“Lion” tells a story of grief, loss, and hope

Finding a movie that truly impacts perspectives and ideas is not a commonality that connects most films. Movies can still be fantastically funny or heartbreaking but they do not force viewers to think introspectively about their familial relationships or privileges; however the Oscar-nominated film “Lion” directed by Garth Davis is not only stunning from a cinematic standpoint but is also an emotional roller coaster that moves even the most stone cold person to true, unapologetic tears.

“Lion” is a true story based off of the book “A Long Way From Home,” and follows a young boy named Saroo living in a poor village in eastern India. After traveling to a neighboring town with his older brother to find work, Saroo is separated and gets stuck on a train traveling east. After days of being trapped, Saroo finds himself in Bangladesh and is put into an orphanage where he waits to be adopted or to find his birth mother. Eventually, Saroo moves to Australia with his new adopted family, leaving his old life behind. The rest of the film follows Saroo, who is now an adult, as he struggles to cope with the loss of his birth family, while still loving the opportunities and love he has been granted.  

This movie will make anyone with children, siblings, or human emotions feel connected with not only the characters on screen but with anyone in the theatre who is experiencing the same masterful film.

— Grace Gyolai

One main aspect that in “Lion” that draws on universal human emotions is the relationship Saroo develops with his adopted parents in Australia. The film perfectly depicts confliction that Saroo feels due to his love of his new family that is mixed with guilt for leaving his impoverished family behind in India. All viewers can relate to the complicated family life that emerges throughout the two hours of the movie. The raw emotions of feeling connected to Australia are drowned out by a deep genetic urge to return to India and find his lost mother, brother, and sister. An immediate connection is made with Saroo and viewers feel as if they too have also lost a piece of their identity thanks to the brilliant acting of Dev Patel, who plays the protagonist Saroo.

At the beginning of the film, the harsh reality of homelessness in Bangladesh and India is made visible by different tasks that Saroo has to complete in order to survive in the streets. From eating out of garbages to sleeping in train stations with a clan of other homeless children, director Garth Davis is able to create a movie that raises awareness for an issue that is often forgotten by western culture but is a reality for millions of people around the world. The deeper tone of this movie is a call to action; to feel a human connection with people who live a different life, in a different hemisphere. Only through the thoughtful production, acting, and editing in this movie could that message be as widely received as it is.

As the 2017 Oscars air on February 26, and “Lion” is nominated for best picture, it should be remembered that this film allows every viewer to enter a state of complete awe and wonderment as a young man battles his inner demons and passions to find a life that he was forced to leave behind. This movie will make anyone with children, siblings, or human emotions feel connected with not only the characters on screen but with anyone in the theater who is experiencing the same masterful film.