Wow, ok, so here we have a Garth Davis film based on the book “A Long Way Home”, which is about a 5 year old Indian boy named Saroo played by Sunny Pawar set in a small poor village of Khandwa, India.
In the beginning of the movie we see Saroo simply trying to help his family obtain food along with his older brother Guddu as they carelessly steal coal from a train in exchange for milk back at their local market. While at the market, young Saroo sees a delectable treat and hopes to one day buy a lot of it and his brother agrees, maybe one day. Returning home with their bounty we find that Saroo’s mother is glad at first to actually have something to eat provided by her two capable boys of which she is proud at first until she realizes they may have done something wrong in order to obtain it. She is not harsh but disapproving in a way that conveys her unconditional love for her two sons.
Later after their mother leaves to head off to work, the evening darkens and Saroo looks to his brother that is beginning to leave as well to head off to “Big Boy” work. However, Saroo does not want to stay behind with his younger sister that is sleeping. Guddu tries to deter Saroo from trying to come with him explaining he should stay and watch his sister but Saroo will not take no for an answer and then shows how capable he is by lifting up a bike outside to let his older brother know he can work by lifting things. Guddu gives in and brings him along reluctantly. Traveling to the work site by train Saroo begins to tire and falls sleep. Too tired to accompany his brother to work, Guddu tells Saroo to stay on a bench at the train station and to not leave there until he gets back. Saroo falls back asleep and wakes up later on to begin searching for his older brother who has not returned. Calling out his name in the dark Saroo wanders onto a parked train at the station continuing to call for his brother.
Still tired Saroo sits on a seat inside the train and falls asleep once again. However, this time when he awakens, it will be a journey that will change the course of his life for the next 26 years. Saroo navigates new environments and people with both good and bad intentions until he is finally adopted by an Australian couple Sue and John Brierly, played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham. They later adopt another boy who ends up not fairing as well a Saroo. From this point we find Saroo in his later years played by Dev Patel which transitions in Saroo constantly being pulled in the direction to locate his family to let them know he is alive and ok. With the help of developing technology, Saroo comes across Google Earth and armed with only his vivid memories is he able to finally locate where he came from and his family. This movie is about a journey inside the heart and bond of a mother and her son. With no disrespect to Sue, Saroo’s adoptive mother, we see how powerful each mother can be in their love and hope for this young boy who finds his life finally whole and even his true Hindu name, Lion.
LION provides a few things and Kleenex is not one of them so have one on hand before tuning in. What this movie will do is keep you connected just as Saroo was with finding his family. With solid acting and true cultural settings, you find yourself wanting help Saroo as well. Don’t miss this one, it is truely enriching.