It is a little unusual for someone (about whom there is a perception of his being a First Day, First Show personality) to be viewing a Last Day, Last Show. I must say that this happened to a very large extent due to a very gentle desire expressed by my better half to see this movie “LION”. We had both seen the trailer of this movie a few weeks back. While the trailer was interesting about a real life lost and found tale, it did not come under the category of “unmissable” according to me. But for some reason, this trailer had impressed my wife and when I was made aware that we see movies very often based only on my choice and that the last show of LION was on that evening, I decided that I would take her to watch that movie.
When we were walking out of the theatre after watching the two hour movie, I was very grateful to my wife for having expressed the hint of an interest in seeing this. And quite in contrast to my impression on seeing the trailer, LION is just unmissable. And my guess is that this movie will be actively in the running for a few Oscar and Golden Globe awards!
Released exactly a month back in the US, LION is a Hollywood production featuring a real life tale of a kid, Saroo, who gets separated from his family at the age of five in a small town Ganeshtalai near Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh. His accidentally getting on a decommissioned train, which takes him 1600 km away from home to Howrah, his nasty experiences and how he lands up as an adopted child of an Australian couple in Tasmania and rediscovers his roots in 2005 when he is thirty, thanks to Google Earth which was launched that year is the bare plot of this movie. But it is far, far removed from the lost-and-found Manmohan Desai type of Bollywood movies!
The first half is mostly shot in the grime of poverty infested areas of Kolkata (Nawazuddin Siddique and Deepti Naval have brief roles), and reminds us occasionally of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. But the brilliance of the kid Sunny Patel, who plays the lost child grips you from the very beginning. With dialogues in Hindi interspersed by Bengali, in the first half, the director, Garth Davis, in his debut film recreates the scenes in a very realistic fashion. Few of us as kids have not experienced the fear of getting lost and the way Sunny brings the varied expressions on his face stays with you long after the movie is over. Post interval, Dev Patel takes on the role of the grown up kid and a few scenes featuring him and his foster mother played by Nicole Kidman are heart tugging. Of course, the most touching scenes come in the end and the crowning glory is when Garth gets the real life Saroo and his mother on the screen along with his foster mother.
Wonder why the film is titled LION? We are told about this in the end and I will not spoil it by revealing this. Just watch it!
RATING: 4 out of 5
December 24, 2016