It was a stunningly hot, sunny day today. So what better thing to do than sit in the dark and watch a movie at my local Rialto (my daughter took the more normal option of donning a bikini and going to the beach, but while she’s nursing burnt feet from the hot sand, I’m glowing in the aftermath of a great movie experience).
I went with a group of friends to see Lion, starring Dev Patel, and he was brilliant. As is the story itself. He, of course, is gorgeous to watch on screen. With those curly locks and liquid brown eyes. And, whereas in The Exotic Marigold Hotel, he was bumbling and sweet with a huge vision for the future, in Lion, he is an intense young man who wants to do the right thing by his adopted family, while he is haunted by the knowledge that his original family is somewhere in India and that he hasn’t seen them since he was 5 years old. (He also does an Australian accent to perfection).
The story is based on a true story. I read the book several weeks ago as I knew I wanted to go see the movie, and the movie was very close to it.
This is a heart wrenching story. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for Saroo’s family when he first disappeared. How could you ever get over the disappearance of your 5 year old child? His mother left for work one evening – she carried rocks on construction sites – leaving Saroo to care for his younger sister, and when she got back the next morning, Saroo and his older brother had gone. And Saroo doesn’t come back for 25 years. 25 years! That is incomprehensible.
The movie sets up his life in India, then shows that fateful night when he begs his older brother to let him come on the trains with him, to help earn some money, and then what happens to him once his brother leaves him at the train station. After a year or two fending for himself, and trying to survive the evilness of the orphanage, he is adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later, he is able to hunt for his previous home and family through the Google Maps satellite photographs.
It is an emotional movie. An emotional journey. And one I highly recommend. I will be watching it again, once it comes out on DVD, with my daughter. Not being in a movie theatre, we will be able to sob to our heart’s content.