If one wants a blog to be read and enjoyed, why start with a movie most casual moviegoers will never see? First, you probably already know about the mainstream movies. Second, I will review mainstream as they come out. After you have seen the mainstream movies, it is the indies (independents) where you will find those rare gems that you want to share with others. For example, you should see Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a delightful movie set in New Zealand. Of course, like anything else, indies can miss the mark. But, I digress.
Lion is advertised as a 5 year old child who gets lost in India, adopted in Australia, and finds his way back to his hometown 25 years later using Google Earth. Are you a sucker for a true story? If so, you will like this movie and you will meet the real people at the end. There is also a nice little surprise as you find out the reason for the title of the movie. Do you hate subtitles? To enjoy foreign movies is to appreciate (some say endure) subtitles. Because a portion of the movie is set in India, there are subtitles.
There is a lot to like about Lion. As one might expect, the Indian culture is eye-opening and the Indian and Australian scenery is beautiful. Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman are wonderful actors. While advertised as a lost child finding his home, this is more a movie about an adopted child finding himself. If that topic interests you, this movie should be high on your list.
Why did I give this movie only 3.5 gavels? For me, it violates Rule No. 2. If I pay $8.50 for a movie, I do not want to be depressed. While I understand that struggle and pain are inevitable in a movie, primarily I want to be entertained. I hesitate to recommend this movie because so much of it deals with the absolute terror of being lost (for the child and parent) and the issue of wanting to find your birth family while not alienating your adopted family. It helps that the movie has the expected ending but I suggest that the occasional moviegoer will likely wait to see this on Netflix, if at all.
You will have to wait for a while to see this movie on the small screen. If you want to see an Indian movie now that I enjoyed, see Lunchbox. An even better indie movie you will enjoy these cold winter nights is Chef. I guarantee you will like it!