Lion movie director: Garth Davis
Lion movie cast: Sunny Pawar, Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Abhishek Bharate, Divian Ladwa, Priyanka Bose, Deepti Naval, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
Lion is based on a non-fiction book, A Long Way Home, by Saroo Brierley. The film is a heart-wrenching story of a five-year-old boy who is lost and never found by his family. Instead, he is adopted by Sue (Nicole Kidman) and John (David Wenham) in Australia. As he grows up, he takes up the quest of finding his mother and brother back in his hometown.
Dev Patel is now a grown man, he has evolved as an actor since Slumdog Millionaire and the various other films he did, with Lion being one of his finest works. Dev comes across as a natural, and he portrays the character of Saroo effortlessly.
However, the highlight of the film is Sunny Pawar, who plays the character of a young Saroo. If you have ever known a child, or have met one, Sunny’s character will touch your heart. The boy is a born actor, and it is impossible to believe that he has no acting background. He is a sheer acting prodigy and will convince you that he really is living the life of the boy he plays in the movie. His sibling chemistry with his brother Guddu, played by Abhishek Bharate, is scintillating. There are several scenes where Sunny uplifts the drama with his sheer acting finesse.
Sue, played by Nicole Kidman, is a mother who knows nothing more than craving for her children’s love. She is just too real, and you’ll cry with every tear she drops and rejoice with her when she sees Saroo for the very first time. The cast is undeniably talented and transcends the typical clichés of the film’s genre.
Garth Davis debuts in feature film direction with Lion and the filmmaker does a great first job. Lion is a remarkable piece of work, and Garth is a great storyteller. His direction is mostly logical, mixed with a good amount of spirituality. He makes sure that you find a connecting thread with every character that appears in the film. The screenplay and cinematography shows you those aspects of our country, India, which every ‘non-India’ film shows you. It will make you curse the blind eye we turn to events that happen in our lives, on our streets every day. The film succeeds in trying to tell you an empathetic tale.
Music in the film is touching too, there is a scene in the movie where Saroo is taken to an orphanage which is filled with many more unfortunate kids, and then suddenly a small girl starts singing an old Indian nursery rhyme ‘Chanda Ko Dhoondhne Sabhi Taare Nikal Pade’. At this point the audience wants a positive break, they want to see something good happening next and they are not disappointed. Veteran actor Deepti Naval, portraying a social worker, Mrs Sood, comes just in time and defines a turning point in Saroo’s life.
Coming back to Dev Patel, the passion and empathy that he brings to the screen with Lion has not been seen elsewhere, proving that he is here to stay, and that this is the genre he champions. Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Tannishtha Chatterjee’s characters leave you wanting for more. Although they appear only for a few minutes, their characters are remarkable, and Tannishtha successfully portrays her life’s first ‘negative’ role with complete excellence.
All in all the film is a piece of sheer genius and it’s no wonder it has bagged six Oscar nominations. Go out; watch this tearjerker to get an insight into what is happening to the kids on the street of our homeland, India.