A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
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In 1986, Saroo was a five-year-old child in India of a poor but happy rural family. On a trip with his brother, Saroo soon finds himself alone and trapped in a moving decommissioned passenger train that takes him to Calcutta, 1000 miles away from home. Now totally lost in an alien urban environment and too young to identify either himself or his home to the authorities, Saroo struggles to survive as a street child until he is sent to an orphanage. Soon, Saroo is selected to be adopted by the Brierley family in Tasmania, where he grows up in a loving, prosperous home. However, for all his material good fortune, Saroo finds himself plagued by his memories of his lost family in his adulthood and tries to search for them even as his guilt drives him to hide this quest from his adoptive parents and his girlfriend. Only when he has an epiphany does he realize not only the answers he needs, but also the steadfast love that he has always had with all his loved ones in both worlds.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
When Saroo is trapped on the train to Calcutta, he is briefly seen near an 'emergency' window with red grilles. Emergency windows were only installed on Indian trains post 2002. See more »
[discussing how to find Saroo's family]
What paper trail?
My mum could not read or write.
What did she do?
A labourer... she carried rocks.
See more »
There is no opening title card, only opening credits; the title card doesn't appear until the end. See more »
Rivers of Belief
Written by Cretu/Ciudad/Curly/Farstein
(SonyATV Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd)
Performed by Enigma
Under License from Virgin Music,
A division of EMI Music Germany GmbH & Co. KG
Licensed courtesy of Universal Music Australia Pty Limited See more »
Powerful story, will move you to tears. Be sure to bring plenty of Kleenex.
Just saw this at TIFF . I saw the trailer a few days before the screening and I have to admit the trailer alone made me a little emotional. I mean just the thought of a 5 year old separated from his family for 25 years is bad enough, add in the fact that he was lost in India, a country of over a billion people and was the child of an uneducated poor single mother and you are looking at a very stressful situation.
This happens there everyday..and most children never find their way back. They either end up dead or in the hands of heartless people who use children for various illegal / unethical operations. The fact that one boy survived this situation and went on to tell his story is very inspiring and this fantastic film did justice to showing it on screen.
There wasn't a single scene in the movie which doesn't suck you in. Hats off to Dev Patel. He managed to make you feel the character's pain just by the way he looked at a jalebi (indian sweet that his brother and him fantasized about back in India). Special shoutout to the young actor who played little Saroo. His performance blew me away. It would be difficult to watch any child go through what he did and the fact that he was absolutely adorable looking made it even harder.
The movie explores some great themes: What happens to lost children in developing countries? How do poor, illiterate citizens of a country go about finding their lost children...who helps them? What are the dangers faced by these lost children? Why do certain people choose to adopt? How do adopted children adapt to their surroundings? Especially when they're transplanted so many miles away from home where they do not even speak the language. Do children every fully recover from traumatic childhood experiences? Does one forget their original family if they never see them again after the age of 5? As an adopted child do you ever completely feel like you fit into your new life? What is the bond with your adoptive parents like? The film touches upon all these themes while primarily being about the physical and emotional journey of a young man finding his way back home with very few clues to work with.
I kid you not, I could hear the whole theatre crying during several parts of the movie and most people had tissues in their hands. So be prepared. If you're in the mood for a heart wrenching drama with an uplifting ending, go watch this one once its out! The lead cast as well as supporting members have all done a wonderful job. You will not be disappointed!
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