Lion

2016

Biography / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 8.1

Synopsis


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23.976 fps /
118 min
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23.976 fps /
118 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by CineMuseFilms 9/10

If film-art is the pursuit of visual pleasure, powerful storytellingand high emotional impact, then Lion (2016) is the year&#x27;s high-watermark for Australian productions. Based on the novel A Long Way Home(2014), this film adaptation is a richly textured essay on the primalhuman need for belonging that will resonate with anyone who has everwondered who they are.<br><br>This true story is told in two parts and filmed across two continents.Five year-old Saroo is a ragamuffin sidekick to his older brotherGuddo, two poor boys who support their family by stealing coal andscavenging trains in their West Bengal village. They become separatedone night and Saroo finds himself alone on a train heading to the otherside of India. He he joins hordes of homeless children who must fendoff predators while begging to survive. Eventually he is placed in acrowded orphanage, then adopted by two big-hearted and childlessTasmanians, Sue (Nicole Kidman) and John (David Wenham). Twenty yearson, Saroo (Dev Patel) begins to have memory flashbacks of his nativeland. As they increase in intensity, he becomes obsessed with findinghis family. With some luck and Google maps, the story comes fullcircle.<br><br>There is so much that makes this film stand out. The storytelling ismore than engaging: it is so captivating that the two-hour run-timefeels like an hour. Acting performances are outstanding: Nicole Kidmanis at her best while the five year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is the heartof the film and Dev Patel its soul. The cinematography is brilliant,especially the filming in India. The camera-work is both expansive andintimate, shifting often from sweeping aerial panoramas of mountainousIndian countryside and tranquil Tasmanian waterways to narrow windingalleys, village markets, and the inner-world of Saroo&#x27;s turmoil. Someof the most powerful scenes are shot from the eye-level of a terrifiedlost boy jostled by masses of humanity and the close-ups of Saroo&#x27;spainful face desperate to know home. The colour palette is exotic,sound track emotionally intense, and the directing finds a rhythm thatis almost orchestral.<br><br>This film offers an immensely satisfying cinematic experience: visuallystunning, narratively powerful, and an emotional whirlwind. It comes atthe end of a very mixed year for Australian film, with some of theworld&#x27;s finest produced but many that are less than inspiring. Lion isone of those films that will appeal to everyone and it has a very longafter-taste. It easily tops my film year.

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Reviewed by bibo-93638 9/10

To put it in simple words, &#x22;Lion&#x22; 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 thatyou think you have forgotten, you long for something more and you digfor something deeper. This is a journey back home, filled withemotions, hard decisions, and an infinite willingness to reachsomewhere safe.. Simple story, dream like sequences and real charactersthat are aware that &#x22;there are no white pages&#x22; but that in a way, thereis always a black ink somewhere that you can use to finish the endlessbooks that you have in your head. A gem and must see. Highlyrecommended for the cast&#x27;s performances, the musical score and theemotional layer that refuses to let you go even after the movie hadended.

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Reviewed by Josh Barton 10/10

Missing child cases are ones that really do send a shiver down thespine, the uncertainty of the child&#x27;s whereabouts or whether in factthey are actually still alive being the major worries. You can&#x27;tpossibly understand the effect it must have on a family. In GarthDavis&#x27; Lion, we see the effects of such a case on the child rather thanthe family left behind. <br><br>Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is a five-year-old child living in a remote Indianvillage with his mother, brother and sister. Spending his days helpinghis brother steal coal from trains, Saroo joins his brother for a jobone night but finds himself lost and on a train to Calcutta, nearlytwo-thousand kilometres from his home village.<br><br>Surviving many challenges and meeting various faces, Saroo iseventually adopted by an Australian couple, John and Sue Brierley(David Wenham and Nicole Kidman). Twenty-five years later, Saroo (DevPatel) decides to track his lost family down.<br><br>I must start by saying that I absolutely loved Lion, a film that dealswith such a traumatising true story in such a delicate manner. GarthDavis splits the film into two halves, the first focusing on Saroo as afive-year-old lost in such a densely populated city and the secondlooking at Saroo as a grown man, so far away from the life he leftyears before. It is quite tough to watch at times, particularly somescenes of a young Saroo trying to survive on the streets of Calcuttahowever, Davis&#x27; film builds to a truly beautiful conclusion that leftme emotionally destroyed.<br><br>I think the fact that this is a true story played a massive part in theconclusion having such an impact on me. Davis plays it out brilliantlyand the inclusion of real life footage in the end credits, along withstartling facts about how many children go missing in India, just addedmore power to the already powerful film.<br><br>Lion doesn&#x27;t just get its power from the story but from the tremendousperformances also. I have always liked Dev Patel as an actor but thisis the first time I&#x27;ve watched him give such a powerhouse of aperformance as a grown up Saroo struggling to cope with tracking downhis lost family. From here, Patel could really go places, starting withawards recognition in the early new year.<br><br>Sunny Pawar deserves a special mention for his performance as a youngSaroo, lost and alone in such a unfamiliar place. It&#x27;s always a risk tohave such a large portion of the film led by such a young actor butit&#x27;s ultimately one that pays off greatly in Lion. There&#x27;s also finesupport on offer from Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham,ensuring the quality runs right throughout the film.<br><br>Lion is a film that I urge you to go and see because a film like thisneeds the coverage and its subject matter is something people need tobe made more aware of.

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