Almost every New Year's weekend, nothing new comes out in theaters unless if you live in a popular market. I had seen everything that was playing near me, so I travelled to see a film that expanded last weekend and was rumored to be an Oscar contender. I wasn't sure of the extent to which I would like it, but I actually ended up liking it a lot.
The story of this film is actually quite interesting. It's split into two: Saroo's childhood, when he gets lost, and his adulthood, when he tries to find his family. Surprisingly, they are handled pretty much equally, and they are equally compelling. I don't really understand why Dev Patel, who plays the older version of the protagonist, is considered a supporting actor. His performance is great, but it is substantial enough and equal to that of the younger actor that he should be considered a lead. His performance, combined with the excellent character development made me sympathize with the character immensely. Nicole Kidman's character is also very well-written, and her performance accents the writing very well. The interactions between all of the characters feel very natural, and the film also never drags. There are a few moments in the narrative that feel a bit jumpy, but they aren't distracting to the message of the film.
The film does a lot of amazing things with its technical aspects too. The cinematography is really beautiful. The use of sound is even better. Not only is the score amazing, but the sound design great, using sounds in the background to illustrate the emotions of the characters, such as a time when a train whistle coordinates with a character's scream. The film also used parallel editing effectively to incorporate flashbacks and highlight associated emotions. The only thing that I didn't love about the technical side of the film is that it very much overused the fade-to-black transition in the first half of the film.
Overall, I think that "Lion" was a very interesting, well-made film. It's not perfect, but it is impressive in quite a few of its elements, especially the acting by (lead) actor Dev Patel and the sound design. If it comes near you, definitely check it out.
Big Tuna's Rating: A-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: No.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.