“Lion,” the new biography starring Dev Patel, possesses a certain kind of magic that “Slumdog Millionaire” possessed in his break-out role. It’s a step behind that film, but its premise of the movie is so intriguing, it has a good reason for watching. It has a journey that grabbed my attention more than the minor tactics in the film.
It’s the true story of how five-year-old Saroo Brierley got separated from his older brother, and ended up on a train from Khandwa to West Bengel. He ends up being adopted into an Australian family. 20 years later, he attends the Angliss International Hotel School, and eventually uses Google Earth to find his way back home.
The movie’s cast consists of Patel as the adult Saroo and Sunny Pawar as the young Saroo; both these actors are exceptional. Abhishek Bharate plays his older brother Guddu; he is amazing, and I wish I could have seen more of his side, up until his death, of course. Nicole Kidman and David Wenham play his adoptive parents; they have their moments, but they don’t craft the kind of characters I wanted in a lifelong journey. And Rooney Mara is fine as his classmate, who eventually supports his goal of finding his family. So, we have Patel, Pawar, Bharate, and Mara to thank.
“Lion” is entertaining when we meet the young lad and his travels from India to Australia. It also does a nice job telling us how he used Google Earth to get home. Sure that took month, but still, it was worth it. And the movie’s ambitions on that is worth the trip also.