Personal Film Review – Lion

I live in the small village of Ipplepen in South Devon in which every month in the Village Hall there is a film club showing the latest films – movies for those of a certain age or nationality.

One of the advantages of having a local film night is that not only can you buy a cup of coffee but also wine if you are so inclined.

In addition the organisers always produce some kind of cake that reflects the name of the film so for instance when they showed Bridge of Spies they produced a bridge made up of mince pies – if you haven’t worked it out – Bridge of Pies.

This week was no exception with the production of Indian Fruit Cake to accompany the film Lion.

This of course is all incidental to the film itself which was outstanding not only for the performances of the actors but also the story itself that is based on a true story.

Basically it is about a young boy – Saroo -who got separated from his brother, boarded an empty train and ended up lost thousands of miles away from home.

After trials and tribulations in Kolkata which he survived he is adopted by an Australian couple where he is raised before in his early twenties he manages to find his way home.

I’m not going to spoil it for whoever reads this because it is a film that’s well worth going to see.

Things I can say is this – 

If you are expecting it to be a happy film all the way through then you will be disappointed – the Marigold Hotel vision of India it certainly is not.

There is no doubt that India is a wonderful place with great architecture and history however this film shows the other side one in which life is considered relatively cheap and young children are treated as a commodity available at a price to be abused.

The acting accentuates the story with Dev Patel as the older Saroo and Nicole Kidman as his adopted mother Sue giving performances of the highest emotional quality.

What impressed me even more was the performance of Sunny Pawar who was cast in the role – at aged six – as the young Saroo.

It is difficult to describe how great and powerful a performance it is so the best I can manage is this- 

There were times during the film when those watching clearly closed their eyes trying not to see what was happening or what might happen to him and I know it’s the depth of winter here in Devon but there was the very definite sound of “sniffs” which wasn’t from people with colds.

They were what I call “cinema sniffles” – and yes I confess I was guilty of both.

Perhaps I’m going soft or perhaps it is a case of it being such a fantastic emotional film both in its production and direction.

In conclusion go and watch it.

But a word of warning don’t watch it on your own.

Sit with someone else and share the experience.

Oh and your cinema sniffles.

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