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'Lion' is a beautiful, inspiring film

Posted December 27, 2016

HEARTFELT CITY — Some really big movies are hitting theaters Christmas week.

Big budget blockbusters like “Passengers,” “Sing,” and “Assassin’s Creed” will release in theaters this week. Not to mention, the Christmas break will likely be when people get their second, third or even fourth viewing of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

But as you figure out what movie to see in the next week or so, I’d like to suggest something that maybe you’ve never heard of that is easy to miss in the wake of these titanic films: “Lion.”

“Lion” tells the incredible true story of Saroo Brirerly, who, when only 5 years old, became lost thousands of miles away from home. The film chronicles his amazing 25-year journey as he looks for his family.

When I saw “Lion,” it struck a very deep chord and I believe it will do the same for you.

Here are some reasons “Lion” should be on your radar this holiday season:

Beautiful

As I mentioned in the intro, “Lion” spans nearly 30 years and in that time the film jumps from several different areas in India, to Tasmania and Australia. There are so many locales and cinematographer Greig Fraser captures these areas in their natural beauty and vulnerability.

The film manages to show the problem of overpopulation and the horrors that occur in these big cities, but simultaneously shows off its natural beauty as well as the goodness that lies within these areas.

On top of the beautiful cinematography, the score is one of my favorites of the year and from the very first moment, its encapsulates you and transports you directly into the story.

Inspiring

Many films try to capture the power and beauty of the human spirit, but few do it as well as “Lion.” The story is heartbreaking, yet inspiring as we follow a young Saroo into manhood and through his desperate search for his family.

The film shows the power that accompanies the will of a human being and how it can also lead to dire consequences. The film truly inspired me to be a better neighbor, friend, father, son, brother, husband and overall human being.

I’m not necessarily saying “Lion” will change your life, but it will remind you that with all of the bad in the world you can be that person who makes it a little brighter and inspire others to do the same.

Family

When the credits roll you’ll realize “Lion” isn’t just the story of a boy looking for his birth mother, but it’s a story about family and the undeniable connection we share.

In the film, a young Saroo is eventually adopted by a husband and wife in Tasmania (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), who raise him as their son. When Saroo becomes a man, he has an unstoppable desire to find his family in India. The way the film shows the connection between Saroo and his birth family, as well as his adopted family, is truly special and moving.

The film will hit close to home to anyone that is a father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, or really any member of a family. The movie connected with me personally to point that I was moved to tears. I only say that because I pretty much never cry during a film, but with the beauty of the story and the power of family in this movie, I couldn’t help myself.

Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar

You can have the most incredible story ever written or lived out, but a movie will fall flat if you don’t have good actors to portray the tale. Thankfully, the cast of “Lion” is really great and moves the story forward and keeps you in the universe that has been created.

With all of the great performances, it’s those of both young and older Saroo that really make the film special.

Dev Patel, from “Slumdog Millionaire,” plays older Saroo and his performance is moving and real. The range of emotion the real Saroo must have felt is sweeping and Patel manages to make us feel all of them. He’s always been a good actor, but this will be known as his moment. Considering what he does in “Lion,” I would expect to see more and more of Patel.

The unknown Sunny Pawar plays the young Saroo and this little boy will steal your heart. Pawar steals the show as a scared and lost little boy who finds unimaginable courage in the face of absolute terror. Pawar’s performance is so honest and sincere that while the film can be difficult to watch on an emotional level, it is worth a second viewing to watch him once again.

Conclusion

“Lion” isn’t a perfect film and tends to drag at times during the second act, but even pacing issues couldn’t take away from the film’s entrancing story and inspirational message.

If you’re looking for something that will resonate on a deeper level than the current blockbusters, take your time to see “Lion”— it is worth your time.

“Lion” is rated PG-13 for thematic material and some sensuality. The PG-13 rating is a fair one and this isn’t one for little kids in my opinion. The material is heavy and the themes are very adult. But I also think if your young teen is mature enough for it that it’s something that can help them appreciate life, family, and what they have just a little bit more.

John has grown up around movies and annoys friends and family with his movie facts and knowledge. John also has a passion for sports and pretty much anything awesome and it just so happens that these are the three things he writes about.

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