Film Review: LION (Australia 2016)

lion_movie_posterLION (Australia 2016) **
Directed by Garth Davis

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Dev Patel

Review by Gilbert Seah

When a feel-good story as in LION is made into a film, filmmakers often still feel the need to add on additional sweetness. PLAY IT LIKE BECKAM, BILLY ELLIOT and the more recent QUEEN OF KATWE are examples of films that fall into this trap.

Audiences do not seem to mind as observed in the box-office success of the first two aforementioned films though QUEEN OF KATWE bombed. Critics, however are never impressed with sugar-coated feel-good films. Unfortunately, LIONS falls into this category. Director Davis is still not ashamed to show a tear or two dripping from the face of the main protagonist, Saroo (Dev Patel), not once but twice.
Dev Patel (THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE), Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman star in the true story of Saroo Brierley, who was adopted by an Australian couple after being separated from his family in India at the age of five, and then located his original home using Google Earth 25 years later.

The film begins with overhead shot of Tasmania, Australia before settling, oddly in India. Here, the audience sees precocious five-year-old Saroo Khan (Sunny Pawar) in a very poor family. Over-eager to help his older brother Guddu with any odd job that will provide their family with much-needed money, Saroo follows Guddu everywhere he goes. One night the two boys are separated on a train platform in their native Madhya Pradesh, and Saroo winds up nearly a thousand miles away in Calcutta where he is fortunately taken in by a government orphanage. When an Australian couple (Kidman and David Wenham) adopts him, he is taken to live with them in Hobart, Tasmania. It’s not until Saroo leaves that island as a young Australian man (Dev Patel) that he begins to wonder what became of his first home and the family he so adored. Saroo falls into romaine with an Australian (Rooney Mara) in an awkward romance. It does not take a genius to figure out that Saroo will eventually be united with his mother in India through the help with Google earth.

Adapting Brierley’s own book, A Long Way Home, screenwriter Luke Davies and first-time director Garth Davis infuse the story with just too much heartbreak. Nothing is gained or learnt from this predictable true tale made worse with its tear jerking at every possibility. This is an example of the worst of a based on a true story, tear at your heart-strings film.

The reason the film is called LION is revealed at the very end of the film. Not that it matters any. The film LION arrives with much less than a roar.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ns9XjWKws&t=7s

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Happy Birthday: Nicole Kidman

nicolekidman.jpgHappy Birthday actor Nicole Kidman

Birth Name Nicole Mary Kidman
Nickname Nic
Height 5′ 11″ (1.8 m)

Married to: Keith Urban (25 June 2006 – present) (2 children)

Tom Cruise (24 December 1990 – 8 August 2001) (divorced) (2 children)

 

 

NICOLE KIDMAN PHOTOS

Dead CalmDead Calm
1989
dir. by Phillip Noyce
starring
Kidman
Sam Neill
DAYS OF THUNDERDays of Thunder
1990
dir. Tony Scott
Starring
Kidman
Tom Cruise
BATMAN FOREVERBatman Forever
1995
dir. Joel Schumacher
Starring
Val Kilmer
Jim Carrey
Kidman
PRACTICAL MAGICPractical Magic
1998
dir. Griffin Dunne
Starring
Sandra Bullock
Kidman
MOULIN ROUGEMoulin Rouge
2001
dir. Baz Luhrmann
Starring
Ewan Mcgregor
Kidman
THE OTHERSThe Others
2001
dir. Alejandro Amenábar
Starring
Kidman
THE HOURSThe Hours
2002
dir. Stephen Daldry
Cast
Nicole Kidman
Meryl Streep
THE GOLDEN COMPASSThe Golden Compass
2007
dir. Chris Weitz
Starring
Kidman
Daniel Craig
THE INVASIONThe Invasion
2007
dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring
Kidman
Daniel Craig
AustraliaAustralia
2008
dir. Baz Luhrmann
Starring
Kidman
Hugh Jackman
NINE Movie PosterNine
dir. Rob Marshall
Stars:
Daniel Day-Lewis
Marion Cotillard
Penélope Cruz
Rabbit HoleRabbit Hole
dir. John Cameron Mitchell
Stars:
Nicole Kidman
Aaron Eckhart
JUST GO WITH ITJUST GO WITH IT
dir. Dennis Dugan
Stars:
Adam Sandler
Jennifer Aniston
MOVIE POSTERTRESPASS
dir. Joel Schumacher
Stars:
Nicolas Cage
Nicole Kidman
MOVIE POSTERTHE PAPERBOY
2012
dir. Lee Daniels
Stars:
Matthew McConaughey
Nicole Kidman
MOVIE POSTERSTOKER
2013
dir. Chan-wook Park
Stars:
Mia Wasikowska
Nicole Kidman
MOVIE POSTERTHE RAILWAY MAN
2014
dir. Jonathan Teplitzky
Stars:
Nicole Kidman
Stellan Skarsgard
MOVIE POSTERGRACE OF MONACO
2013
dir. Olivier Dahan
Stars:
Nicole Kidman
Tim Roth
MOVIE POSTERHAPPY FEET
2006
dir. George Miller
Warren Colemen
Judy Morris
TAKE A LOOK AT 100 PHOTOS OF NICOLE KIDMANSEE -2009 PHOTO

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