Lion: A Movie about Family, Not Lions

by Kasen Stephensen

Amidst the excitement for the Oscars, the lesser-known Lion delivers an incredible and awe-inspiring story that has little to do with lions and more to do with family.

In rural India, five-year-old Saroo is lost at a train station and travels over 160,000 km to Kolkata and survives for two months on his own before being adopted by Australian foster parents. Twenty-five years pass and Saroo, tormented with his memories, toils to find his village through the use of the revolutionary program Google Earth.  

Dev Patel expressed a provoking performance that elicits tears and sympathy in a complex and emotionally intense role and effectively transitioned Saroo from the young and naïve child to the mature and nuanced adult. Although the 25 year gap was necessary for the sake of the plot, there was initially some disconnect with moving from a five-year old to a 30 year-old man.  However, in a later scene, Saroo’s search is reawakened when he sees an Indian food from his youth.

Altogether, this story stands out as a model of human achievement and the capability of technology to bring good to pass.  During this time of action and fear, an uplifting movie is a fantastic intermission and a call to action for those who want to make a difference.

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