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If you tell the real life story of Saroo as it happened, you realise there is not much story to it: boy from rural India gets lost, orphanage, adoption by Australians, later seeks to find his family years later to get some form of closure. The script of “Lion” seeks to add a bit of extra drama to it, but focuses mainly on the fact that this boy basically has forgotten about his past life, and the way he is suffering from the loss only when by chance he stumbles across something that triggers his memory. In consequence the film is not very dramatic in its best moments, but very introvert and calm. There are some beautiful scenes at the beginning, before young Saroo gets separated from his family because of an unfortunate event he only learns about much later. In these moments, it is quite a heart-warming depiction of siblings relationship and the pleasures and pains of being a kid. The second part is not as strong as a film, with its setting in less exotic Australian suburbs and the addition of characters such as Saroo’s “brother” that do not add a great lot to his story. Of course, the way the story pans out is still moving, and the use of technology to trace his past life even provides for some thrills. Taken as a whole, I found “Lion” to be a bit too unbalanced to really enjoy it. I could appreciate Dev Patel’s acting skills, and I could easily fall in love with Sunny Pawar, who plays Saroo as a child. No doubt this is solid awards season material, but could have been bit more edgy for my taste.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/lion_2016

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