Lion (Garth Davis, 2016): Country: Australia | UK | USA

Reviewed by Felix Palmqvist, Viewed at AFI Film Festival, 2016.


Amazing, stunning, mind opening mixed with beautiful cinematography showing the worst and the best of this world. Never seen a film that had me say, “wow” as much as this one and I lost count how many times people were in tears around me either from laughing or from the very heartbreaking emotional moments in the film.
Most interesting was the traveling trough time and see the drastic changes of his life, from an extremely poor boy lost in the streets of Calcutta, eating garbage under in the dirty city misery to wealthy loving family life in Australia. The way you get thrown back and forward in was amazing and made me feel so fortuned for growing up in the western world where food and roof over my head is standard.

Saw the screening at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles. When the actor walked out with the director, was almost unreal, to see the person that just were struggling for his life on the screen, sitting right in front of you talking about it. Also this was based on a true story and the actual person that the story was based of was there to, right next to the actor that was playing his role! Very cool. Best Q and A of the whole Festival.

Opening with beautiful drone footage over the Indian country side, you see a boy running across the the field, you see trains tracks and small villages. You getting introduced to the main character – a little boy, climbing on top of a cargo train going full speed across the canyon, to his side his older brother, you feel the panic while they’re collecting dirty cole of the moving train, it goes in to a tunnel, very nice camera work mixed with increasing sound makes it almost feel like you’re there.
The rest of the film you’ll follow this little boy, when his getting separated from his mom and ending up in Calcutta, struggling to survive until he finally gets adopted to Australia. 20 years later he is a full grown man, with a good life, basically as any other Australian, but he still have a empty whole he needs to fill, this is when the search of the lost family back in India start, will he ever see his real brother and mother again? Are they even alive?

The part of the film when he gets on the train, reminds me a lot of the film “Slumdog Millionaire” Also a great film, based on lost child in India.

A lot of close ups and diegetic added music to emphasize emotion to the protagonist and how the feeling of the situation that they’re in is. Compered to the movie “Things to come” by Mia Hansen-Love, which have no close ups and only non-diegetic music and sounds, to separate the audience from having that emotional connection with the protagonists.

You must see this movie, it is very hard not to like, doesn’t matter what your taste in movies is, this movie with its heartbreaking story, ups and downs, love and hate, fear and bravery. It will take you on a journey you’ll never forget.

10/10 Perfect.


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