Sunday, February 26, 2017

Following The Lion's Long Way Home: Thoughts on Lion

Lion is the fourth film from this year's Best Picture nominee list that I've seen. The great thing about these Oscar-nominated films is that they're all very good and won't disappoint you, but they will also turn your little hearts into a mess with their greatness. Lion is no different. 

One of the moving scenes in Lion, featuring Dev Patel and Priyanka Bose

Lion is based on an extraordinary true story of Saroo Brierley. When Saroo was just a little boy in India (played by the very cute and talented Sunny Pawar), he got separated from his family after accidentally taken by a train to a place that was far away from his home. The boy had to stay alive alone for a pretty long time before he got adopted by an Australian couple (played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham). Years later, adult Saroo (Dev Patel), who had built a new life with his adoptive family, began to remember the life he had forgotten and intended to find his way home.


When I first read the synopsis of this film, I wondered why it was entitled Lion. Now, after seeing it, I think the title is perfect for the story. It turns out that Saroo had mispelled his own name. His name is Sheru, not Saroo, and the meaning of the name is lion. Before seeing the film, I also thought that it would focus on Saroo's search for his biological family, but it turns out that it is about Saroo, the lion, himself. It is about the traumatic experience that he has had, the way it haunts him, his longing for his family, his mother... So, this film really is about a lion, and Saroo is the lion. 

Lion feels like two different movies merged into one. The first half of the film centers on little Saroo and his long struggle to stay alive after being separated from his family while the second half follows adult Saroo and his search for home. I think it's great that they make it that way because that must be how the real Saroo feels about his life too. His childhood, his life with his family must feel like something that is separated from his new life to Saroo. 

As beautifully said by Park in the novel Eleanor and Park, a piece of art can make you feel something. Lion makes me feel like a mother. Seeing little Saroo alone in unknown, and sometimes dangerous, places, feeling hungry, scared, missing his mother and brother is just unbearable. All I want to do is taking care of him, making sure he's okay and safe, like a mother. When Sue, Nicole Kidman's character, helps him clean himself in the bathroom and tells him lovingly that she will always listen to him, my heart feels warm. I think that scene really captures a mother's love for her children. I'm not a mother but the depiction of a mother's love in this film really touches me. Maybe it's because I work with children every day haha. After seeing this film, I've been thinking a lot about being a mother. I've never been sure about getting married, but now I know that I want to be a mother. And when I do, I really hope I could be a great one. Oh yeah, that's how deep this film touches me.

Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman got nominated in the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories in so many award shows this year, and I think they both truly deserve it. Everyone knows that Nicole is a brilliant actress, so it's not a surprise. For Dev, I think it's time for him to be recognized more because he's such a fantastic actor. The scene-stealer in this film is definitely Sunny Pawar. He's just super cute and lovable and amazing. I think I could just watch him do anything all day because he's just so adorable. Rooney Mara also delivers a great performance here. She doesn't have much screen time but there's something about her character that makes me want to know more about her life, her story. She seems like a smart and interesting person. If there is a movie about Rooney's character, I would definitely watch it. Another unforgettable character is Guddu, Saroo's big brother. I feel really sorry about what has happened to him. I really wish Saroo could reunite with him.

Rooney Mara's character is not based on a real person, but her scenes with Dev Patel's Saroo are always captivating

Lastly, the film is visually stunning. It features some beautiful landscapes that can be found in India and Australia, filmed from the sky. If you like to travel or see beautiful views, I'm sure you'll enjoy the views featured in this film.

So, the Oscars will be held tomorrow. I don't think Lion would dominate the award show, but its roar will always be heard in my heart. May the best ones win the Oscars tomorrow!

Rating: 4,5/5

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