Lion: A Heart-Tugging Masterpiece
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
No matter how far a journey takes you, life has its own peculiar way of reminding you about where you come from. Starring Dev Patel, Sunny Pawar and Nicole Kidman, Lion is a moving tale about little Saroo who gets lost, only to find his way back home 25 years later.
With great simplicity and sensitivity, director Garth Davis delivers his debut feature film Lion. When the harsh realities of street life are thrust upon little Saroo, the unspeakable troubles that he endures are showcased with excellent subtlety by director Garth Davis. Lion is a heart-wrenching film that puts on a show that will move you. Luke Davies’ realistic screenplay and Garth Davis’ directing gently takes you on a journey that will wreck you, leaving you in tears right before it hands you a silver lining.
At a certain point in the film, the voices of helpless children begin to tug at your heartstrings. It takes a minute to realize that you aren’t actually at the place the movie is taking place in. Lion is the kind of film that makes you question the actions of society while admiring the sheer goodness of a select few individuals who remain untouched by the harsh realities of the world we in. When a film immerses you deeply in its world, a majority of the credit must go to director Davis’ masterful storytelling.
In my opinion, the beauty of Lion lies in its ability to make you feel every little detail that the characters feel. A lot is left unsaid, but the film is made in a way that enables you to understand every little nuance. At one point, heavy sniffles escaped me at the sight of young Saroo seeking guidance from a little girl the same age as him.
Often, stories tend to highlight the naivety of children, but I admire how Saroo is able to differentiate good intentions from bad ones by simply looking into another person’s eyes. In Lion, the eyes are used to convey a world of emotions. When Saroo finally looked into the warm and embracing eyes of his adoptive mother, my heart began to dab a little.
Behind the triumph of this beautiful tale are actors who lent depth to the story with their exemplary performances. Dev Patel as a grownup Saroo is unabashedly real, bearing his scars and complex emotions. Sunny Pawar as little Saroo is adorable, and his natural knack for subtle conveyance is astounding. Nicole Kidman as the large-hearted mother wears her heart on her sleeve whilst delivering an unforgettable performance.
Lion is a technical masterpiece as well; the visual story-telling the film employs is remarkable. Whether it’s the crowded streets of Calcutta or the calm oceans of Australia, Greig Fraser must be applauded for his ability to paint the emotional palette of pictures that he does. The soundscape of the film is tastefully handled as well. During the film’s climax, the audience’s hearts beat faster as suspenseful music fills the cinema hall.
Overall, Lion is a masterpiece that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride, leaving you with a gleaming silver lining that makes it all worthwhile.