Okay so, I’m going to put it out there: I did NOT think that any kid could even come close to being as cute and amazing (in every way possible) as the incredibly talented Jacob Tremblay but Sunny Pawar, take a bow. Someone get this kid an Oscar.
I heard so much surrounding Dev Patel that I automatically presumed that he took a lead role. However, Pawar steals the show, dominating the entire first half of the film, after which it starts to sag a little in places.
As it’s Oscar season, cinema night has become a life-changing decision with so many critically acclaimed films to choose from. It just so happens that I live a life of luxury and managed to watch both Lion and La La Land (Hackshaw Ridge is next on the list – pass the popcorn!), although despite the latter’s favourable position and record number of Oscar nominations, I think Lion trumps it (sorry, that vile ‘fart’ word is tormenting my head as of late for some reason).
I don’t want to say the film is ALL about Google Maps but it for sure gets its 15 seconds of fame. And who are we to deny it that – I’m sure it’s gotten all of us out of spots of bother many a time, but Aroo’s case is probably the best.
When the credits rolled and the lights faded on my voice couldn’t make it’s way past the HUGE lump in my throat. I must have sat in silence for a good minute fighting against my awkwardness while pretending to busy myself by putting on my coat.
Lion demonstrates the harrowing contrast in lifestyles between West & East, while highlighting the ultimate futility of materialism. Garth Davis puts the nail on the head with the overall message: sometimes all you need is your Mom.
Davis is brave in his portrayal of this culture clash and doesn’t stray from the real-life horrors of child poverty that consumes countries such as Bangladesh.
Barriers are crossed physically and mentally as characters struggle with the barriers of language, emphasising the power of words and the traumatic consequences that can arise from simple points of miscommunication.
The start of the film is by far the strongest, bringing smells and colours to life and feeding the rest of the plot which teeters on the edge of boring. However, the film’s dip is all forgotten with the equally gripping ending, leaving a powerful impact with the huge emotional climax.
Aroo (Pawar & Patel) experiences an almost magical transition from a life of poverty to one of privilege like a real-life Dorothy. It’s difficult to imagine life in third-world countries from the warmth and cosiness of our sofas, and Aroo’s struggles to remember his past bring this to life.
Themes of home and belonging are explored and what makes us who we are today which is always an interesting concept.
There’s no villains and it’s easy to follow, although I must admit, emotions make it difficult to watch at times.
Overall it’s thought-provoking and a real tear-jerker. But to be honest I think the real message is, when it comes down to it, you can’t underestimate the power of food: jalebis pretty much rescue Aroo’s childhood and entire identity. Just saying.