“Lion” has one of those plot lines that feels like a Hollywood screenplay — except it really happened.
It’s told, in Garth Davis’ heart-tugging movie, in two parts. The first half involves a 5-year-old boy named Saroo (Sunny Pawar), who accidentally becomes separated from his brother in India and boards a train that takes him thousands of miles from his home. After living on the streets, he is adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham).
In the film’s second half, a now-adult Saroo (Dev Patel), haunted by faint memories of a family far away, tries to piece together what happened to him and to find his way home again.
It’s a mesmerizing story, particularly that first half, told with great economy and few words.
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“Lion” showcases a moving performance by Kidman, who shows us a woman falling in love with the lost boy from afar. Gently, she strokes his hair, wondering what story lies behind those frightened eyes.
“One day,” she murmurs, “you’ll tell me all about it.” And, one day, he does.
Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some sensuality. 1:58. Fayette Mall.