Movie Review: Lion

At the very end of the movie Lion, right before the ending credits, there is a comment that is one of the most amazing facts about this true story.  80,000 children are lost every year in India.  That is 80,000 children.  There is no better depressing fact of how difficult it is to live in one of the poorest countries in the world than this statement.  According to the link above, many of the missing children wind up in the sex trading industry and one can only wonder how many of these children die every year either after being kidnapped by a sex trader or who just die homeless on the streets of any number of crowded and poor cities in India. India also has the largest number of child laborers in the world under 14.

The true story of Lion is about a very unlikely lost and found trek through 25 years. The film shows the very long odds of one 5-year-old child named Saroo, played by Dev Patel getting lost after falling asleep in a train station and then even making it to 6 years old after travelling over 1000 miles from his home and winding up in another part of India. Even worse is that Saroo wound up so far away from his home that the people there spoke an entirely different Indian dialect. What really got me about this part of the story is how the mass of people in the Calcutta train station just ignored 5-year-old Saroo, nobody caring to help this small child and even pushing him aside while he tried to beg for help at the ticket counter. From this point of the story to the time many months later when Saroo was finally rescued by an orphanage, is probably just fluke luck that Saroo even survived, especially since he was only 5 years old.

The remainder of this movie has to do with Saroo with his adoptive family in Austrailia, his mother played by Nicole Kidman father by David Wenham and his girlfriend played by Rooney Mara. After 25 years and a singular moment in Saroo’s life, he realizes that he had to find his family in India, using of all things, Google Maps. Lion is an amazing true story of survival, the acting and story are outstanding throughout. I highly recommend this film.