Dev Patel-starrer Lion is already making all the right noises in the awards circuit. After being nominated at various award ceremonies, including Golden Globes, SAGs and BAFTAs, where Lion won two awards in the Best Supporting Actor and and Best Screenplay (adapted) categories for Dev Patel and Luke Davies, respectively, the film is now gearing up to bag all the awards what with as many as six academy awards nominations. The film is based on the life of Saroo Brierley and his non-fiction book, A Long Way Home. Lion is up for a February 24, 2017 release in India. It stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar.
What's it about
The film narrates the story of five year old boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar), who gets lost while on a train to Calcutta, and finds himself thousands of kilometers away from home. He faces several challenges before being adopted by a couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) from Australia. 25 years later, a grown-up Saroo (Dev Patel) sets out to find his lost family.
It won't be wrong to call child star Sunny Pawar the life of the film. His innocence laced with a sense of vulnerability is sure to move even the coldest of hearts to tears. The way he reminisces about his lost world, his brother and mother is sure to leave you moist eyed. The first half of the film belongs to the small but able shoulders of Sunny Pawar. Dev Patel ably carries the same vulnerability when he takes over the film as the adult Saroo. The various emotions he portrays - be it anger, love, helplessness, madness - he does it with the finesse of a refined actor. No wonder he is nominated for the Academy Awards in the Best Supporting Actor category. Playing his adoptive mother, Nicole Kidman, too, breathes life into Sue Brierley and brings out a mother's undying love for her kids. To know the brilliance of Nicole Kidman, watch out for the scene where revelations are made about Saroo's adoption. Dev and Nicole are ably supported by other characters in the film be it Rooney Mara (as Saroo's girlfriend), Priyanka Bose (as Saroo's birth mother), David Wenham (as Saroo's adoptive father) or Divian Ladwa (as Saroo's adoptive brother). Special mention for the ever dependable Nawazuddin Siddiqui who is sure to impress you with his short yet effective cameo. Be ready with those tissues towards the climax of the film. Director Garth Davis should be applauded for extracting the kind of performances from the child actors in the film.
Three things that are a major put off in Dev Patel's Lion are...
1)The film moves at a snail's pace in the second half, often drifting away from the main narrative.
2) While we understand Google Earth is an integral part of the story's narrative it almost comes across as a blatant advertisement of the app.
3) Repetition can either enhance a story or dampen the experience. Unfortunately for Lion it ends up being the latter and kills the movie goer's experience.
Apart from the above mentioned points the script basically doesn't know what to do with the grown up Saroo as he is always shown depressed. Also the romantic track between Dev Patel and Rooney Mara doesn't add anything to the main plot apart from cliches. Also read: Dear Ajay Devgn, Lion star Sunny Pawar is your biggest fan and wants to meet you
What to do
Overall, if you are a sucker for those lost-and-found formula movies, executed with a more realistic approach and laced by bravura performances, Lion should be your go to film. The performances by Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel stay with you long after the film ends.
3 out of 5
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