5 year old Saroo (Pawar) becomes hopelessly lost after he is separated from his brother Guddu (Bharate) on a train bound for Calcutta…..thousands of miles and many days from his home in rural India.
With no option other than to fend for himself on the streets of this large city, this tiny child is exposed to all the horrors you would expect, eventually finding himself in an orphanage. From there, he is flown to Australia to be adopted by a thankfully lovely Tasmanian couple, John and Sue Brierley (Wenham and Kidman).
25 years later and Saroo (Patel) has grown into a wonderful young man, the kind of son any mother would adore and be proud of. And herein lies the kick. While Saroo loves his Aussie mum Sue, his heart still aches for the Indian mother he was separated from all those years ago.
Once Saroo goes off to uni in Melbourne, he is introduced to (the still in its infancy) Google Earth and suddenly, armed with this unexpected knowledge, he becomes obsessed with discovering who he really is.
Lion is a wonderfully moving tale of love. The love of a son for his mother and his quest to discover who he really is but it is ultimately the story of a mother’s love for her child. Saroo’s adopted mother Sue loved her son so purely that she gave him the strength of character to keep searching, against all odds, for his birth mother. And the love of his birth mother, the foundations upon which the young Saroo’s character emerged, was so strong that he was drawn back into its embrace long after childhood.
Kidman and Patel have been nominated for Oscar’s for their roles, the latter being the most deserving of the accolade. Patel is riveting as Saroo but only just manages to eclipse the unbearable sadness his young counterpart Pawar manages to endure. That Pawar missed out on major award nominations is a travesty.
Lion is an absolute must see and one of the best Aussie movies in recent years.
4 ½ stars
If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live