Benjamin Maio Mackay
Lion - 4.5 Stars
Heartbreak, pure heartbreak from beginning to end.
A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
This is one of the most harrowing films I’ve ever seen. You start crying around 30 minutes in and don’t stop til the end of the film. Sunny Pawar, who plays young Saroo is an incredible talent. His innocence and naivety in his terrible situation are conveyed brilliantly, his talent is well beyond his young age. Dev Patel is phenomenal, not only has a nailed the Australian accent, but he’s able to take you on his emotional journey and keep you riveted through the long run-time. Nicole Kidman and David Wenham also shine.
It’s a tough sell and it’s difficult to recommend this movie, the entire cinema was crying from start-finish. While it doesn’t make an enjoyable night out, the emotional reactions at the preview prove how good this film really is. The writing, cinematography and direction are outstanding.
The one main criticism I have is that the subtitles are very difficult to read. The font chosen is already blurry and you often find the white text on a white background, making it almost impossible to read crucial parts of the dialogue. This can, however easily be rectified in further releases.
Overall a heartbreaking triumph of a film. It’s great to see an Australian film this good.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of 20th Century Fox