Lion, the fascinating film adaptation of Saroo Brierley’s account A Long Way Home of how he located his biological family in Kolkata 25 years after being adopted by an Australian couple in Australia is so filmy , it looks more Indian than the film being made in Bollywood these days.
This is a Manmohan Desai plot masquerading—very effectively,I mighy add—as a Bruce Beresford drama.
The first-time director Garth Davis has used the intrinsic drama of Saroo’s story to build a blueprint of brilliant visuals and pinnded-down emotions. The trailer shows Dev Patel at the peak of his acting acumen. And reliable sources confirm that the producers of Lion, the prestigious Weinstein Company are aiming to get Patel an Oscar nomination for his performance.
Patel’s evolution as a sorted actor capable of portraying myriad emotions was amply demonstrated last year when he played mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan in The Man Who Knew Infinity. With Lion Dev Patelpenetrates the precincts of populism without losing his hold over his character’s persuasively understated angst.
There is no over-the-top moments here as Patel’s strong central presence is pinned down in a space of muted melodrama by some very fine acting talent including Rooney Mara as his girlfriend and Nicole Kidman as his mother. Lamentably, the Indian actors are very poorly represented in the trailer.
Apart from Priyanka Bose who plays Saroo’s biological mother in Kolkata and the phenomenally talented child Sunny Pawar who plays the childhood Saroo, not one Indian actors gets even a shot in the trailer, not evenNawazuddin Siddiqui who plays Dev’s elder brother.
So much hue and cry was made about Nawaz signing his first Hollywood film “with” Nicole Kidman. The two are as likely to come together in the film as Rekha and Jaya Bachchan in Indian parliament.