Just before I get all serious and rant-y about the movie let me just say this. I hope a person like Rooney Mara’s character comes into my life or a person like Rooney Mara comes into my life. Right now, if you’re saying in your mind “Yeah, dream on” or “Oh poor soul”. Well life is made out of dreams. So what if my dreams are too big or, if simply put, unrealistic. It isn’t going to stop me from dreaming. See, I didn’t say I hope Rooney Mara comes into my life, because that is impossible and that shows my logic is in the right place. Alright! Enough jibber-jabber.
So Lion follows the story of Saroo who is separated from his family when he was 5 years old. After going through some bone-chilling perils, he is adopted by an Australian family and he lives with them till he is 25 years of age. As he starts to socialise he begins to pine for his Ammi and his brother, Guddu and that sets him off on the search for his hometown and family. The story in itself feels surreal. Almost impossible. Even though there is already a movie called The Impossible, I wouldn’t have been surprised if this movie was also called The Impossible. I don’t remember anything from when I was 5 years old. That might me because of my low i.q(yes, you can judge me without feeling guilty) but I laud his strength and dedication for literally achieving the impossible.
I think the screenplay needed the touch of an Indian in order to make the dialogues during the sequence in India sound more realistic. If you go by the subtitles, then it is perfectly understandable but in Hindi, it sounded very wooden. Sorry, it’s just nitpicking. Garth Davis does a better job at portraying India and , especially, Calcutta than most of the Indian directors. It reminded me of a YouTube argument I had a few days back regarding the Calcutta Tourism ad. It was so polished and fake and I was surprised that when I pointed out the facts, almost nobody was ready to accept it and instead told me to back off. So thank you, Garth Davis and Luke Davies, for not shying away from the reality.
The movie has been shot really beautifully. The contrast between the grittiness of the streets of Calcutta to the dreamy plains of Saroo’s hometown. The editing of the shots which showed Saroo’s past and present were amazing. It gave us a peak into his current state of mind. There were a lot of close-ups of the actors and everyone’s performance was on point. Nicole Kidman was so good. I don’t remember seeing her in such a grounded role. She absolutely nailed it. Dev Patel, was obviously, great. I mean, it’s a great step-up from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was great to see David Wenham again. I am so excited that he is going to be in The Iron Fist. Our little Indian cast also did a marvellous job. Tannishtha Chatterjee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the creepy couple will haunt me for the rest of my life. Is there anything that this man can’t do? Somebody just find his kryptonite for crying out loud. Deepti Naval owns her part with poise. It was also great to see the father-son duo of Kaushik Sen and Riddhi Sen. Also, there was a small role for Besharam actress Pallavi Sharda. Good for her. The child actors were really moving in their respective roles. Major credit goes to little Saroo because he had half the run-time of the movie on his little shoulders. Priyanka Bose as Saroo’s mother and Divian Ladwa as Saroo’s adopted brother also gave very nuanced performances.
What did you think? I am not going to talk about Rooney Mara? Come on. How could you? I actually don’t have words for her performance. She just shifts from one character to another with such ease and not an ounce of over-acting. I hope she reprises her role as Lisbeth sometime in the near future.
I have one small gripe though. Just after Saroo starts his search for his family, I think and it’s my selfish opinion, the movie starts to drag a little.bit. It might have been intentional in order to put us through Saroo’s pain of waiting and searching but it did began to drag a little bit. No offense to Saroo but I think it could have been sped up a little bit through fewer montages. Again, just my opinion.
FINAL VERDICT – It’s obvious isn’t it? Definitely definitely give this a watch. This movie and Saroo’s story is the best example of hope, determination and above all, the power of love. I think everybody will get inspired to keep going in the direction that their heart wants to go. I mean, you should consult with people just in case you’re straying too far away from reality. Jokes apart, it’s a great movie and I think you should definitely give it a watch and as a thank you note: Google Earth, you rock!
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