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The Dublin Shield

Lion: A Long Way From Home

Anvitha Kachinthaya, Writer

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Garth Davis’s Oscar-nominated film, Lion, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, and David Wenham, is moving and inspiring, telling a miraculous tale about home and identity.

Based on the true story of Saroo Brierley and adapted from his book, “A Long Way Home,” Lion follows the story of a rural Indian boy who grows up in a small, close-knit family where his mother and older brother, Guddu, do manual labor to make ends meet. Five-year-old Saroo desperately wants to help, and completes chores around the house to help his mother. One day, he finally convinces his brother to take him along to the city where he will find work, and the duo set off on their week-long excursion by train. On the way, the two brothers are separated, and Saroo finds himself on a decommissioned train headed to an unknown destination. In a new place 930 miles from home, not knowing the local language or his real name or mother’s name and still trying to locate his beloved family, Saroo is forced to navigate the streets of a crowded city, unfriendly for a tiny, lost child. He faces the challenges and suffering of everyday life before his fortune takes a turn and he is adopted by a loving Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, sparked by a distant memory and equipped with the helpfulness of Google Earth, Saroo goes back to find his lost family, even though it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

The theater was filled with watery-eyed people by the time the credits were rolling, but for me, the movie was more thought-provoking. Saroo had an absolute determination to find his family, no matter how daunting or impossible the task might seem considering he did not know where they were or if they were even alive in a country of more than a billion people, and it was that which touched the hearts of the audience. Some movies tell amazing stories rooted in fiction, but some movies tell amazing stories rooted in the truth, and that is what makes them stand out.

 

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