I remember the first time I saw the title for Garth Davis’s new film “Lion”, I was like “ They are finally making that live action “Lion King” movie we knew we were getting.” Needless to say when I saw the trailer I knew this was not it at all. Instead the film is about Saroo (Dev Patel) and his search for the family he lost twenty-five years ago in India.
Saroo is your typical little brother and wants to be with his older brother all the time. When his brother has to do some work, Saroo, begs and shows that he is ready to do the same work so that he can go along. His older brother gives in and they hop a train, and it’s not too long before the pair is seperated. At some point though Saroo climbs aboard a train and falls asleep only to wake up lost and having no idea where he is. Trying to find home, he has trouble because the people around him no longer speak his language. Saroo after some trials and tribulations in the streets of Calcutta is eventually taken to a home for lost children. While at this home a family from Australia adopts him, giving him a new life. As time passes Saroo becomes a good man, but he wants to find his real family he lost so many years ago and starts his search.
Wihle Saroo and Simba both start with the letter S, that is the only similarity these two films share. The film gets its title from Saroo’s actual name, as all of the years before he found his mother again he was pronouncing it wrong. Saroo’s name means ‘lion”, and judging from Patel’s hair in this film, that should have been obvious. “Lion” is what you call a slow burn, as it takes it time to reach its boiling point. The story written by Luke Davies, from the book written by the real Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose, has a flow; it just feels like a long one. Patel is good as the older Saroo, and Sunny Pawar is excellent as the younger version. With it’s beautiful cinematography from Greg Fraser and the score by Volker Bertelmann and Dustin O’ Halloran, “Lion” has a lot working for it. Where it fails though is that it just feels long, and at times how do I say, boring. It feels like a lot of scenes are just repeating each other and could have been cut to tighten the film up some. The feel of the film though is really the only problem, as the story is sure to open up Niagara Falls and remind you what makes being human is all about. To me what “Lion” is, is a good film that can’t get over its shortcomings to be great. A Lion is a majestic animal and as you know king of the jungle. “Lion” as a movie feels like more like a household cat, you will still like it, just nothing really majestic about it to classify it king.