REVIEW: Lion is an incredulous true story of the power of love - and Google maps

Lion starring Dev Patel. Picture: A Long Way Home Productions

Lion starring Dev Patel. Picture: A Long Way Home Productions - Credit: Archant

Fact is often stranger than fiction and none more so than in this compelling story of a man who traces his way back to his birth mother in a remote Indian village using his memory and Google maps.

Just shy of two hours Lion (PG) is a beautifully paced and composed film combining attention to detail with a sense of both simplicity and strength.

Dev Patel plays a superb leading role with adorable newcomer Sunny Pawar as his character’s younger self.

Nicole Kidman is quietly adept as the adoptive mother in a film which will have you reaching for the tissues from start to finish.

Lion tells the story of Saroo a young Indian boy who follows his older brother Guddu for the first time to work the train stations at night, begging or stealing to help support their mother.


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Tired and unused to being up all night, Saroo stays on the platform to sleep on a bench.

When his brother fails to return he goes in search of him and manages to end up 900 miles away in the packed city of Calcutta, where he doesn’t understand the Bengali language.

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Nobody recognises his village name, so nobody knows where he has come from.

After spending a night with street kids and escaping the clutches of child traffickers he is eventually taken to the police, where, unable to trace his family, he is put into an orphanage.

Three months later, he is adopted by an Australian couple.

Twenty years down the line, Saroo enrols in university but as time passes he becomes more concerned about the family who have no idea where he is.

Expect to leave the cinema emotionally wrung out but knowing you have just watched something very special indeed.

The film is helping raise money to protect street children globally. Another reason, if any were needed, to love this movie.

5/5

Watch the trailer.

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