FILM REVIEW | Lion

Heading home: Dev Patel plays Saroo Brierley, who's unbelievable true story is brought to life in Lion, one of the best Australian films in recent years. Lion is in cinemas now and rated PG.
Heading home: Dev Patel plays Saroo Brierley, who's unbelievable true story is brought to life in Lion, one of the best Australian films in recent years. Lion is in cinemas now and rated PG.

There are some films that are simply so moving even the hardest of hearts will crumble beneath their power.

Lion is one of those films.

The Aussie movie stars Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) as Saroo Brierley, an Australian man who was adopted from India by a Tasmanian couple.

Saroo’s story might be familiar to some who have read his book (A Long Way Home) or the 60 Minutes story about his remarkable journey.

His story starts as a young child, living in a small, remote Indian village with his mother, brother and sister.

Saroo travels with his brother out of town to find work and bring money back to the poor family.

But the young boy becomes lost and finds himself on a train miles and miles away from any place he knows.

The early part of the film detailing this journey is heart-wrenching, as the frightened young child fails to find anyone to help him or speak his language.

Your heart breaks for him with every new setback and obstacle and you fear desperately for him.

After months and months of being along Saroo is adopted (his parents are played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) and begins a new life in Australia.

We flash-forward to Saroo as a thriving adult, and Patel gets to display his fantastic Australian accent.

Remembering only a water tower near a train station that wasn’t far from his village, Saroo takes to Google Earth to find his home town and his family.

The entire film is incredibly moving. It is shot beautifully, the performances are subtle and the authenticity of filming in Tasmania and India shines through.

Lion is one of the most remarkable true stories to ever be put on film and the audience will be put through an emotional wringer.

It is near impossible to get through Lion with dry eyes – both out of the sadness of the terrifying and devastating circumstances of Saroo’s youth and his eventual resolution in adulthood.

Kidman gives one of her best performances of the last decade in the smallish role as Saroo’s adoptive mother and Patel is also incredibly strong.

But it is Sunny Pawar, as young Saroo, who absolutely steals the film.

This story A life-affirming true story first appeared on Liverpool City Champion.

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