By guest columnist Lauren (moviemagic16.)
Lion is the true story about a boy named Saroo who, when he’s five, falls asleep on a train and ends up lost. Thankfully he ends up getting adopted by an Australian family, but when he grows up he seeks to find out where he came from, and with the help of Google Earth (it’s like 2008 guys) he tries to find home again.
The main role of Saroo is played by two actors. Sunny Pawar plays young Saroo and he’s great. First off, he’s the cutest kid ever. Second, he carries the first act of the film, so basically it’s his job to hook the audience in and care about his character and his journey. If Sunny was unsuccessful you wouldn’t care about Saroo’s journey as an adult. So putting this role/challenge/responsibility on a six year old non-actor is risky but Sunny did it. I hope he continues acting and I’m looking forward to seeing him on the red carpets this season.
That being said, the entire first act of the movie is in Hindi because that’s what Saroo spoke when he lived in India. It’s not one of those Hollywood movies where the actors speak English with a Hindu accent, they’re speaking their language (there’s subtitles, don’t worry guys). But by doing that it made Saroo feel more isolated and alone when he was homeless (they spoke a different language where he went) and when he moved to Australia.
Dev Patel (LEAD ACTOR – SCREW CATEGORY POLITICS) plays adult Saroo and once he’s on screen, it’s his show. He’s alone most of the time on a computer and his face and body acting is great. He plays Saroo with determination but it could be seen as obsessive (which he was).
Nicole Kidman is the other actor getting award buzz and she’s good in it too. I feel like the role is getting her the nomination over her performance. There are scenes with her and Saroo that could make you cry (a lot of people in the theater were crying during those scenes) but she was great.
Rooney Mara is also in this movie and she plays Saroo’s girlfriend. I don’t know if her role was needed, I know her role was the only fictionalized one but she’s amazing as well. She could not be eligible for a nomination if they could only put one supporting actress up and they choose Nicole over Rooney, but Rooney is amazing. She is lying in bed and Saroo’s talking about needing to find his home and she’s full out tearing up (with her chin and lips moving like crazy cause she’s that much on the verge of sobbing). I honestly have no idea how she does it.
My one issue with this film is that in the first act, it’s shown in Saroo’s point of view so whenever he falls asleep there’s a blackout. So there’s like five blackouts within the first 20 minutes of the film.
Guys in the end, Lion is a pretty good film. The two leads are great and tell their part of the story well. It’s got a great supporting cast and it’s true. This actually happened to a little boy and the fact that he made it and then made it home is amazing. It’s also a great film about family and that, adopted or not, family is everything.
Lauren is a major film buff and aspiring actress, writer, and director. Find more of her reviews on instagram.