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Lion (2016)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 6 January 2017 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Garth Davis

Writers:

Saroo Brierley (adapted from the book "A Long Way Home" by), Luke Davies (screenplay by)
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Popularity
411 ( 254)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 59 wins & 97 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sunny Pawar ... Young Saroo
Abhishek Bharate ... Guddu
Priyanka Bose ... Kamla
Khushi Solanki Khushi Solanki ... Young Shekila
Shankar Nisode Shankar Nisode ... Shankar
Tannishtha Chatterjee ... Noor
Nawazuddin Siddiqui ... Rama
Riddhi Sen ... Café Man
Koushik Sen ... Police Official
Rita Boy ... Amita
Udayshankar Pal Udayshankar Pal ... Liluah Teacher (as Uday Shankar Paul)
Surojit Das Surojit Das ... Shonedeep / Haunted Boy
Deepti Naval ... Mrs. Sood
Menik Gooneratne ... Swarmina
David Wenham ... John Brierley
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The search begins See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some sensuality. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site | Official Site [Japan] | See more »

Country:

UK | Australia | USA

Language:

English | Hindi | Bengali

Release Date:

6 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Long Way Home See more »

Filming Locations:

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$123,360, 25 November 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$51,739,495

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$149,571,027
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Garth Davis would make Dev Patel act out some scenes as an animal, which, after initial reservations, made Patel overcome a lot of nervous energy. See more »

Goofs

Saroo is seen using a Samsung smart phone to calculate one of the distances. When the scene was set, Samsung hadn't released any smart phones. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Saroo Brierley: [leaving phone message] Hi, mum. I know you will be sound asleep. I just want to say that I'm safe. Safe and all the questions have been answered. There are no more deadends. I found my mother, and... she thanks you both for raising me. She understands that you are my family. She's... happy, just knowing I'm alive. I found her, but that doesn't change who you are. I love you mom... so much. And you, Dad. And Mantosh. Saroo!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the final credits, there's an earlier shot with the boys on the train tunnel and the credits "In loving memory of Guddu". See more »

Connections

Featured in Lion: A Pride of Lions - Casting the Film (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Red Light Song
Written by H. Nicholson
By kind permission of Peermusic Pty Ltd
Performed by Blue
Licensed courtesy of NB Music GB
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An immensely satisfying cinematic experience: visually stunning, narratively powerful, and an emotional whirlwind. Best Aussie film of the year.
22 December 2016 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

If film-art is the pursuit of visual pleasure, powerful storytelling and high emotional impact, then Lion (2016) is the year's high-water mark for Australian productions. Based on the novel A Long Way Home (2014), this film adaptation is a richly textured essay on the primal human need for belonging that will resonate with anyone who has ever wondered who they are.

This true story is told in two parts and filmed across two continents. Five year-old Saroo is a ragamuffin sidekick to his older brother Guddo, two poor boys who support their family by stealing coal and scavenging trains in their West Bengal village. They become separated one night and Saroo finds himself alone on a train heading to the other side of India. He he joins hordes of homeless children who must fend off predators while begging to survive. Eventually he is placed in a crowded orphanage, then adopted by two big-hearted and childless Tasmanians, Sue (Nicole Kidman) and John (David Wenham). Twenty years on, Saroo (Dev Patel) begins to have memory flashbacks of his native land. As they increase in intensity, he becomes obsessed with finding his family. With some luck and Google maps, the story comes full circle.

There is so much that makes this film stand out. The storytelling is more than engaging: it is so captivating that the two-hour run-time feels like an hour. Acting performances are outstanding: Nicole Kidman is at her best while the five year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is the heart of the film and Dev Patel its soul. The cinematography is brilliant, especially the filming in India. The camera-work is both expansive and intimate, shifting often from sweeping aerial panoramas of mountainous Indian countryside and tranquil Tasmanian waterways to narrow winding alleys, village markets, and the inner-world of Saroo's turmoil. Some of the most powerful scenes are shot from the eye-level of a terrified lost boy jostled by masses of humanity and the close-ups of Saroo's painful face desperate to know home. The colour palette is exotic, sound track emotionally intense, and the directing finds a rhythm that is almost orchestral.

This film offers an immensely satisfying cinematic experience: visually stunning, narratively powerful, and an emotional whirlwind. It comes at the end of a very mixed year for Australian film, with some of the world's finest produced but many that are less than inspiring. Lion is one of those films that will appeal to everyone and it has a very long after-taste. It easily tops my film year.


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