Lion Movie Things to Watch in Fremantle. “Lion”, is an incredible true story about a five-year-old Indian boy named Saroo. His life was changed in 1986, after being separated from his older brother in a crowded train station in India.
The panicking little boy jumps into the next moving train. Little does he know that he was about to end up destitute, thousands of miles away from his home and family. Neither did he know that he was never to see his older brother again.
This is a tale of longing and loss of a young lad who wants to belong in a faraway world. Yet, his yearning to solve the mystery of his unknown past is clearly seen in his eyes.
His diligence to seek out his birth family via Google Earth kept him going for countless nights. The audience is kept on pins and left to wonder whether his adoptive parents would ever find out about his secret passion. The last thing he wants is to hurt his adoptive parents who took him out of a life of misery. Even then, his adoptive mother Sue, who had been a tower of maternal tenderness and immense devotion, did not fail him.
The first 40 minutes of “Lion” moves the audience with empathy for a poverty-stricken family with a single parent. Soon, the feeling morphs into heart-wrenching anxiety when the little boy is lost and separated from those he cared about.
It all begins when five-year-old Saroo begs his older brother to take him on his rounds to steal coal from trains to trade for milk. However, they become separated after Saroo falls asleep on a station bench. The drama begins when he wakes, boards a train in search of his brother, and is being whisked away to the unknown.
In the over-crowded big city, with the disadvantage of not being conversant with the local language, Saroo struggles to stay alive. He survives long enough in a life featured by scavenged food, slumber in the tunnels, and a street-smartness that kept him away from street gangs. Happily rescued by a home run for the lost children, he is later adopted by his new Australian family.
Eventually, the little Indian boy starts trusting his new parents. Slowly settling into the new way of life, Saroo grows up into a confident and bright young man. The compassionate Australian couple who gave Saroo a new life, also adopts a much more traumatized Indian boy.
His distant memories still alive in a dream-like world, Saroo finally succeeds in his quest to seek out his biological family as a young man.
The opening of the story-line with the natural acting of Mumbai-native Sunny Pawar, with his most expressive face, is compelling. Saroo shares an unspeakable bond with his older brother Guddu, played by Abhishek Bharate. Together, they portray the beautiful world of children, though amidst dire poverty.
The groundwork is beautifully laid by little Sunny for the bright and brooding Dev Patel to take over as young Saroo. His supportive girlfriend Rooney Mara is not utilized to her full potential. The exceptional mom Sue’s role is adorned by Nicole Kidman, who herself is an adoptive mother of two, supported by David Wenham.
All credit to Greig Fraser whose exceptional boy’s-eye-view camera work greatly contributed to the compelling opening of the story-line. Under the direction of Garth Davis and the script of Luke Davies, the movie keeps the sentimental overload at bay until the very end.
At the final reunion of Saroo with his family, bare emotions rule! That longing deep within him is finally quenched. And he learns why his adorable brother never came looking for him on that eventful day. “Lion” is indeed a deeply moving and incredible true story.
Lion Movie Things to Watch in Fremantle available on Netflix.