Every so often I like to sit down and watch some of the movies that either won Best Picture at the Academy Awards or that were nominated. I had the opportunity and pleasure to receive the 2016 hit Lion for review on Blu-ray, and I must say it earns its nomination and then some as it weaves an often touching and beautiful story that’s based on a true tale in one of this year’s best releases.
The plot follows a young boy living in 1986 India named Saroo (Sunny Pawar), who lives a hard and poor life with his mother, older brother, and younger sister. One day while out with his brother, he becomes separated from him and falls asleep on a bench after searching for him. To make matters worse, the next day he searches again only to fall asleep on a train that takes him far away to another part of India where they don’t speak his language. He spends the next few months surviving on the streets any which way he can until he is finally taken in by an orphanage where he becomes adopted by Sue and John Brierley (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) who live in Australia. Twenty-five years later, Saroo (now played by Dev Patel) has grown used to his nice life in Australia and being loved deeply by Sue and John. Amidst studying to work in hotel management, he longs to find the answer to what became of his family in India. He sets out on a quest to find them, with help and encouragement from those close to him and his girlfriend from America named Lucy (Rooney Mara), along with the then new Google Earth program. It doesn’t take long for Saroo to become lost and frustrated yet again once he gets there, which will put his emotions and skills to the test.
To say I enjoyed this film is an understatement, as it captures the human spirit and all the highs and lows that come with life. Knowing this is based on a true story makes it that much more amazing that all of this happened the way it did. Director Garth Davis does a perfect job capturing all of the joy, hope, and lost here that easily shows why it was nominated at the Academy Awards. Thanks to high definition visuals and audio, the experience was made even more entertaining, as everything comes in crystal clear as it should. When film comes to a close, you can take a look at the many special features the disc has, such as a behind the scenes gallery, deleted scenes, interviews with the cast and crew, and even an interview with the real Saroo Brierley and how the film captures his struggle to find his family.
If you’re looking for a film that will move you and lift your spirit, look no further than Lion. It captures everything that makes movies such a magic-like experience that anyone who loves a great film will enjoy time and again. Toss in some well done special features, and you have a movie that is sure to bring out the best in any that watch it.