Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Lion


It's always nice to see a Brit nominated for an academy award but I must admit I was fairly surprised to see the floppy haired Dev Patel up for the best supporting actor gong , especially as he dominated the second half of the movie Lion as former Indian street child Saroo, a boy seperated from his Indian family by a quirk of fate who was brought up by an adoptive Australian family thousands of miles from his rural dirt poor native village.
I was reminded of the movie as I watched the dogs and Albert lying in their untidy heaps on the bed this morning for in one sad pivotal scene a handful of Calcutta Street Children are seen huddling together for warmth and comfort on cardboard beds by the side of the road.
The sobering truth is that these Street Children are not just  figments of a Hollywood screen writer's mind. They are real sad little scraps who don't know the comforts that a handful of terriers and a wide eyed black cat enjoy in a small Welsh village.

The astonishing Sunny Pawar

Lion is an interesting, uneven movie. The first half is literally stunning. It is a total assault on the senses as we follow the ever chirpy five year old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) and his ever loving mother ( Pryanka Bose) and hero worshiped older brother Guddu ( Abishek Bharate) in their dirt poor rural existence in central India.
Saroo is seperated from his family, and by an odd quirk of fate transported over a thousand miles to Calcutta where he survives on the dangerous streets for months until adopted by an Australian couple from Tasmania.
This chapter of Saroo's life is true heart in the mouth stuff thanks primarily to the child actor Pawar who literally breaks your heart with his solemn face  and doleful eyes.
Unfortunately the whole pace of the film grinds to a halt soon after, as we then follow the continuing story of Saroo, a man living a fairly loving and comfortable life with his Australian parents  (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) Saroo ( Dev Patel) is conflicted by submerged memories of his former life and after a long period of reflection and research ( with too many scenes of the angst Patel staring off into the middle distance) the adult Saroo is finally reunited with his mother in a tearful sob fest finale.

Now Patel is undoubtedly moving in his role as the adult Saroo and I sincerely hope that he nabs the Oscar for his performance, but for me the real dramatic punch of Lion is the honest, naturalistic turn by the baby faced Sunny Pawar that really lingers long in the mind
8/10


29 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this one and like you, I think young Sunny was amazing in this role. I did admit to tears at the end.

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sounds like a great film. I'd like to see it! Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree it's uneven but I really liked this film and that the little Saroo was magnificent. I keep wondering why no one noticed a lost child until I realized that the streets were filled with lost children.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It DOES sound like an interesting movie! Has any South Asian won an acting Oscar? Ben Kingsley won and his background is half-Indian, but I'm hard-pressed to think of any others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haing S. Ngor From the movie The Killiang Fields

      Delete
  5. I've not seen the movie, so can't comment on that. However, I must say that I enjoy Albert's expression of utter shock and horror so much!! -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He looks like this all of the time

      Delete
    2. We need an Albert meme or GIF because that expression is choice.

      Delete
  6. The fact that this a true story is what makes it so compelling. Thank goodness his mother lived long enough to welcome him back to India.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd like to see this film. They interviewed the real Saroo on GMTV the other day. Isn't it hard to believe that it was actually true. The poor little boy must have been worried out of his mind and the family must have thought they would never meet again.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The sobering truth is that these Street "Children are not just figments of a Hollywood screen writer mind. They are real sad little scraps who don't know the comforts that a handful of terriers and a wide eyed black cat enjoy in a small Welsh village." I love this paragraph.

    ReplyDelete
  9. As much as I like Dev Patel, young Saroo was irresistible.
    It was interesting that the real Saroo was rather less fashionable looking than he was portrayed and Nicole Kidman was less attractive than her real life counterpart. Who would have thought it?

    ReplyDelete
  10. My Rare One saw the movie and liked it, but said the book was better. Good luck to Dev Patel! He's such a good looking and talented young man.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I totally agree with you on this movie. The first half was interesting and touching; the second half was too long with an awful lot of staring and boring scenes that could have been cut.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You (and 'Starting Over', above) are saying what many are saying, namely that the section telling the older Saroo's story does not rise to the same level as the film's first part, delineating the tale of the young boy. Forewarned is forearmed. When I see it I know that when it gets into that second part it won't be as emotionally wrenching as the first, so at least I can stop tensing myself - even if just a little.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it is all emotionally wrenching

      Delete
    2. Oh dear and dammit!

      Delete
  13. I am yet to watch this movie, and hopefully will get around to doing that soon. Congrats to the nominees. Warm greetings!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must learn to proof read before posting...

      I will see this film, but when I can watch it in the privacy of my home, where my sobbing won't disturb anyone else.

      Delete
  15. On my list, now, to see this film. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Movies don't hold the same pull for me as books, so I'm glad to see this was based on the book (Debra's comment above) and I'll be looking for it.

    I love Albert's perpetually astonished expression! Or is it shock and horror as Jenn said?!

    ReplyDelete
  17. The farmer reeled in horror from the sight of dogs on the bed!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Saw it this afternoon and totally agree with your comments. The last three minutes had me filling up big time. 😱

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hopefully, I'll get to see this.

    ReplyDelete
  20. There are some great films out just now and "Lion" is definitely another one I would like to see.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I probably won't see the movie but there was a good tv doco made here with the real Saroo. It's an interesting story.

    ReplyDelete
  22. We loved this film, both halves, but of the too little Sunny should get the awards I think. I loved the surprise ending and the reason the film is called Lion :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'too' should obviously be spelt TWO :-)

      Delete

I love comments and will now try very hard to reply to all of them
Please dont be abusive x