
    in the present. Because ultimately how much of that time does he really
    remember? It seems unlikely it was all of it since he was so young, so
    these scenes are really for the benefit of the audience so we spend too
    much of the film waiting for him to find home because we aren’t
    actively connecting with his past like he is. We already know what
    happened and the incoming inevitable conclusion.

    Still, it’s a beautiful story and the conclusion is convincingly
    emotional and touching. Dev Patel and little Sunny Pawar are both
    pretty great.

  • TakethispunchFebruary 25, 2017Reply

    Good movie

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • soumikchakrabartyFebruary 26, 2017Reply

    Same old ”Slumdog Millionaire” formula.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • pinokiyoFebruary 26, 2017Reply

    MUST SEE! POWERFUL! Bring on the Kleenex!! Extra boxes of them. The little boy is an instant star…

    I honestly, initially, didn’t really have any interest in this film,
    even with all the Oscar nomination raves going towards it because I had
    no idea what it was about other than the title being ”Lion” and it
    starred the guy from ”Slumdog Millionaire” and had a very odd looking
    Nicole Kidman…

    When I finally heard what the film was really all about, it intrigued
    me and the film really had me hooked from the start of the film.

    The little boy in this film is easily an instant star! He is adorable
    like a little puppy. His older brother, Guddu, also has a strong
    memorable presence.

    I didn’t really care about the relationship with the girlfriend, as
    that just felt rushed and irrelevant, but the relationships with the
    brothers and mothers is just so heart-wrenching.

    I thought once it got to the older version played by Dev Petel, I
    thought the film would end up being weaker, because the little boy is
    just so charming, but Dev did a great job.

    It didn’t win any Oscars, but who cares. Anyone can relate to trying to
    find your home and that rush of emotions filling up. The music and cue
    really adds to the emotions.

    The power of technology and determination. I don’t really like Google
    using this for their commercial, though.

  • Anurag-ShettyFebruary 26, 2017Reply

    A heartrending story that will stay with you, forever.

    Lion tells the true story of Saroo Brierley(Dev Patel). When Saroo is
    five years old, he gets lost thousands of kilometers from home. He ends
    up on the streets of Calcutta, India. He faces several adversities. He
    is finally adopted by John Brierley(David Wenham) & Sue Brierley(Nicole
    Kidman). 25 years later, Saroo starts remembering his long-lost family
    in India. He makes up his mind to reunite with them, no matter how
    difficult his journey gets.

    Lion is an outstanding film. Director Garth Davis has flawlessly
    brought to the big screen, this incredible true tale of loss & undying
    hope & love. The screenplay by Luke Davies has impeccably adapted
    Saroo’s novel, A Long Way Home. The cinematography by Greig Fraser is
    one of the highlights of the movie. Fraser has expertly captured the
    beauty of India & Australia. The performances are another highlight of
    the film. Dev Patel is fantastic as Saroo Brierley. Patel portrays his
    character’s vulnerability & desperation, effortlessly. Rooney Mara is
    great as Lucy. David Wenham is awesome as John Brierley. Nicole Kidman
    is spectacular as Sue Brierley. Kidman has showcased a mother’s love,
    brilliantly. Sunny Pawar is the star of the show as Young Saroo. Pawar
    shines in his acting debut, superbly carrying the movie on his
    shoulders for half its run-time. Tannishtha Chatterjee, Nawazuddin
    Siddiqui, Deepti Naval & Divian Ladwa are impressive as Noor, Rawa,
    Mrs. Sood & Mantosh Brierley, respectively. Abhishek Bharate & Priyanka
    Bose are amazing as Guddu & Kamla, respectively. Lion is a must watch
    for everyone. Go as soon as you can, to watch this riveting movie about
    the triumph of the human spirit.

  • ElMaruecan82February 26, 2017Reply

    Waiting for Guddu…

    Whenever I wander in the streets of the Moroccan Medina, I feel at
    home. There’s that strange mixture of various fragrances floating in
    the air: spices, kebab, frying delicacies (not much different from
    these appetizing jelabis), sea spray from the fish market, tanned
    leather from the shoe shop and this whole conglomerate smell outsiders
    or tourists might feel stinky, but as far as ”my” senses are concerned,
    ”there’s no place like home”. I didn’t pick it, it picked me.

    And maybe there’s something innately circular about life, we’re born
    home, we move close or far from it, and there’s the need to get back. I
    even have a personal theory: that even your children can find a deep
    ”connection” with the place you were born in, your home will also feel
    like home for them. And it is indeed ”A Long Way Home”, the poignant
    and inspiring story of Saroo Brierley, born in India, lost at the age
    of five, adopted by an Australian couple and reuniting with his mother
    and his family twenty-five years later. What else can be said? It’s a
    simple story but it’s often in the most plain-looking grounds that you
    can find the most precious gems.

    Garth Davis’ ”Lion” is indeed simple in its storytelling; it’s linear
    and straightforward in its clarity. Basically the whole first hour
    shows poor Saroo looking for his brother Guddu in hostile and
    overcrowded streets of Calcutta and finding a few moments of relief
    interrupted by adults, and in the huge lottery of karma, some can look
    extremely friendly and have sinister motives. But good fate sides with
    little Saroo and one lucky encounter leading to another, a couple of
    Australian tourist discovers the ‘wanted notice’ published in a
    newspaper and they instantly fall in love with the kid and adopt him.
    Saroo is then taught English and good manners.

    Then, something interesting happens: while I expected some resistance,
    he actually tries to fit in his new family as if he’s aware that
    there’s something really providential in that couple of good-hearted
    people from Tasmania, played by Nicole Kidman and David Brienham. The
    one twist that spoils the family harmony is the adoption of a mentally
    troubled and self-harming Indian boy named Mantosh one year later.
    ”Lion” manages to say a lot without words, from the reaction of Sunny
    Pawar, who does a fine, subtle, acting job, I could feel that he didn’t
    welcome this arrival with much enthusiasm but wouldn’t display jealousy
    out of love for his new mom.

    And the way he grew up was in line with the character. Dev Patel
    finally makes his entrance as a brilliant young man in his
    mid-twenties, ready to embrace studies in hotel management, he’s also a
    nice guy like you seldom see in movies, no tortured soul, no rebel, no
    wimp either and respectful toward his parents. Seeing Patel again made
    me regret how harshly I judged ”Slumdog Millionnaire” but I never
    commented his acting but a script that took a rather simplistic turn
    near the end. So, I was glad to see Patel again, playing another guy
    trying to find a loved one through a ”modern device” but I hoped Davis
    wouldn’t derail the film from its beautiful simplicity.

    And I had a good scare when his soon-to-be girlfriend, played by Rooney
    Mara, started improvising a little dance on the streets as it almost
    felt like there would be some Bollywood number, but it was just her
    twisted way to seduce him, and it worked… well, to some degree.
    Personally, she struck me as a too cold and sophisticated girl, I
    didn’t buy that a guy so warm and ”sunny” like Saroo would fall in love
    with a younger version of Kristin Scott Thomas. Even the love scenes
    made me wonder if Mara wasn’t still under the influence of her previous
    romance in ”Carol”. Never mind, the center of the movie were Patel and
    Kidman and as soon as Patel has this delicate ‘Proust Madeleine’
    moment, the story takes off and with the miracle of ”Google Earth”,
    Saroo tries to find the way back home.

    The film tries to inject some ‘suspense’ in that powerful journey but
    that wasn’t necessary, I think they could have just compressed the
    ‘research’ within the last weeks before Saroo’s departure and avoided
    these little ‘pending’ moments, only to focus on the relationship with
    his adoptive mother and some emotional insights about the heights of
    generosity some hearts can reach. There were many heartfelt statements
    about adoption that could have enriched the story but the girlfriend
    allowed Saroo to explain his existential crisis to the audience without
    never really existing on her own, I didn’t care for her anyway. The
    tormented brother could have made a more interesting foil for Saroo and
    would have provided a fine back-story paralleling Saroo’s experience.

    While ”Lion” isn’t flawless, it’s a movie whose emotional power relied
    on the ending, and when Saroo was getting closer to his home, I could
    find my own heart beating, that’s for the empathy… and that was the
    price to pay, to earn that teary explosion of happiness and a few
    emotionally rewarding revelations, concluding one of the few 2016
    movies of universal appeal. Indeed, If there ever was one statement to
    sum up the general appeal of movies, or stories regardless of their
    narrative medium, I would quote the late Roger Ebert who said ”The more
    specific a film is, the more universal, because the more it understands
    individual characters, the more it applies to everyone”.

    Truer words have never been spoken indeed. Garth Davis’ ”Lion” might
    have an Australian-Indian protagonist but anyone can relate to him,
    from India, Iceland, Jamaica, Morocco or any part of the world.

  • pyrocitorFebruary 26, 2017Reply

    The opposite of Hakuna Matata

    It’s important to remember there are orphans in mainstream cinema who
    aren’t whiny superheroes. Indeed, as Lion’s sobering closing title card
    reminds us, over 80,000(!) children go missing in India alone every
    year – a staggering figure that makes the story of one who found his
    way home to his family all the more incredible. Saroo Brierly’s story
    is too irresistibly moving to ever dismiss; however, it’s unfortunate
    that its cinematic telling stumbles in properly doing it justice.
    Despite many promising attributes, Lion falls prey to a glut of
    unwarranted Oscar bait clichés, making the
    ‘so-incredible-it-feels-like-a-movie’ tale feel disappointingly
    artificial when told in feature film form.

    Lion will invariably suffer from a spate of Slumdog Millionaire
    comparisons, which aren’t as reductionist as you’d expect. Nonetheless,
    debut director Garth Davis could have taken notes in how to convey
    heavy content with the pizazz and massive heart of his film’s
    begrudging predecessor, as his film plays as too overlong, stagey, and
    glum to properly stand out by comparison. Still, Luke Davies’ otherwise
    clumsy screenplay makes one bold choice that pays off: unfolding
    Saroo’s ‘there and back again’ linearly, rather than disrupted by
    traditional, hackneyed Hollywood flashbacks. This two-act structure
    forces us to empathize with the sheer enormity – emotional and
    geographic – of his journey, building up to a climactic emotional
    payoff that feels exhaustively earned.

    The first half, a near-silent parable of a young Saroo, disoriented,
    wandering across India, and besieged by countless unscrupulous,
    predatory individuals, grimly sketches the film’s social consciousness
    and horrific climate of missing/abducted children. Poignantly severe as
    it is, the segment’s length, aimless editing, and wordless
    lugubriousness still toe the line of being an episodic downer parade.
    Thankfully, Davis cleverly takes the Life is Beautiful route, filtering
    the looming evils through the cheerful shambling of its child
    protagonist. It works, as luminous newcomer Sunny Pawar, bursting with
    a quirky, Charlie Chaplin charisma, carries the first act masterfully,
    captivating with his wary but unquenchably chipper perseverance every
    step of the way.

    The film’s second half, housing the bulk of the narrative, is more of a
    slog. Initially, Davis ably conveys the brittle social dynamics of
    Saroo’s adoption process, including the unforeseen pain of an adopted
    brother struggling to integrate and prone to fits of self-harm.
    Similarly, Saroo’s subsequent disinterested ‘third culture kid’
    identity (”you still like cricket?” ”Yeah, but I cheer for the Aussies,
    mate”) feels commendably real. Disappointingly, the script’s set up for
    Saroo’s central conflict is far from as finely honed. The tricky thing
    about PTSD is that, distressingly real as it is, it’s hard to depict
    cinematically without it reading as wholly disingenuous, and Davis
    flounders somewhat to dredge up the urgency and emotional resonance in
    Saroo’s triggered fixation with his past. Instead, we get pockets of
    cumbersome, frustratingly Oscar-baiting dialogue that brandish the
    film’s themes with the subtlety of a cricket bat upside the head,
    including multiple superfluous exposition-fights with Saroo’s
    girlfriend (Rooney Mara; capable but somewhat glassy-eyed in an
    underwritten support/indignation sounding board archetype).
    Increasingly, this second act involves watching an increasingly sulky
    and hairy Dev Patel loom over a laptop (and the fawning introduction of
    Google Earth – ”have you heard about this fantastic new program?” is
    about as instantly dated as Chef’s love letter to Twitter in 2014) – or
    worse: one of those splashy CSI-style map-pin-boards that seem to only
    exist in Hollywood detective fantasies.

    Davis does his best to counteract the stagnation with Google Earth
    footage turning into sweeping, gorgeous panoramic shots of beautifully
    lush Tasmania, and the arid, frustratingly elusive Indian countryside.
    Where Lion really excels beyond its central performances is in its
    ability to astutely capture a location’s sensory details, with snippets
    of birdsong, local music, background banter, and cameras prowling as
    relentlessly as the titular predator lapping up the sights, sounds, and
    even smells of its two locales. This attention to detail is appropriate
    – after all, it’s a sugary dessert that triggers Saroo’s first
    childhood PTSD flashback – but it lends a welcome degree of
    authenticity and immediacy to a film otherwise scrambling to conjure
    such qualities.

    None of this is not to disparage Patel’s excellent performance, as his
    furious, manic compulsion to reconcile the two halves of his life is
    commanding and fiercely believable, and the perfect counterbalance to
    the jauntier Pawar as his younger self. It’s more a shame that the
    film’s script and direction can’t meet him at his level of intensity,
    as he’s hauntingly human enough that we want to ache for Saroo’s
    hardship, only to snapped out of Patel’s magnetism by the frequent
    contrivance of the words that tumble out of his mouth. This is a fate
    that Nicole Kidman and David Wenham, as Saroo’s adoptive parents, also
    struggle valiantly to combat through their honest and warm
    performances. Davies is mostly careful to position them gracefully and
    carefully, eschewing white saviour overtones by concentrating on their
    tentative but teeming love for their new family, and leaving Kidman
    only a single teary Oscar-flirting monologue. Their scenes are still a
    touch rosy-tinted, but the cabal of talent between them help make their
    thoroughly scripted exchanges play as raw and natural.

    Slow, disordered, and frustratingly cliché-peppered as it may be, Lion
    still serves as an emotional venus flytrap, pouncing with a (somewhat
    rushed) finale sure to leave even the most scornful skeptics misty-eyed
    – even its title drop is an rousing slam dunk. Nonetheless, the film’s
    most moving moment is its closing credits’ documentary footage of its
    real life personages interacting – tearful, gauche, but devastatingly
    authentic. Often, fictional filmmaking is championed for evoking a true
    story’s inherent emotions more vividly than talking head anecdotal
    recreations. Lion, despite its promising attributes and visceral
    leading performances, is a strong testament to the contrary: sometimes
    such remarkable stories are better avoided by major studios, and told
    by those involved.

    -7/10

  • pytte-08898February 27, 2017Reply

    A beautiful movie

    The movie takes your attention from the first minute and you are
    captured in it tp the end. The little boy Saroo is so streetsmart at
    such a young age. Its a very touching movie first as a mother and then
    as a human in this cruel world. Sunny Pawar is such a beautiful boy and
    I hope he will make more movies.

  • nidhisehgalFebruary 27, 2017Reply

    Capturing movie, Brilliant acting and direction

    This is such an emotional journey of 5 year old boy who got parted from
    his family and end up 1600 km from his home town in Calcutta.As a young
    poor child alone in the city, He was exposed to harmful elements in the
    Society which were involved in child trading but as a Child he had very
    strong instincts. He knew in advance if something wrong is going to
    happen and used to run away be forehead.He landed up in an orphanage
    with the help of a young man he met at restaurant,He offered him food
    as well.In the orphanage he got adopted by an Australian couple.He
    bonded well with the family and after 25 years at the age of 30,He had
    this urge to look for his mother and brother.He used to get visuals of
    his brother calling him and his mother loving him.He saw jalabi at an
    Indian friend’s place and felt nostalgic.All his childhood memories
    were deeply sink into his subconscious mind.He found the place where he
    used to live with the help of google earth and landed up in India.He
    reached ganesh thaley and knew where he used to live.The scene when he
    meet his mom made me cry.It had so many emotions associated with
    it.There was a language barrier ,still it had so much of love.It just
    proved that love has no language and the most special bond is the one
    which we share with our mothers.He got to know that till now he was
    just mispronouncing his name.His actual name wad sheru. First half of
    the movie was in Hindi.I felt that i was watching a Bollywood movie.It
    is one of the best performance by a young actor i have seen so far.

  • infosubroFebruary 27, 2017Reply

    A Perfect Portrayal of Rural Life Here in India and the Struggle…

    Many years later when you would be sipping coffee and watching the
    sunset and think of all the good movies you’ve ever watched, this will
    be amongst them…. There will be tears in your eyes and you would
    thank you stars for having the luxury of watching the sunset while
    sipping coffee… This is how much I was moved after watching this
    movie. The characterization, the cinematography, music acting
    everything is so perfect…

    I am from kolkata and I have spent much of my life traveling from
    Howrah and walking the suburbs of this place…. The portrayal and the
    dialogues are bang-on, it is so realistic that I wondered how could
    they capture these nuances.

    Take some time out of your busy schedule and watch it…

  • Puneet Jain (puneet_bravo)February 27, 2017Reply

    Incredible Story and Direction!

    Starting with truth, I didn’t expect this movie to be so much touching.
    When the movie started, it was all Sunny Pawar. Kudos to the kid, he
    presented his masterpiece in his first page, what a natural! And the
    story itself gives you goose bumps, I literally cried like hell. Superb
    Acting Sunny Pawar, Dev Patel and great direction Garth Davis. Bow Down
    sir !!!!1

  • Thomas ([email protected])February 28, 2017Reply

    Back to the roots

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • giolaelFebruary 28, 2017Reply

    I thank you

    I just finished to watch the movie two hours ago. I’ve been using these
    hours to adjust my emotions, compose myself, elaborate, call my mother
    and my grandma on the phone and restore my balance once again. I can’t
    even describe where to start to explain one of the most touching,
    moving, elevating experiences in all my adult life in front of a
    screen. I’m a 42 years old woman, I began going to movie theaters at 4
    years old, with my parents, about twice a month, since then I’ve never
    stopped chewing films one by one, week after week, year after year. I’m
    neither an expert reviewer nor a proper critic, not a pro in the field.
    I’ve just seen a lot, and I mean a LOT, of movies in my life, from
    Italy (where I come from) to France, from US to UK, from Iran to China
    and Australia, from Mexico to Spain…well, I didn’t see this coming!
    ”Lion” literally teared me apart , chopped my guts, shook every fiber
    of my being and rebuilt me with my heart wide opened. I’m keeping it in
    my very hands right now! I started crying after few minutes from the
    beginning ’till the very end. I was a child, I was the child. The more
    Saroo was trying to find his roots, his particular unique whereabout,
    the more I was feeling that mine no longer belongs to my country, my
    specific culture, my city. I was just enjoying my worldwide connection,
    my cum-passione, my sym-patia: I felt Empathy. I felt mankind. I sensed
    the delicacy and the innocence of butterflies, the brutality of
    ignorance, the violence of poverty, the fear of injustice the beauty of
    rely on genuine family bonds. I felt the courage, the strength, the
    resilience that a man can bring, I felt Love. For That (!!) I wanna
    thank you all: Garth Davis, Luke Davies, Saroo Brierley and the crew,
    the whole cast and all the producers, for making me live one of the
    best moments that Cinema has ever been able to give me. Maybe because I
    think that Cinema is the Hegelian Absolute of human expression, or,
    perhaps, It was only a particular unconscious mood of my today, anyway,
    whatever! With all my sincere gratitude, Giorgia, from Milan.

  • Ugesh PrasadMarch 1, 2017Reply

    Best Movie After Forrest Gump (11 out of 10) perfection at its best (kudos to director)

    Cinematographer played a big role in this movie, even a dirty Indian
    railway station was very warm n looking good.. it was just like im
    looking it with my naked eye especially the sound effects during the
    dog barks. i was just living at the moment .. the entire team was acted
    so professionally , you people deserve more than a Oscar. Dev Patel new
    look is totally amazing, way to go bud. proud to see your growth from
    day one. i can see so much difference from chappie movie to Lion movie.
    sia composing is best one and apparently well written too. i loved each
    and every second of this movie which made me to write down this review.
    love from India <3 keep doing more exciting works. the director made me
    inspired through his work ethics .

  • avin_patel29March 1, 2017Reply

    Touches you and makes you cry out with heart

    I’m generally a no review writer but had to pen a review about this
    movie. I happen to see the trailer of the movie and I was touched to my
    core. Beinf an Indian, it touches even more. I immediately booked the
    tickets for the next day with my wife.

    Before seeing the trailer or the movie, I heard about Dev Patel winning
    the Oscars for this movie as best support actor and rightly so. But the
    showstopper of the movie is undoubtedly ”Sunny Pawar”. This little guy
    creates magic through his cute eyes, voice and the dialogues. He just
    mesmerize you guys as a young Saroo, who is lost and alone in such a
    unfamiliar place. The risk taken by the director to lead the film major
    role on such a young actor is creditable and it had paid off leaps and
    bounds to the movie.

    The casting, the story, the cinematography and the amazing music was
    done perfectly and I actually cannot fault this film. Even though most
    part of the movie is in Hindi (with English subtitles), it still
    conveys what it should. Watching the movie made me and my wife cry ‘n’
    number of times. Its the most gripping and compelling films I have ever
    watched.

    One thing is for sure, at the end of the movie, you will feel the pain
    and the struggle through which saroo had gone.

    LION is a film that I urge you to go and see because a film like this
    needs the coverage and its subject matter is something people need to
    be made more aware of.

  • bandwMarch 1, 2017Reply

    See it, even if you know the story

    I saw the ”60 Minutes” segment about the true story behind this movie
    and was thinking I would skip it for that reason, but given the good
    ratings it has gotten, I decided to give it a shot. I found the
    dramatization got me much more emotionally involved than the
    documentary.

    This story of Saroo Brierly is presented in two parts, separated by 25
    years. As the young Saroo, age five, the movie is immeasurably helped
    by the outstanding performance by the endearing Sunny Pawar. The risk
    of having a first time young actor carry half of a major movie paid
    off. It seems that the quality of child actors and young actors has
    improved impressively in recent years. I am thinking of the three kids
    in ”The Tree of Life,” for example.

    The older Saroo is played by Dev Patel, who was nominated for an Oscar
    for actor in a supporting role. Nicole Kidman was nominated for best
    actress in a supporting role for her portrayal of Saroo’s foster mother
    in Australia. The movie itself got a total of six Oscar nominations, so
    it comes with credentials.

    This is somewhat of a travelogue with scenes being filmed in various
    places in India, West Bengal, and Australia (particularly Tasmania).
    The artful cinematography of Greig Fraser (also an Oscar nominee) adds
    much to the impact of the movie.

    I think anyone who had a happy childhood and moved away from where he
    or she grew up always has nostalgia for the place of their beginning.
    With maturity also comes the desire to know one’s ancestors, to know
    where you came from. Those two themes infuse this story to the extent
    that most audiences should be able to establish a strong emotional
    identification with Saroo.

    Be sure to stay to the end where footage of the real life people is
    shown.

  • movieLoaderMarch 2, 2017Reply

    Solid film with some tedious fluff in second half

    The young Saroo character played by Sunny Pawar is a natural and the
    highlight by far. The first half of this film is the best half,
    featuring this young boy lost and surviving on the streets.

    The second half when he is grown up is merely anticipating the
    inevitable, waiting patiently for what we know or expect will happen –
    for the questions to be answered and the search to end.

    The poster for this movie is poorly designed. For some reason it
    focuses on the relationship with the girlfriend, which is not important
    to the story at all. Whoever designed and approved the poster attempted
    to invent significance where there wasn’t any. It gives the impression
    of a love story, which it isn’t.

    Photography is solid. Music is a bit tedious and repetitive with
    endless piano scales up and down. The second half tends to suffer from
    lack of punch. It merely delays the inevitable. The scene where Nicole
    Kidman unloads her emotions about everything is tedious. We don’t need
    to know all that, it’s not that interesting or relevant.

    Good story, shot well and good performances. Incredible that it
    happened. Just be prepared for some tedious filler and emotional fluff
    in the second half before the climax.

  • Cinema LoverMarch 2, 2017Reply

    Lovely Film

    I had heard mixed reviews about this film but luckily I rarely believe
    the critics! And I’m glad I didn’t and went along to see this wonderful
    film which tears at your heart strings.Actors are excellent, direction
    is perfect and the story is very well told.My friend whom accompanied
    me to see it wasn’t looking forwards to it but was very glad she did.
    Remember your tissues!

  • Taryll BakerMarch 2, 2017Reply

    Emotional, gritty and real. Lion is a must-see.

    Lion is directed by Garth Davis, starring; Dev Patel, Rooney Mara,
    Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and introducing Sunny Pawar.

    A five-year old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta,
    thousands of kilometres from home. He survives many challenges before
    being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to
    find his lost family.

    It’s rare in film to encounter a first act so thoroughly emotional,
    gritty and real. In Lion, director Garth Davis introduces us to Sunny
    Pawar, who at only eight-years old gives one of the most genuine,
    touching performances I’ve seen from any young actor. The first 50
    minutes are mostly silent, similar to the opening act of Pixar’s
    WALL•E, in which very little dialogue is used. During this time, Pawar
    is acting through raw expression as he stumbles around the unforgiving
    streets of Calcutta, laying down a vital background before cutting to a
    grown Saroo, 25 years on.

    The cinematography in this film is simply stunning, capturing India and
    Australia with a smart eye for composition, complete with a grade that
    only slightly brushes the screen with a finishing gloss. Each and every
    shot is dark in tone, especially in the first act, and documents the
    poverty situation without holding back, making the picture feel that
    bit more realistic.

    This is a work based on an incredible true story, and it’s definitely
    one of the most heartfelt tales to ever hit the big screen. During the
    final act, though inevitable, the execution is thorough enough to make
    us shed a few tears. The real success here is the telling of Saroo’s
    unexpected journey, miles from home. Once Dev Patel’s grown Saroo
    appears, the impact gets lost somewhere in the background, though in
    the final act it’s rekindled with spirit and we are pulled through many
    emotions until the picture fades to black. 

    Original music by Dustin O’Halloran & Volker Bertelmann is warm in
    colour, with a ravishing piano lead that drives the emotional bind
    between score and imagery. Lush string arrangements are present, but
    only serve as an underlying texture for the prominent use of piano. The
    music also stands on its own as a delightful listening experience.

    This is a must-see. Whether it’s at the cinema or during its home
    release, make it your priority to see this lovely film.

    Verdict; Garth Davis’ Lion is a work of art, featuring a powerful first
    act that captures fear, wonder and sadness all encased inside one
    wonderfully raw performance from Sunny Pawar.

    Lion, 10/10.

  • inforazaMarch 3, 2017Reply

    Lion is a well-made emotional film based on a true story – worth a 2nd watch!

    Lion is a well-executed, sincerely made, very emotional ”true life”
    film which received six Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards,
    including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Patel), Best Supporting
    Actress (Kidman) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

    It is about a very poor boy (Saroo) in an Indian orphanage who was
    adopted by a kind Australian couple. When Saroo grows up he recalls his
    childhood days and becomes restless to find his true roots – which
    brings him back to India.

    Although it does not have too much of drama, but it succeeds in pulling
    the audience along with the flow of the story.

    Presentation is more important than the idea itself. A simple story can
    be presented thoughtfully and enticingly.

    Lion is a proved example of that.

    But why is the film called ”Lion” when there is no real Lion in the
    film? The truth is revealed after the film ends.

    MERITS OF ”LION”

    1 – Interestingly, the film (directed empathetically by a first-timer
    Garth Davis) does not have too much of dialogues and heavy scenes. He
    relies more on moving imagery, telling shots and sound to tell the
    story. The pace of the film is creatively slow as it organically moves
    from one page to the next.

    And this proves to be very effective – which just pulls you in. You
    will love it when you see it. Only a deadpan person will remain unmoved
    by the emotional pull of this beautifully made film.

    You will surely feel for the character Saroo (played by Sunny Pawar
    when young and Dev Patel when grown up).

    2 – Cinematography is captivating! It scans beautiful landscapes (in
    India and Australia) to go with the flow of the story.

    3 – Background score is very arousing and fully uplifts and throws into
    high relief every situation in the film.

    4 – Sunny Power is adorable as the young Saroo. I loved the cute voice
    he has. He may not be an acting powerhouse, but whatever acting he has
    done is enough for us to empathise with him.

    5 – Dev Patel has certainly matured as an actor since his Slumdog
    Millionaire days. But Nicole Kidman has very few scenes as Saroo’s
    mother.

    DEMERITS OF ”LION”

    1 – Saroo’s longing for his roots and his interest to see his long lost
    family (before coming back to India) is presented in a very brief
    manner – WITHOUT any depth! His interactions with other people in his
    life (parents and girl friend) are pretty shallow.

    It is here that audience will feel ”de-empathised” after showing
    empathy in the first hour or so.

    This empathy and emotional connect could’ve been sustained if the
    ”longing for his roots” phase in Tasmania had been presented with more
    DEPTH.

    This ”depth” could have taken the form of curiosity on Saroo’s part to
    know more and more about where he came from by talking to his parents
    and with a build-up of passion in him to know more about himself.

    2 – The reunion between the long lost son (from Australia) and the
    mother (in India) is done in public, with villagers around them. How
    strange! It should have been done in private, thereby, creating the
    right sombre atmosphere for such an emotional reunion.

    Although what we see in the film is also emotional, but it should have
    been done in private, unless the public reunion is precisely what
    happened in real life.

    3 – Saroo is never shown kissing his American girlfriend, even when
    they are in bed a few times. Why? Did Saroo never did that in real life
    too? Strange!

    Finally, Garth Davis is very impressive as the Director. He certainly
    excelled in his craft ending up attracting the attention of the Oscar
    management.

    LION IS WORTH A 2nd WATCH!

    Garth Davis keep it up!

    PS:

    Have something to say to me?

    Shoot a mail to [email protected]

  • Andres-CamaraMarch 3, 2017Reply

    It will be a real fact, but it seems prepared for the tear

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ItocMarch 4, 2017Reply

    Lion King

    Lion shows how one small error could propel you worlds away from home,
    only to be forced to survive, assimilate to a whole new language and
    culture, and yet wonder what happened to home all those years ago. It’s
    a beautiful, human story about being once lost, and somehow found.

    The aimed style of the film is predominantly realistic with a more
    documentary direction while simultaneously keeping a cinematic flare.
    The soundtrack is even more present than the camera-work, with somber
    tunes coherent with the style of the film.

    It was recognized by the Academy for 6 nominations, but somehow manages
    to feel like an alternative film to the general Oscar picks. If you
    find the subject matter interesting then you will surely not be
    disappointed!

  • CindymecindyMarch 4, 2017Reply

    One of the Most Captivating Movies I’ve Ever Seen

    Tight; well acted. Captivating. Heartbreaking. When the credits rolled,
    no one moved. I suspect it was for the same reason I didn’t move. I was
    so emotional, I just couldn’t. I then went to the restroom as quickly
    as possible and quietly balled my eyes out. I tried to leave the stall
    but had to cry again. Never have been that emotional at any movie ever.
    It’s a must see.

  • HumanMarch 5, 2017Reply

    One interesting journey and a true story

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Harhaluulo54March 5, 2017Reply

    ‘Forced’ is the word of the day

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • muvi-fan-73March 5, 2017Reply

    Entertainment and subject devotion both stay true.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • John William H.March 6, 2017Reply

    Amazing and Moving True-Story!

    Lion is quite possibly the most tear-jerking film I’ve ever seen in my
    life; thank you Garth Davis. And I’ve seen Schindler’s List, Pan’s
    Labyrinth and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Lion is the story of
    lost Indian-boy Saroo Brierley: and his long-gestating journey to find
    his family, from whom he was accidentally separated from in 1986. The
    story and journey from then to the present actually has some surprising
    twists and turns; and one of them was subversively shocking and
    disturbing (involving a character’s paedophilic subtext). This is a
    family film that explores a deeper emotional spectrum than most family
    pics.

    Lion is one of 2016’s finest offerings in cinema. I know that some
    critics and audience- based reviews cited issues with the pacing, but I
    believe that it was completely intentional on behalf of director Garth
    Davis. It’s an emotional journey that needs some lenient pacing for the
    sake of the audience’s emotional responses. Davis directs his actors
    with real flare and there’s hardly a pointless moment ever caught on
    camera. Every moment is important to Saroo’s struggle and the film’s
    overall philanthropic message: help children less fortunate than us to
    reunite with their lost families. It’s a powerful story, theme and
    message we can all identify with; and are more than willing to help.

    Lion is truly moving, and could be the first of many like-minded
    philanthropic films countering and solving childhood problems. Please
    see this film and spread the word.

  • meganspellMarch 7, 2017Reply

    Favorite of 2016

    Lion was one of my favorite movies of the year. It made me want to
    travel, cry, write, and live. Dev Patel carries an incredibly vibrant
    performance of the true story of Saroo Brierley, who was lost as a
    child and then attempts to find his family in his 20’s. Pair that with
    grand sweeping landscapes and the incredibly endearing Sunny Pawar, who
    shines despite the grit of 1980’s slums of India, and it had everything
    I could have wanted in a hauntingly true film. This movie stuck with me
    days after leaving the theater and only deepened the lifelong crush I
    have been harboring on Dev Patel (which started in Slumdog and
    escalated in The Newsroom). I am in general pretty lukewarm on Nicole
    Kidman, but this is her at her best, and her maternal interactions
    seemed authentic without being romanticized. All in all, this was near
    perfect to me, and somehow managed to avoid landmine clichés that could
    have cheapened this standout of 2016. 9.7/10

  • Andres VarelaMarch 8, 2017Reply

    25 years thinking that my mom and brother are looking for me

    This is probably the best Story I ve ever seen in the last 2 years in
    cinema, no wonder that after the book came out it did not pass more
    than 2 years to make this film. The Story is simply beautiful and very
    sad. It develops the story of a 5y old boy who gets lost in India, that
    grows up with his adoptive parents in Australia. Life is good for him.
    But there are moments which reminds him of his family, of his
    childhood. This makes him feel some kind of depression, feeling that
    something is incomplete. He starts not being able to get along with the
    feeling, ”my real mom and brother, the ones who love me and raised me
    are probably still looking for me, wondering what happened to me, maybe
    thinking Im dead”. This must be one of the greatest feelings in the
    world. This is what moves the boy, to a ”journey” of trying to get to
    them again. The movie excellent made, very good photography, just the
    right pace in order to get emotionally involved and a good soundtrack
    to accompany in bring the right mood. Great performance from the actors
    Pavel and N.Kidman but specially the little boy which brings so much
    reality into the character. I enjoyed the movie a lot. Its a very sad
    movie, and it will for sure bring you to tears. Its a movie which Im
    going to remember for a long time.

  • Tim JohnsonMarch 9, 2017Reply

    An India you expected; a story that perhaps you didn’t.

    Diane and I saw this memorable film today and she, more than I, (her
    words, found it ”enthralling”); however, I saw it as a movie that
    captured my attention and kept that attention throughout the film.

    Diane is more sensitive to the soft nuances of a screenplay, and she
    thought that, particularly the Direction, brought out the best in the
    actors. I know that this comment seems to be more about her thoughts
    than mine; however, I did see in the movie all her comments about what
    we saw on the screen.

    The plot is known to all aficionados of the moving screen but to see
    the actors draw substance out of a script that devours so many minutes
    of screen time is a delicious watch. The fact that the action takes
    place in the visually delightful country of India is a feast for the
    eyes to use a trite saying but the cinematography brings out India’s
    horrendous poverty. SEE THIS MOVIE!

  • austin0731March 9, 2017Reply

    important, informing and relevant

    Lion stars Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar and tells the emotional and
    miraculous true story of ‘Saroo’ an Indian child who finds his way back
    home after 25 years of being separated from his family and adopted by
    an Australian family. The performance from the child actor Sunny Pawar
    was really great, his emotions and deliveries were all on point, His
    performance was heartfelt and heartbreaking, his fear and sense of
    isolation were done very well in the scenes where he first separates
    from his family, how he was depicted walking through the crowds, the
    sheer size comparison alone pacts such a strong effect.

    I really liked this movie because of how it was able to deliver an
    emotional and powerful story, the emotions from the child’s point of
    view and also in the later act with Dev Patel depicting a victim of
    trauma and the feeling of lost and the idea of searching for self
    purpose and his own roots were great. The excruciating process of
    trying to grasp that thread of memory digging through a dark pool of
    nothingness. Also the guilt that he feels for not having contacted his
    family all well explored and acted out.

    The film also does a great job exploring India’s poverty, the scene
    depicting a child snatching group was not only informing but relevant
    and impactful. Delivering an overall message of the amount of children
    that are lost in India each year at the end of the film, presumably
    falling into the hands of such criminal groups. This isn’t necessarily
    a very commercially viable movie, but it is as mentioned very important
    and explores the darker corners of the world and human nature.

  • ImdbidiaMarch 10, 2017Reply

    Loved this film

    I absolutely loved this film.

    If the story was not true and amazing per se, this film would still be
    good. But the fact that this is a real person’s story really blows my
    mind. The story made me reflect on the longing we all have for knowing
    who we are and where our roots are, and also about how we have to
    integrate the harsh parts of our past into our lives to have healthy
    adult lives. This story is so moving and so wonderful, that I don’t
    think is possible to hate it.

    I loved all the actors in the film, some of whom I don’t usually like
    it. I loved Patel’s heart-felt performance and he really deserves all
    the accolades and the Bafta he won; and let me tell you, he is finally
    playing a man, and really he looks so hot in this film :). Nicole
    Kidman provides us with a honest mature believable performance; I
    wouldn’t say deserving of an Oscar nomination, but very good
    nevertheless. Pawar, the child who plays young Suru, is truly amazing;
    such an small kiddo, and so mature in his acting. Rooney Marah and the
    other actors were correct in their respective performances as well.

    This being a real story, I was really pleased to have real footage of
    the real people behind the story, and some details of what happened to
    them.

    The main downside to me is that we get no background story about what
    happens to Saru’s family after he disappears. We are not presented with
    their despair, heart-break and the actions they took to try to find
    Saru; of course, we can imagine that, but a bit of details on that
    front would have rounded up the story and the film.

    Lion really did it for me.

  • Movie_Muse_ReviewsMarch 10, 2017Reply

    Outstanding example of emotion-driven storytelling

    You know that helplessly choked up feeling you get watching a TV news
    feature or documentary special about parents and children reuniting
    after years or decades apart? That’s the fuel that powers ”Lion,” a
    classically emotional story accentuated by astute craftsmanship.

    The journey of Saroo — played in the first half of the film by young
    Sunny Pawar and in the latter half by Dev Patel — awakens our innermost
    empathy. Director Garth Davis and screenwriter Luke Davies take great
    patience in nurturing the deeply human core of Saroo Brierly’s powerful
    true story.

    At five years old, Saroo was separated from his family in a small
    Indian village and accidentally boarded a train that shipped him to
    Calcutta, practically another country away. Forced to develop street
    smarts to survive, Saroo narrowly escapes potentially worse trauma
    (kidnapping, child labor) and eventually ends up in an orphanage, where
    he is later adopted by Austalian couple John (David Wenham) and Sue
    (Nicole Kidman) Brierly. As an adult taking hotel management courses in
    Melbourne, Saroo begins to reconnect with memories of his distant past,
    and becomes overwhelmingly compelled to find his family of origin.

    Especially in the first half of the film, the storytelling is almost
    effortless. Warmth comes instantly watching Saroo interact with his
    mother (Priyanka Bose), sister and older brother Guddu (Abhishek
    Bharate), and seeing him mistakenly separated from his well-meaning
    brother and then navigating the treacherous streets of Calcutta is
    heart-wrenching. Davies’ script leaves us helplessly watching Saroo
    struggle and survive, taking its time to really tell that story rather
    than just provide the essential information. The move is a crudely
    emotional wallop, the kind that wins audiences’ hearts.

    The simplicity of the childhood narrative also gives Davis a lot of
    wiggle room as a director. He and cinematographer Greig Fraser create
    so much atmosphere, making India dark and scary or beautiful and
    spiritual. When Saroo first arrives in Calcutta, lost in a mass of
    train station crowds, the scale, vibrancy and scariness put you there
    physically and emotionally with Saroo. They also capture his childlike
    wonder along with his skepticism. No knock on young Pawar’s remarkable
    performance either.

    The large portion screen time dedicated to Saroo’s childhood journey
    magnifies the film’s ultimate catharsis, but it also creates a sort of
    partition between the first and second halves. Davies spends so much
    time acquainting us with young Saroo that we have to get to know him
    again as an adult despite being well into the throes of the narrative.
    The storytelling gets a little tougher here with this jump in time and
    the inevitable course of the plot leading Saroo to find his family.

    Patel plays a critical role in bridging our emotional experience
    watching young Saroo to his character’s journey of rediscovering
    long-forgotten memories and becoming somewhat obsessively driven to
    reconnect and make peace with his cloudy past. He hits all the
    emotional beats of the story and we end up in complete sync with him at
    every one of those junctures as he discovers new information or makes a
    crucial realization. Kidman does the same thing, but in unexpected ways
    because of how wrapped up we get in Saroo’s story. She gives the film a
    left-field punch that brings it added dimension.

    The only emotional challenge that the film struggles with helping us
    access why Saroo is so private about his search, as well as his
    inability to let others (namely his adoptive parents) in. A few points
    of contention between him and girlfriend Lucy (Rooney Mara) don’t carry
    any kind of emotional weight despite their importance to the narrative
    of pushing Saroo to where he needs to be.

    The private nature of Saroo’s search demands the best of not only
    Patel, but also Davis and editor Alexander de Franceschi, who weave
    together Google Earth searches with childhood flashbacks and Patel’s
    emotional responses. It’s an ambitious attempt to facilitate drama from
    the unexciting experience of a man searching on a computer for his
    childhood village, but there’s a lot of visual symbolism connected to
    it and, of course, an emotional component.

    With emotion as the central cog of everything that makes it tick,
    ”Lion” envelops the audience in a predictable yet no less moving way.
    What elevate the story beyond that human appeal are the production
    values. They work in concert with one another to enhance the artistic
    value of a viewing experience that almost exclusively engages the
    heart. For those who prefer films target their feelings above all else,
    ”Lion” is one you can’t miss – for everyone else, it’s a worthwhile
    watch.

    ~Steven C

    Thanks for reading! Visit Movie Muse Reviews for more

  • chaphekar_adityaMarch 11, 2017Reply

    Its a one in a Million Stories!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • genesisorianaMarch 11, 2017Reply

    Roots, family, identity.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • yuvarajvimaMarch 12, 2017Reply

    Gut wrenching story of separation & re-union

    Lion was famously & deservedly nominated for Best Picture at the
    Academy and numerous other story, screenplay, direction and performance
    awards. But all these, and especially Oscar nominations raise a big
    question – Is this going to be another one of those dreary art films
    where you walk out depressed wishing you never watched it, yet feel the
    need to appreciate it for being an Oscar nominated movie? No. Lion is
    not only beautifully shot, it has authenticity, drama, mystery and
    romance which make it a wholesome entertainer.

    Lion tells the heart wrenching tale of a lost child from India and the
    extremely real horrors faced by orphan and homeless children like
    starvation and trafficking which scar them for life. Today, searching
    for something or someone is almost so easy that we have too many
    options or privacy concerns. The film also makes you think how today we
    take several privileges like food, shelter, safety & technology for
    granted while there are billions of starving children and families
    living on less than $1/day. It is unbelievable that there are
    extraordinary families like Sue & John Brierley; true heroes who
    decided to adopt two children from India and give them a fighting
    chance in the world. A true story of separation, imperfection, family,
    love and closure – that needed to be told.

    Sunny Pawar perfectly portrays innocence and despair of ‘Saroo’, and
    manages to look cute despite the homeless kid makeup. Nicole Kidman &
    Rooney Mara deliver poignant supporting roles, while Nawazuddin
    Siddiqui makes a surprising, eerie guest appearance onto international
    cinema. Dev Patel shows tremendous growth as an actor and expertly
    portrays the guilt and the yearning of a mature ‘Saroo’ who longs to
    find his roots and re-unite with his family. From a script standpoint,
    I would have liked a less dramatic; more realistic transition from
    Saroo’s normal life overseas to his search to find closure.
    Technically, the film shows almost flawless direction and editing.
    Definitely watch the movie and find out why it’s called ‘LION’.

  • yengahan-254-257374March 13, 2017Reply

    Stunning

    I saw this movie just now. It is absolutely beautiful, stunning,
    brilliant. There are moments when it doesn’t move very fast – we’re
    used to fast-moving these days, aren’t we – but that only adds to the
    feeling of time that passes in the course of the actual story that the
    movie is based on, and of the distances in India. The acting is superb,
    the Indian actors are amazing. If you are in doubt whether or not to
    see it: go see it, now! And bring a hankie….

  • burrpenickMarch 16, 2017Reply

    pretty good movie

    Indian movies can be a bit troublesome to us here in the states, but
    those realities do ring up some interesting thoughts about our own
    lives here in America. I liked the movie- it started out moving very
    quickly, and the story was not too difficult to follow, but it was a
    tab SLOW during the middle section. The overall story was very good,
    and the fact that is was based on a true story ALWAYS reels me in!

  • MeowmeMarch 20, 2017Reply

    Best Ever

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Kamalika RayMarch 20, 2017Reply

    A journey not defined

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • evanston_dadMarch 21, 2017Reply

    The Tribulations of a Privileged Dude Who Doesn’t Actually Have Any Problems

    Am I the only one who wanted to punch Dev Patel in the face while
    watching this film? He plays Saroo Brierley, a young Indian man who was
    separated from his family when he was a little boy, funneled into the
    Indian orphan system, and adopted by a loving Australian couple. He
    longs to return to India to see his birth family again, but is torn
    between wanting to reconnect with his roots and remaining loyal to the
    people who raised him.

    The first half of ”Lion” is the film at its best, thanks to the
    winningly adorable Sunny Pawar, who plays Saroo as a little boy. But
    once Saroo ages into Patel, the film turns into a saggy, interminable
    series of scenes in which Patel mopes, lashes out at everyone who’s
    nice to him, and spends every night staring at Google Earth while
    taking no action whatsoever. What his actual dilemma is is never made
    clear by the screenplay or Patel’s performance. I stated above that
    he’s torn between two cultures, but I’m only conjecturing about that,
    since that’s not shown in the movie. Instead we watch a privileged man
    surrounded by supportive people whining about how he wants to return to
    India while we watch him and want to scream at him, ”Then get off your
    ass and just visit India already!!”

    Patel was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, but he
    didn’t deserve to be. Nicole Kidman, who plays his adoptive mother, was
    much more deserving of her Best Supporting Actress nomination. The film
    also nabbed nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best
    Cinematography, and Best Original Score, but won nothing.

    Grade: B-

  • Suman GurungMarch 21, 2017Reply

    Lion review

    This movie is amazing. I could not find a right words to come about for
    this movie. It’s one of the best movies that i have seen after a long
    long time. Musical score, Cinematography, Screenplay, Direction, Acting
    and most importantly the story telling, all come together so
    beautifully and the representations of the characters and the country
    through cinematography and direction is just impeccable. I have watched
    it 30 times (approximately) and yet sobbed each times, and still not
    tired of this movie. This movie exerts so many feelings and embraces
    that warmth of motherly essence and family values which i think
    everyone can relate to. Hope is one of the key points that i extracted
    from this movie. It also talks about that subject which is practiced
    but not often talked about such as adoption and also explores
    beautifully the life and struggle of street kids in India which was
    very touching and brings all the audience of this movie into a firm
    ground and takes you along with the movie so beautifully. Acting
    credits to Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and most importantly Sunny Pawar.
    Sunny Pawar is brilliant in this movie. As an audience i was so drawn
    to his performance. I bought whatever he was trying to convey through
    this movie that it was brilliant. Even the fact that he was only 6
    years old when shooting this film is beyond my imagination.

    Therefore, i am looking forward to see what Sunny Pawar’s next movie
    called Love Sonia (2017), so finger cross. And also i am looking
    forward to Garth Davis’s and Luke Davis’s next venture.

  • yedu-25924March 21, 2017Reply

    Very moving !!

    Saw this movie few days ago, and I am so glad that I’ve watched this
    movie, This movie is an emotional punch. A real story of Saroo brierley
    told through the eyes and brilliance of Garth Davis and Luke Davis.
    First half was very captivating, wherein first 20 min’s of second half
    was little gloomy & but final 15 min’s brings you right back. Acting
    was top notch all actors did justify their respective roll’s perfectly
    (A special mention to Sunny pawar and Abhishek Bharate). In my
    perspective as a complete layman in professional acting I should say
    little Sunny made it easy for Dev Patel in the second half (Yes, I know
    movies are not shot in final view-able sequence & Dev patel did a great
    job too),I should commend the entire cast and crew for their work.
    Background score & Cinematography were excellent. I should say as an
    Indian national the reality of life in India was portrayed with 100%
    perfection. Overall its a must watch movie & be prepared for an
    emotional roller coaster!

  • Kapten VideoMarch 21, 2017Reply

    I liked it a lot, it’s gripping and packs a strong emotional punch

    A little Indian boy (Sunny Pawar) gets separated from his family and
    ends up far away from home, living on the streets and in orphanage,
    until he’s adopted by a nice couple who take him to Australia.

    Also starring: Dev Patel as boy as an adult, Nicole Kidman and David
    Wenham as his new parents, Rooney Mara, Diwian Ladwa.

    Based on a true story which was turned into book, written by the boy
    himself, and now a movie.

    I liked ”Lion” a lot, for the most part it’s gripping and packs a
    strong emotional punch. But the two-hour story as a whole is uneven,
    losing steam during its last quarter and – even worse – starting
    manipulating with the audience in unconvincing way.

    This big shift doesn’t kill the movie but the whole experience would
    win if adult Saroo’s journey was compressed into shorter period of
    time. As it is, the last quarter is not quite compatible with the
    previous hour and a half and ends up killing the mood that has been
    masterfully built up and maintained almost from the start.

    The adult cast offers impressive performances during that last quarter
    which is totally worth the awards recognition it has garnered. I am
    especially glad to see Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara getting strong,
    well-written female characters and thus turning in more interesting
    work as usual for them.

    But the movie makers could have easily shortened the adult Saroo’s
    detective work part which really bogs the story down and seems to be
    more of an excuse to show Patel hanging around aimlessly.

    He’d still have enough screen time for all those stronger acting scenes
    with the girlfriend and family, or just showing off his fab new looks.
    Watch out, girls and manlovers, he’s turned into quite a heartbreaker
    indeed, wild hair and strong body, and all…

    ”The mood that has been masterfully built up and maintained almost from
    the start”, as mentioned above, is the main reason why ”Lion” turns out
    to be such a moving journey.

    The director uses as little dialogue and talking as possible,
    concentrating on just showing this lost little boy wandering around –
    sometimes enhancing the events with not too intrusive music.

    The environment becomes a character of its own – alien, dirty,
    sometimes hostile. Watching this little guy just trying to get by,
    without trying to make him „act”, or remind us to feel something, gives
    the story a lot of poetic power and unexpected dimension of depth.

    Sadly they are unable to repeat or resuscitate this feeling later on,
    although Patel gives an strong performance of his own, as stated above.

    Interestingly, 2008’s ”Slumdog Millionaire” – Dev Patel’s breakthrough
    hit which also shows the shadow side of India and its children’s’ lives
    – is also a movie of two halves, the first of which excites a lot and
    the second kind of kills the buzz.

    So, it’s a great movie for the first three quarters and just okay after
    that.

    ”Lion” is one of the frontrunners during this award season, with 60
    nominations and 32 wins already under the belt. It’s nominated for 6
    Oscars: movie, adapted screenplay, supporting actor (Patel) and actress
    (Kidman), cinematography and music. Was also nominated for four Golden
    Globes but did not win any.

  • nicole_neufeldMarch 23, 2017Reply

    A movie that stays with you

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Arik_PMarch 23, 2017Reply

    This emotional masterpiece is one of the best movies i have seen in the recent years

    This emotional masterpiece is one of the best movies i have seen in the
    recent years .Starting with young Saroo -Sunny Pawar who is absolutely
    magnificent and later with Dev Patel the older Saroo. Emotions run high
    throughout the movie. The fact you are watching real life events sheds
    even more emotions to the already emotional drama .Nicole Kidman has a
    relatively small role here .The real stars are young and older
    Saroo,that shine bright throughout the whole film.You will remain with
    some thoughts after the watching this movie.One of the most interesting
    thoughts of mine where the reasons of the Brierley’s for adopting
    Saroo.Think about it.!

  • Gevorg Harutyunyan ([email protected])March 24, 2017Reply

    Heartbreaking movie

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ridinbalMarch 24, 2017Reply

    Its an Emotional movie with powerful performance from lead actors . This is one of the movie which has soul of its own and surely makes it a must watch

    My rating- 3.8/5

    Positives- 1.)Direction, Script and story- Director did justice in
    giving us amazing movie which is based on true incident. Narrative
    pattern in the story is something which never bores us and keeps us
    engaged till the end. Script had good dialogues which helped in making
    this movie powerful.

    2.)Dev patel and sunny pawar- Dev patel as usual does his performance
    neatly without any flaws. Sunny Pawars acting was top notch. He did
    justice to his role and i really loved his performance. His realistic
    performance keeps us glued to the screen.

    3.)Bgscore 4.)Cinematography Negatives- 1.)Slow moving at some scenes
    2.)Director could have detailed problems of Saroo and that part
    director missed it out. It was quite fast and they didn’t explain much
    of hurdles Saroo faces while finding his home in India. That was
    necessary and director could have checked on that problem.

    Overall- Its a gripping and compelling movie with powerful story to its
    credit. Yes its must watch one and don’t miss this flick.

  • untarityttoMarch 26, 2017Reply

    Lion (2016)

    Unnecessarily long with syrupy bits attempting to put a human stamp on
    a life, with a lasting belief of lost family continuing to search and
    the protagonist’s girlfriend troubles. While appreciating that a ”docu-
    drama” has limitations, this one could have forgone some of the
    aforementioned.

  • rashik-28997March 26, 2017Reply

    Excellent movie

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • bhatianMarch 26, 2017Reply

    There is GOD

    I am writing this review as an Australian Indian who moved to Australia
    in 1989. Unlike Saroo’s experience I moved to Australia for education
    and work and later called Australia my home. To me Australians are
    great souls which Brierly family rightfully signifies and are excellent
    living examples.

    The film is very hard hitting showing us the true meaning of love and
    care. I love the scene in the beginning where Saroo is surrounded by
    butterflies that shows us the innocence is surrounded by and protected
    at the same time by love of God. There is no secret or spoiler to this
    film as its based on true story, therefore all I’ll say is that the
    Writers and Director have done an excellent job, and to add to it we
    see some brilliant acting especially by Nicole Kidman.

    Please take a box of tissues with you when watching LION because you’re
    sure to cry from start to end.

    You know there is GOD when you see this film.

    God bless ALL LOST SOULS.

  • francesca_danny1March 27, 2017Reply

    Powerful

    The impact of this movie can’t be described in words. This is a true
    masterpiece about what love means. It means never lose hope and fight
    all the way to the end. At the end of the movie I basically burst up in
    tears and said to myself that life has something prepared for all of us
    and no one can take from us who we really are.

  • Ethan JonesApril 1, 2017Reply

    Personally, I think this is overrated and gets way too much praise and I can’t say I recommend

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • nagsaptarshiApril 3, 2017Reply

    This ‘Lion’ extracts the human in you

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • basirkhan33April 5, 2017Reply

    I am an emotional wreck after this 😛

    Amazing movie. Touched me on so many levels! First of beautiful acting
    by the entire cast. Loved how they didn’t ignore any characters build
    up and gave us a tiny glimpse of everyone so that we understand them
    and might even empathize with them. Dev was also amazing, considering
    this was one of his (if not debut) film. Second it is based on a true
    story so normally i am a bit skeptical about it and am not always ready
    to watch moveis like that ( trust me idk why, i’ll start doing that
    after writing this review) but yeah, this was a heart warming biography
    which they did complete justic to i believe. This movie deserves more
    attention Lets not forget the way they also put to light some of the
    issues in India and well didn’t really focus a lot on them, because
    obviously they need to keep track of the story, but i liked how they
    kind of wanted to bring that up during the movie as well. I wanna adopt
    a child now… Also HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE MOVIE TO EVERYONE, go watch it
    and cry your heart out if you are like me.

  • lasttimeisawApril 7, 2017Reply

    a populist crowd-pleaser, but definitely not ”one of the year’s best”

    A heartening and incredible true story about an Indian man Saroo, in
    1986, at the age of 5 (Pawar), he inadvertently hopped on an empty
    train in the night which later streaked for 3 days to Calcutta,
    thousands miles away from where he comes from. Failed to express the
    right name of his hometown, Saroo strays on the street, and had narrow
    escapes from human traffickers and unscrupulous people with an
    insidious agenda. Eventually he is put into a cramped orphanage and the
    next year, he would adopted by an Australian couple Sue (Kidman) and
    John (Wenham) living in the ethereal Tasmania island. This is the first
    half of LION, a feature debut from Australian filmmaker Garth Davis,
    which has charmed with six Oscar nominations including BEST PICTURE.

    The second half, jumps bluntly to 20 years later, Saroo (played by a
    unkempt and burly Patel), battles the flitting fragments of his vague
    past, decides to dredge up his memory lane and look for his family in
    India, thanks to Google Earth (a miracle actually actualized by the
    advancement of digital era), he fortuitously retread his voyage back to
    the starting point, and a final reunion comes 25 years after, some are
    still there waiting for him and some has been long gone. That is a
    tearjerker in full swing, yet, this reviewer is dry-eyed. How come?

    Sunny Pawar, a boy wonder in his first film role, carries on the first
    half with astounding mettle and age-defying gravitas, glints with
    street-smart when he sniffs something iffy, and runs like (literally)
    his life depends on it, Saroo’s urchin days are so perilous, but what
    emits from his expressive eyes is the undimmed conviction of going back
    home. Although, accountably, it seems that in order to adhere to
    Saroo’s memoir, the film stays firmly from Saroo’s 5-year-older angle,
    which leaves certain lacunae in the process, a glaring one is why Saroo
    has the potluck to be chosen out of others in the same plight, which
    could have been tapped into since that is the more pressing issue
    viewers are interested in.

    Unfortunately, the film takes a downward spiral when Saroo’s journey
    abruptly relayed to adulthood, don’t get me wrong, Dev Patel has done
    an amazing job to keep Saroo’s emotional outpourings simmering and
    unfolding, but the vigor and rhythm percolating the first half start to
    fizzle out (even the camera lumbers against a drabber palette), when
    danger and hunger is superseded by civilization and comfort. So as if
    to create a narrative momentum of conflict, Lucy (Mara), Saroo’s
    girlfriend appears timely to be the devil’s advocate in a pretty lame
    way, not just because there is absolutely nothing contentious for a man
    setting up his mind to look for his lost family if he can find some
    clue, what else can his girlfriend to do apart from supporting his
    decision? But also, their romantic involvement is so tenuously
    orchestrated, chemistry is awkwardly wanting, might just as well being
    wholly jettisoned. The inaction of the second part drags too long
    because there are name stars in it, Nicole Kidman de-glamorizes herself
    in an affecting transmutation into a caring mother with a philanthropic
    devotion, notwithstanding, padding it out is a default manoeuvre, but
    there are missed opportunities, for instance, Mantosh (Ladwa), Saroo’s
    damaged adopted brother, whose own unrevealed tale of woe would have
    been better mined to give the second half a thrust.

    As a populist crowd-pleaser, LION – its title refers to Saroo’s
    mispronounced real name Sheru, which means lion in Hindi, is a bespoke
    Oscar-player in its build-in configuration, but a lesser succès
    d’estime to be fairly entitled as ”one of the year’s best”, even by the
    Hollywood yardstick.

  • Arun RamadasApril 7, 2017Reply

    Magnificent and reality at it’s best

    Being an Indian, I have witnessed the lives of the poor children’s who
    have to spend their life on the streets and i know how hard it is to
    find a person (without much known details about the person) in my
    country… But finding one’s home and his biological mother by using
    google maps, residing in Australia and that too with a baggage of
    limited childhood memories. WOW!.. It was a bit weird for me to believe
    this story and my biggest doubt was, even if this is a true story, will
    the actors succeed in passing the emotions to the audience? After
    watching this film i felt like slapping myself for raising such a doubt
    on this movie. Each and everyone in this movie, from Dev Patel to
    Nicole kidman to the young saroo.. Everyone did their roles beautifully
    and with utmost dedication. If you miss this movie, it will be one of
    the greatest loss in your life.

  • Tony Heck ([email protected])April 10, 2017Reply

    A movie that is easy to see why it was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, while at the same time easy to see why it didn’t win

    ”I’m not from Calcutta. I’m lost.” When Saroo (Patel) was a young boy
    he became lost in the city of Calcutta. After falling asleep on a train
    he wakes up thousands of kilometers away with no idea where he is or
    how to speech the language. He is eventually adopted by Sue Brierley
    (Kidman) and her husband and starts his new life. Unable to forget his
    past, Saroo finally decides to seek out his home, mother and brother.
    This is a true story that is full of emotion and questions. Patel’s
    acting in this is amazing. This is a movie that you really find
    yourself sucked in and rooting for Saroo to find his answers, while at
    the same time feeling a little bittersweet when thinking about his
    adopted mother. This is a movie where there isn’t really a whole lot to
    talk about since the movie is basically just him looking for his family
    but that doesn’t mean its boring at all. I did like this. Overall, a
    movie that is easy to see why it was nominated for Best Picture at the
    Oscars, while at the same time easy to see why it didn’t win. I did
    enjoy this, and if you are in the mood for it this is definitely one to
    watch. I give this a B.

  • gcastles-35417April 10, 2017Reply

    A devastating true story

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • coriblatherwickApril 11, 2017Reply

    The Movie That Changed My Perspective on Adoption

    I’ve always thought of adoption as a last resort. I’ve never thought of
    it as a viable option for someone who could conceive children of their
    own, and I never thought that a movie, of all things, would change this
    perspective.

    Lion is the story of a young, impoverished, Indian boy named Saroo who
    mistakenly takes a train thousands of miles away from his home and
    cherished older brother. The strength and resilience of this
    five-year-old boy resounds with you as he faces hunger, loneliness, and
    danger in an area that speaks an entirely different language. He is
    later adopted by an Australian couple through an Indian orphanage. We
    then see the happy, well-adjusted, adult Saroo—he has decided to track
    down his home using the new technology of Google maps.

    If you’re in the mood for a tear-jerker, this is the movie for you. In
    one scene, Saroo tells his adoptive mother that he is sorry she
    couldn’t conceive her own children. She corrects him: ”We both felt
    that the world has enough people in it.” Unbelievably, this one scene
    left me considering adoption to start my own family someday.

    The ending is immensely heart wrenching, and I didn’t know whether to
    cry tears of sorrow or joy. It is one of those movies that leaves a
    very lasting impression on you. However, I was left feeling a lack of
    resolution and character development in Saroo. Lion can be described in
    one word: powerful. I give it five stars.

  • lavatchApril 12, 2017Reply

    A Sensitive Yet Flawed ”Lion”

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • gradyharpApril 13, 2017Reply

    ‘We wanted the two of you in our lives. That’s what we chose.’

    In a time where immigration is a raw debate along comes a true story
    that is not only touching on the level of the main character but also
    speaks clearly about the adoption agencies around the world placing
    lost or unwanted children in other countries where parents can afford
    them. This is a multifaceted story and one that gleams from each of the
    facets.

    The setting is 1986 India in the Hindu region. Saroo (a sensationally
    fine Sunny Pawar) was a five-year-old child in India of a poor but
    happy rural family. On a trip with his brother Guddu (Abhishek
    Bharate), Saroo soon finds himself alone and trapped in a moving
    decommissioned passenger train that takes him to Calcutta, 1500 miles
    away from home. Totally lost in a strange urban environment and too
    young to identify either himself or his home to the authorities, Saroo
    struggles to survive as a street child until he is sent to an
    orphanage. Soon, Saroo is selected to be adopted by the Brierley family
    (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) in Tasmania, where he grows up in a
    loving, prosperous home. Yet for all his comfort and good fortune,
    Saroo finds himself plagued by his memories of his lost family in his
    adulthood (as played by Dev Patel) and tries to search for them even as
    his guilt drives him to hide this quest from his adoptive parents and
    his girlfriend Lucy (Rooney Mara). Only when he has an epiphany and his
    use of IT revolutionary technology known as Google Earth does he
    realize not only the answers he needs, but also the steadfast love that
    he has always had with all his loved ones in both worlds.

    The novel ‘A Long Way Home’ by Saroo Brierley was adapted for the
    screen by Luke Davies and directed with great sensitivity by Garth
    Davis. It is a must see film

  • Mimi GerstellApril 15, 2017Reply

    The persistence of memory is exceptionally well illustrated

    I loved this movie uncritically. It’s only upon ”thinking” about it as
    a work of art that my reaction to it (10) is revised to 9. Some bits
    are too long (what else is new), and the real-life personages that we
    see in a video at the end look more interesting than their actor
    counterparts. The child actors who dominate the first part of the movie
    are wonderfully effective.

    Although I’ve never been lost in the sense of not knowing where to find
    my family, I identified acutely with the adult Saroo who must wrack his
    brain and become heavily involved with Google in order to try to find
    out where he fits into the world. Nearly all of the most important
    people in my elderly life are persons I met when I was young but ”lost”
    for a very long time thereafter. I can’t expect everyone to share my
    experience of the movie in that way: others will see it through the
    experience of being a parent or a son, but I believe most will be
    moved.

    India isn’t overdone. It’s dirty, it’s crowded, it’s poor — but we all
    knew that — there is no effort to shock us by exaggerating these
    things, and I appreciate that. Also appreciate their sticking with the
    languages that would actually have been spoken in the various locales
    of the story, and using subtitles, instead of doing the whole thing in
    English and making us figure out when that’s a story-telling
    convenience.

  • ancacupsaApril 19, 2017Reply

    must see

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ghita benjellounApril 20, 2017Reply

    Absolute admiration for every aspect of this movie… breathtaking

    As many others, i cried since minute one to the end of movie and
    beyond…little saroo performance is just amazing, he drives you to
    live every moment he experienced and feel his wounds, from the minute
    he awaken on that platform bunch, crazy calling guduuuuuu on that damn
    train, picking up that spoon out of garbage and acting eating in front
    of that restaurant storefront, surviving orphanage- juvenile prison to
    finally being adopted, he was so brave, full of patience and had that
    survival instinct we all have in us. I suffered every moment i imagined
    the real saroo living his mishap and suffered more when was reading
    about sunny pawar coming also from a poor family but still, keeping the
    positive attitude as many children around the world. over 80 000 kids
    are living the same in India every year and 4 millions are living in
    the Indian streets being abused, mistreated and killed by hunger,
    that’s happening all over the world, i hope this movie can help bring
    forward our human sense and help around in any way is possible- even if
    that movie gives you the rage to speak up for all kids around, to
    protect them and to give them all the love you have… Thanks for this
    movie! i’ll never forget about any child in the world and i hope that
    someday not any child will be harmed or brought far from his family

  • Nikita WannenburghApril 20, 2017Reply

    Brilliant

    I would never have picked this movie up if it hadn’t been for its Oscar
    buzz and Patel’s win. But I’m so glad I did see it, because Lion is one
    of those movies that has such incredible heart that it only takes a few
    minutes for the tears to come. (It took me seventeen. Then I was
    sobbing on and off for the rest of the film.)

    The scenography was brilliant: the props and the incredibly well-
    proportioned scene sets were so completely on point, and each scene was
    thoughtful and elegant. The musical score and frequent lack of music
    was equally superb – adding great depth to each scene and setting the
    tone perfectly. It’s intelligent, thoughtful, and beautiful. The
    cinematography was excellent; there were some truly breathtaking shots,
    whether it was of the heart aching scenes of squalor on India’s streets
    or the stunning views of the landscape. For example, I particularly
    loved the scene on the train where Saroo’s alone and lost: not only was
    the scene intelligently and exquisitely presented in terms of design,
    but the cinematography showed this to its stunning, gut-wrenching
    potential.

    The pacing was perfect. In addition, the flashbacks contributed
    effortlessly and profoundly to Sarro’s present day situation and not
    for one minute were they boring. They were perfectly placed and also
    displayed some clever parallels to the current story, which allowed me
    to appreciate the current story even more. My only criticism of the
    pacing is that the middle sagged a bit. It wavered, lacked focus, and
    needed a strong incentive to keep the story going. Thankfully however,
    the film did manage to pick itself up after the dip.

    There was some solid character development, especially with Kidman’s
    character. At first I was worried that they would leave her back story
    in the dark, but thankfully there was a powerful scene towards the end
    of the film that explained a great deal about her character’s
    motivation and situation, and which allowed me to understand her
    better.

    The acting’s absolutely brilliant and so, so natural. Kidman was
    mind-blowing and Patel was powerful and the supporting cast was strong.
    Rooney Mara was breathtaking whenever she was on screen, but that
    wasn’t often. Unfortunately, her character also felt like ”just a love
    interest” and didn’t add much to the story. But it was Sunny Pawar, as
    young Saroo, who stole the screen. Just……WOW. Most of the time I
    was sobbing simply because of the heartbreaking look on his adorable
    face. He was incredible, and apart from being an absolutely adorable,
    lovable, and gorgeous little boy, he was a superb child actor whose
    facial expressions were poignant and whose acting was natural and
    realistic.

    Lion was a captivating, heartbreaking film infused with emotion and
    passion and swept along by its intelligent production and strong cast.
    It’s a beautiful film, even if the emotion’s in your face the whole
    time and the pacing suffers from Middle Movie Syndrome. I highly
    recommend it. (But bring tissues).

  • Jscooter414April 21, 2017Reply

    The talented cast in a movie that could have been better.

    I found the movie to be good, but it does not spend enough time in some
    area’s of showing what this child went through, put more detail into
    what had gone on, it is based on a real life story, so they show him
    playing cricket with his new Mom and Dad – a year later, then no reason
    is given in adopting a second child who clearly has issues. They fast
    forward 20 years ?, Hello this is like so many Hollywood movies that
    are one dimensional – what happened in the huge gaps of time, the
    ending explanation with text is too fast, just like the story. Cole
    Smithey is the only critic on Rotten Tomato’s who makes sense, he earns
    his pay check the honest way, Richard Roeper says it best, fast forward
    two decades, Hollywood does this way too much in taking a book and
    turning it into a bland movie, he unfortunately is like most critic’s,
    they get paid to make us waste our hard earned money at the box office,
    would Siskel and Ebert – agree, he new them ? I say most critics are
    probably a sell out to Hollywood in the greed factor, independent
    film’s are much better as they are not controlled by this crap.

  • chpd55April 22, 2017Reply

    Perfect

    This movie is just perfect I see in the obligation to have to use the
    five lines that requires IMDb by publication using adjectives that do
    not honor this masterpiece, I said simply perfect? Sunny Pawar …
    (Young Saroo) is …. incredible Dev Patel .. for Oscar (again after
    slum …) Without words you simply have to see it …

  • Iliescu VictorApril 22, 2017Reply

    Emotions and devotion taken to the next level

    Not many movies get me to become emotional during them or having me
    regretting after they end. This is the case with Lion, probably the
    best movie I have seen in the past five years or so. The actors
    performance was outstanding, props for the young little dude that plays
    young Saroo but because of everybody involved in the cast, this movie
    brought its viewers the feeling that if we have enough devotion, we can
    do everything in this world. Without a doubt it should be watched by
    everybody and for those who get emotional very quickly, you might drop
    tears without any effort. Loved it, recommend it for the emotional
    story and it’s sad but actual theme that approaches.

  • Julie GeertsApril 22, 2017Reply

    very beautiful, emotional movie

    The actors are amazing (especially Sunny Pawar, i fell in love with
    him), the story line is perfect.. I loved everything about this movie.
    Really touching, realistic, beautiful. Even better than Slumdog
    Millionaire 🙂 You should definitely go watch it! I already wanna go
    back to the cinema.

  • chainsawaccidentApril 23, 2017Reply

    The longest commercial for google maps

    The only leading Indian actor in Hollywood takes months to learn how to
    use an app as basic as google maps (maybe just search for towns near
    rock quarries next time and spare yourself the sleepless nights not
    spent with the girl with the dragon tattoo on top of you).

    The film is most effective with its India parts, adequately displaying
    the vast country’s issues with poverty, child sex trafficking, and
    internal language barriers. The rest is all sanctimonious Hollywood sop
    and beholding the horrors of Kidman’s gingerfro.

    People who are serious film snobs will hate it. People who just like to
    cry might like it. People who are Indian or adopted could relate to it.
    Most people will forget seeing it in about 3 years.

  • jkonoeApril 23, 2017Reply

    A great movie but I have a nagging question

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • kz917-1April 23, 2017Reply

    Roars into your heart and soul

    WOW! What an epic movie and true life to boot. How this did not win any
    Oscars is beyond me. Such emotion that all the actors portrayed. Heart
    wrenching scenes, make sure you have tissues close at hand; you will
    need them several times throughout the movie. Then the ending, is there
    such a thing as a happy gut punch? During the credits are real life
    video and images of the family portrayed in the movie. Fantastic movie
    with emotion and epic vistas. Unbelievable and I cannot wait to read
    the book the movie was based on.

  • pc95April 28, 2017Reply

    Should’ve Won Best Picture 2016

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • TimeVariantApril 28, 2017Reply

    Scores 10 on the tearjerker scale

    Hugely impressive movie that connects you to your innermost emotions
    with a simple yet heart-wrenching story. Sunny Pawar definitely
    deserves a Best Actor award, with Priyanka Bose coming in a close
    second. Surprised to find that Dev Patel’s role was more limited than
    expected, and also that his stellar performance occasionally lacks
    expressed emotion. The long wait to go back home is definitely worth
    it.

  • Carla CummingsApril 30, 2017Reply

    Heart changing

    This movie was far better than even expected. My 24 year old son and I
    saw it together, after my date was unable to go…and I am so glad it
    worked out that way. There was no better person to see it with. This
    film will change the way you see your loved ones forever. Dev Patel was
    brilliant as always.

  • javi-y-se-acaboMay 1, 2017Reply

    A Truly Moving and Real Movie

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Mopkin TheHopkinMay 1, 2017Reply

    An emotional journey of discovery and homecoming

    Lion is a story that follows a young boy, Saroo, who becomes trapped on
    a train, and transferred hundreds of kilometres away from his hometown.
    He does not speak the local language, and struggles to survive in the
    harsh environment of urban India. Later in life, he begins to remember
    his past, and tries to discover where he came from, and track down his
    family.

    Lion is a wonderful tale, full of adventure, emotion and loss. The film
    is well shot, with the gritty city streets of India and the quaint
    rural villages shot on location, and gorgeously. The film has a deeply
    emotional feel, as Saroo struggles both to survive as a boy, and later
    to try and come to terms with his traumatizing experience. It is
    ultimately a tale of self discovery, and one that is an absolute
    pleasure to watch.

  • spitfire2356May 1, 2017Reply

    Predictable bore

    I have lately enjoyed a number of Indian movies. They are getting
    better all the time. Most foreign films are getting way more
    interesting than the often formulaic US blockbusters. I looked forward
    to this, after all the hype. Nicole Kidman could only be expected to
    add to the mix. She has rarely disappointed me. However after the
    tantalizing start, the director just played out a limo stretch of a
    glossed over photo shop job with an dishearteningly predictable and
    pathetic attempt at pulling on heart strings. It may have possibly
    worked in the black and white silent era on my doting aunties. The
    director seems to have got bored and just carried on lamely to fulfill
    his contractual obligations. I had given up on a twist or flourish way
    before the end. Very disappointing indeed.

  • jp123133May 4, 2017Reply

    Transformative experience

    For some reason, it took me a while to get to this movie and I was only
    able to watch it very recently. Now that I have, I can’t get it out of
    my head and keep playing back so many moments. The story is riveting,
    the acting impeccable (and it’s not just Sunny Pawar and/or Dev Patel,
    it’s really the entire crew), and it’s also the cinematography, the
    soundtrack (Sia!), the breathtaking shots, etc.

    Oh, yes, you will cry when you see it. There’s no way around that but,
    hopefully, you will also feel uplifted and deeply touched by this
    magnificent story.

  • grantssMay 6, 2017Reply

    Okay, but weakened by a clumsily told, superficially melodramatic second act

    Northern India, 1986. Guddu and his younger brother Saroo help out
    their impoverished family by scavenging anything they can. One night
    Guddu and Saroo are separated at a train station. Saroo tries to find
    Guddu but ends up on a train that takes him to Calcutta, 1,600 kms
    away. In Calcutta he is taken in by a organisation that finds adoptive
    parents for orphans and lost kids. Saroo is adopted by an Australian
    couple, the Brierleys, and moves to Hobart, Tasmania. 20 years later he
    decides to find his mother and brother.

    Quite flat for something that should have been enthralling and
    emotional.

    Starts very well – the story of how Saroo was separated from his
    brother and ends up in Australia is well told and is very engaging.

    The movie, however, loses its way in the second act – where the 20-
    something Saroo first goes to Melbourne and then starts to look for his
    mother. The plot development here is incredibly padded, filled with
    empty, superficial melodrama and sub-plots that go nowhere, making for
    dull viewing. The search itself was interesting, but does not get much
    screen time and is diluted by the padding around it.

    There’s also the fact that you know from the trailers and synopsis
    where this is all going. Trying to create an air of mystery around the
    course the plot is going to take is pointless when viewers already know
    the outcome.

    It all comes together, eventually. Ending is quite emotional.

    Ultimately, okay, but could have been really good with a tighter,
    shorter middle-to-late section.

  • stutz-236-637453May 9, 2017Reply

    A wonderful movie

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • lalitagrawalMay 10, 2017Reply

    A masterpiece

    I must admit this is one of the best movies I have seen in recent past.
    I am really touched. Fabulous acting by each and every person. Being in
    India I can imagine how difficult a life can be for a child who is
    lost. #LionHeart a very nice initiative to raise money and support this
    cause.

  • alaayyoubMay 11, 2017Reply

    One of my favorite movies!!!

    I usually don’t write reviews for movies, but I had to for this one.
    The story is simply amazing. The cinematography is flawless. The
    soundtrack is amazing. The acting is brilliant. I give this movie a
    perfect 10! So much better than Moonlight and all the other movies of
    2016. Great job!!!

  • lindsayyyyyMay 11, 2017Reply

    Tear jerker and good for Hollywood

    Lion was a good story and definitely contained some emotional moments.

    The western audience’s fascination with poverty in other countries,
    especially India is an easy gravy train for Hollywood. Often films are
    made to highlight and heighten every poor part of India that can be
    found which resonates with an unfamiliar Western audience who feel
    better about themselves and their lives. This shock value is where the
    directors grasp their audience and where the money lies. The purpose is
    not to educate audiences and give a complete account of life in India
    but manufacture certain reactions and surprises to boost the ratings of
    the film. So off course this film was well received.

    India is a beautiful country with raw beauty. It definitely has serious
    problems but it also has real strengths, charm and a rich culture. I
    was born in India and have lived in a developed city along with
    millions of fellow Indians. This city as many other parts of India was
    quite developed in most parts. Yet sadly this is not documented in any
    movie, no stories are sought from here and believe me there are tons of
    moving stories. I shouldn’t be surprised because there is no shock
    value and Hollywood is only interested in showing India in a negative
    and poor light. It exploits and uses the stories of poor Indians
    because that would be better for the bottom line. So off course
    Westerners think the entire country looks like this and that these are
    the lives of all Indian people.

    Lion was a good film but adopted the standard formula Hollywood uses
    when making Indian related films, showcase a huge amount of poverty.
    Close to one hour, around 45 minutes, is dedicated to poverty. The same
    emotional value could have been delivered but the film wanted to
    emphasise poverty for almost half the film. It also dragged on in
    parts. The last moments were the best part of the film. I have to admit
    that when Sheru reunites with his mother it was one of the most
    emotional moments in cinema. The same story could have delivered with a
    lot more finesse. No doubt Lion is a beautiful story but Hollywood
    could not resist the opportunity to use this poor son and his story for
    commercial purposes. The filmmakers couldn’t help themselves from
    showing excessive poverty.

    I do not detest this film’s story as it is a moving story but I detest
    Hollywood for exploiting such a story for its commercial value. You can
    always expect such stories to be made into films. India is full of rich
    and successful stories that show this great country in a good light. If
    Western audiences want to get a ‘complete’ picture of life they should
    not lap whatever Hollywood throws at them.

  • classicsoncallMay 11, 2017Reply

    ”Did you really look for my Mum?”

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • cruise01May 16, 2017Reply

    Beautiful emotional journey of a lost boy trying to find his way home.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Shwain MalfoyMay 17, 2017Reply

    Flat footed & forgetful

    I watched this movie a few hours ago and the more i think about it the
    more i grow to detest it.The first hour was enjoyable and very
    emotive.There’s no doubt an audience will find the story captivating
    and enjoyable.But then i starting thinking ”so what” we have seen it
    all before with movies such as slumdog millionaire.We are aware of the
    plight of children living in third world countries but we seldom care
    enough to do much about it.We accept it ,happily stick our heads in the
    sands and carry on living.But they Hollywood comes along with a story
    and pulls on our heart strings.All of a sudden this movie becomes
    important and groundbreaking.No its Not! there’s going to be more like
    it and its probably going to star Dev Patel delivering another average
    performance.The second part is so terrible i can hardly express it in
    words.The slang for excrement sums its up perfectly mainly due to the
    shoddy story telling.The director relied on the heartbreaking tale of
    the little Indian boy to jettison this movie.It worked so yet we gave
    this movie the unnecessary acclaim it needed because its ”important”.So
    watch this movie,give it 5 stars and let your mind forget because you
    did your part.

  • Lee Eisenberg ([email protected])May 17, 2017Reply

    a trip to one’s past

    I had never heard of Saroo Brierley before Garth Davis’s ”Lion” got
    released, and that made it all the more harrowing. You’ve probably
    learned that it’s about a boy in India who accidentally got separated
    from his family and eventually got adopted by an Australian couple, but
    later decided to try and find his original home. The most intense
    scenes are in Calcutta, where the young Saroo is forced to wonder the
    streets and fend for himself, all the while avoiding kidnappers.
    Knowing that this is a true story adds to the intensity. I can’t
    imagine how terrible it would be to get completely cut off from one’s
    family.

    Dev Patel brings strength to the role of the adult Saroo, newly
    interested in finding out where he came from. I also liked Rooney
    Mara’s performance as his college acquaintance, but I thought that the
    adoptive parents (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) weren’t as important
    to the story once he set out in search of his birth mother.
    Nevertheless, it’s a movie that everyone should see. Outstanding one.

  • Mina NabilMay 18, 2017Reply

    it’s a great masterpiece that i didn’t appreciate

    I Didn’t excpect to Love this movie,I Adored Dev patel’s Acting
    although he didn’t surpass Michael Shannon in nocturnal animals cause
    shannon is my favourite supporting actor but dev patel is the 2nd
    best,the movie is divided into 2 stages,the childhood of saroo and
    searching for his family,if any screenwriter wants to make a movie to
    make his audience to cry he has to take lion as an example cause i did
    in a hard way i felt so sorry for saroo specially in the childhood
    stage,the child sunny pawar was fantastic in his role, for me rooney
    mara was way better than Nicole kidman but still both deserved the
    Oscar nomination,the music is perfect it could take u to another world,
    i just didn’t like some of saroo’s way of oration My score: 9.5/10

  • Mitra DaneshvarMay 18, 2017Reply

    great story!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • CatullusMay 19, 2017Reply

    Feel Good Film

    I have been dying to watch this film ever since it came out and didn’t
    watch it until now on Prime Instant Video. I need to start out by
    saying that this film is quite emotional, but then again I cried during
    Dragons 2 and Fantastic Beasts, so you can’t exactly trust my judgment.
    Anyways, I bawled during this film and I would definitely recommend it
    if you need some good old fashioned happy crying. Hence the title, it
    is certainly a feel good film.

    My next big point about Lion is how artistic it is. Much like
    Manchester by the Sea, it can say more in silence than it can with
    words. I’m usually not a big fan of foreign films either, but though
    this one wasn’t foreign, practically the entire first half is in Hindi,
    and I enjoyed it. Though it was in a language I do not understand I
    still found the emotions and expressions much more universal.

    Finally, I need to comment on Sunny Pawar. Now Lion’s cast is made up
    of some incredibly talented actors, especially Dev Patel, but they are
    all adults. It is difficult to find a child actor who is as capable as
    this kid. I mean where was he when the live action Jungle Book came
    out?! I was thoroughly impressed with his talent, as he is better than
    half of the adult actors I have seen.

    So I am giving this film a 7 because it is not quite complicated or
    unique enough to really deserve anything above a seven, but it still
    does what it does with its own style and is beautifully done. Peace.

  • helen-26046May 20, 2017Reply

    Lion 2016

    How did the young boy turn into much lighter skin 25 years later. I
    think the choice of actors was a big mistake. It also showed sex with s
    white girl. Why not share w an Indian girl? I’m sure there are a lot in
    Australis. I didn’t like the movie and I will throw it in the trash I
    will tell my friewnds not to spend the money on Iit. It was too long
    which means bad editing and I will never rent it again. Don’t waste
    your time.

  • brooks250May 24, 2017Reply

    Better Storytelling: Fact V. Fiction

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • rbrbMay 27, 2017Reply

    *****Magnificant*****

    A true story of a young child called Saroo who when in the slums of
    India gets lost from his mother and siblings. He finds himself miles
    away in an area where his dialect is not spoken. After harrowing
    adventures he finds himself in a horrible child detention center.
    Eventually he is adopted by a couple in Australia.

    When grown up he yearns for his family:

    But can he find them?

    Are they safe?

    This is a real tear jerker with superb performances from the young and
    older Saroo.

    The movie is compelling and says so much about love and family and
    throughout the picture it has vitally important things to say about the
    human condition.

    Magnificent!

    10/10

  • Ayush WaliaMay 27, 2017Reply

    Great movie delivering powerful messages

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • siddique90May 27, 2017Reply

    A well made emotional drama

    Lion, the first Hollywood film made me literally cry. The best
    emotional drama of 2016. I was into the film when from the first frame,
    director, director of photography, sound designer and especially editor
    made saroo more powerful and pain in viewer’s mind. actors especially
    young saroo lived in there. his every single gestures were meaningful
    and painful.

  • bellmeistMay 28, 2017Reply

    Unfortunately Overestimated

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Strega GrangerMay 28, 2017Reply

    Lion Heart

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

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