Lion (PG-13) 118 mins C
A fascinating story that fails to roar
Starring: Dev Patel, Sunny Pawaer, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Abhishek Bharate, Divian Ladwa, Priyanka Bose, Deepti Naval, and Tannishtha Chatterjee.
Saroo (Pawaer) is a five-year old Indian boy. He falls asleep on a train and wakes up thousands of miles from home. Suddenly, he's a stranger in a strange land lost and alone. Based on a true story, Lion is the kind of drama that should tug at your heart strings. However, the film had no such effect on me. Young Saroo was the best thing about the film, he was truly a lion. But, young Saroo eventually grows up and the film skips ahead twenty years or so. Adopted by a nice Australian couple (Kidman & Wenham), a mature Saroo (Patel) is now attending college, has a hot new girlfriend (Mara) and a bright future ahead of him. Yet, his past begins to haunt him more and more. He becomes sullen and emotionally divided between his past and present. Enter Google Earth. Saroo becomes obsessed with Google and finding his birth family.
This is an intriguing and remarkable true story. There's nothing inherently bad about the film; however, it felt flat and it didn't resonate with me at all. Although, judging by all the sniffling in the dark theatre, it resonated with a lot of my fellow moviegoers. If you're in the mood for a sentimental true life tearjerker with an adorable child act- this one is for you. Me, not so much.
See the trailer via YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVgzmj-bK0c
A Long Way Home via NPR http://www.npr.org/2014/06/22/323355643/with-memories-and-online-maps-a-man-finds-his-way-home