Movies based on true stories are nothing new. There have been many films with similar themes that raise the story of a person’s life, and are usually adapted from books. Likewise with Lion, a drama film based on a book about the journey of a man named Saroo looking for his mother who was separated from childhood. The Saroo figure is played by Dev Patel, who is supported by various famous film stars such as Rooney Mara, David Wenham, and Nicole Kidman. During her first screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, Lion received tremendous appreciation from the audience. About how good is this movie that got 6 Oscars 2017 nominations? Let’s look at the Lion movie review.
From the start, Lion was not a film with a complicated plot. The story is straight with flashbacks here and there which does not make the audience confused. Interestingly, the narrative presented in this film is packed with a moving atmosphere. Some scenes that were shown were able to make the audience shed tears and smiled. This touching atmosphere was reinforced by the emotional acting of the players. The small actor who played Saroo and Guddu, his sister Saroo, showed how close the brotherhood between them.
As the oldest child, Guddu must help his mother earn a living for her younger siblings. But Saroo, who was still young, sometimes insisted on wanting to come along and help his brother work. Everyday, they do everything to make money. Starting from helping to lift suitcases on the train, to selling stolen coal in the freight train. A sense of brotherhood that is close and loves each other makes these brothers inseparable. It’s hard to see them separated in youth. On the other hand, Saroo’s relationship with Mantosh, her adopted sister in Australia, was not so well established. The Mantosh character who tends to be rebellious and stubborn does not match Saroo, who is obedient and kind. In some scenes, Saroo is seen arguing with Mantosh. Like heaven and earth when compared with the close brotherhood between Saroo and Guddu.
When Saroo grew up, there was a scene where he visited his friend’s house and found a Jalebi, a sweetmeat from India. That’s when his childhood memory began to return. The rush of memories that returned made Saroo decided to start looking for his mother. Strangely, this scene made the audience assume that Saroo had forgotten the times of his life in India and stopped remembering his mother. Where has he been all this time? Does the beauty of Australia make Saroo slowly forget his hometown?
Indeed, compared to Australia, the area where Saroo lives is very simple. This film shows the Indian setting in the 80s, precisely in the city of Khandwa. The area where Saroo was born and raised looked slum and very backward. Most of their activities take place in markets and stations, where they find work. The house inhabited by Saroo is also very simple, without proper tiles and roof.
When deciding to look for his hometown, Saroo’s friends suggested using Google Earth. Interestingly, the process of searching Saroo with Google Earth does not look like a normal film. The interpretation shown in this film is very different from the typical searching scene. Usually, the actor is shown using a computer, then the camera switches to the computer screen in turn like most police drama scenes.
In the film Lion, the scene when the search is displayed alternately between Saroo looking at the laptop and the actual location in Saroo’s shadow as if he was in the middle of that location. Even though they already used Google Earth, the hometown that Saroo remembered as a child wasn’t on the map. Plus, the language difference between Bengali and Hindi made it difficult to ask people around as a child.
By relying on childhood memories and Google Earth, in the end Saroo was able to find his home and meet his mother. A touching scene when Saroo returned to his hometown flooded the tears of the audience, interspersed with laughter and smiles when he saw the happiness that radiated from a small family that was finally reunited.
Overall, Lion is an interesting and very entertaining drama film. Learning from this story, we can try to better appreciate and love our family. Saroo is one of the clear proofs that technology can help us when everything seems impossible. With a simple and moving story, Lion should be your consideration when looking for films to see with family on weekends.