Oscars Countdown… #6 Lion

Lion is just the kind of story that attracts the Oscars. Five year old Saroo falls asleep on a platform and wakes up to find himself alone and accidentally boards a train that takes him thousands of miles from home to Calcutta, we see how he survives the streets of Calcutta and is eventually adopted by an Australian family. Twenty years later haunted by images of his lost family he goes looking for them.
Dev Patel who is so prominent on the films posters doesn’t appear for the first 53 minutes, hence his nomination for best supporting actor not best actor. Whilst Patel, once he makes an appearance, gives a moving performance the film largely belongs to Sunny Pawar, who compellingly plays little lost Saroo as he wanders the streets of Calcutta. This is by far the better part of the film, as you hold your breath wondering how a 5 year old who cannot speak the language can possibly survive in this dangerous city. 
The second half lulls a little, once Saroo has established he wants to find his family he drifts around unable to do so and it becomes a little dreary as you just want the film to hurry up and get to the grand reunion that is so inevitably coming.
Nicole Kidman though is extraordinary, it is her unfolding story and emotional performance that keeps you intrigued as the film slowly meanders along. 
When the ending comes it does so far quicker than I thought, I assumed there would be some wandering through India trying to find the way home, instead Saroo spots his hometown on google maps and hops on a plane straight there. The swiftness of this discovery though is forgotten during the heartwarming and tearful reunion of Saroo and his birth mother. And even more so when you see the real footage of Saroo, his birth mother and his adoptive mother together. 
Whilst the emotional climax of the film leaves you feeling warm and happy, this film is not what I expected and honestly I’m not entirely sure if that’s good or bad. 

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