On paper, Lion might seem like any other movie you’ve seen before – kid gets lost and years later tries to locate his family. On screen, however, it’s a tremendous story of courage, family, and life.
Dev Patel stars Saroo Brierley, who at five-years-old gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from his home. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
Whilst Dev Patel might be the leading actor, it’s really little Sunny Pawar, portraying five-year-old Saroo, who is the main breakout star here – potentially facing the same rise to stardom that co-star Patel did.
For at least the first hour of Lion, Sunny carries the film through what has to be one of the best child performances on screen. He has a great sense of innocence and loneliness whilst keeping his strength and courage to find his way home.
Taking over after the first hour, Patel is tremendous as the older Saroo. Ever since Slumdog Millionaire took the world by storm, Patel has given numerous great performances and Lion is no different. You truly feel the loss that Saroo feels and the horror he endures, unsure as to whether his family is even still alive.
With a 2 hour running time, the film is very well paced, there never seems a rush to get where it’s heading and it allows the story and its actors to flow more naturally.
Yet another film which thoroughly deserves all the nominations it’s received.