“Lion” (2016)

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

A boy from a tiny destitute Indian village is separated from his family, winds up over 1,200 miles from home on the streets of Calcutta, narrowly escapes sexual predators multiple times, is taken to a Dickensian orphanage, a year later is adopted by a loving Australian couple, grows up in a seaside Tasmanian town with every possible need a person could want, 25 years later decides to track down his biological family, succeeds in locating them, and there is a tearful reunion. The end, roll credits.

The entire time I was watching the movie I kept thinking of this anecdote:

After defeating George Foreman for the heavyweight title in Zaire, Muhammad Ali returned to the United States where he was asked by a reporter, “Champ, what did you think of Africa?” Ali replied, “Thank God my granddaddy got on that boat.”

About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
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3 Responses to “Lion” (2016)

  1. JV says:

    Ah come on, that’s a bit unfair. The kid was separated from his family.


    • Sure, but for most of his life he didn’t seem particularly bothered by that. At least, that’s the way the movie portrays him. The movie spends very little time showing us how the loss affected him. We seem him as a kid rescued by his new parents, he’s introduced to his new house, then boom, we flash forward 25 years and see him as a grown-up and pretty well-adjusted adult. Then one day he sees a reminder of his previous life that launches him on his quest. It almost feels like he needed a hobby, a way to fill his time, so he decides to track down his birth mother. How he feels about his adopted home, his missing family, any sense of displacement he may feel, any guilt in surviving, or feelings towards his birth country aren’t really explored. All of which is fine, but when I look at the India portrayed in the movie versus the Australia where he ended up, it’s hard not to think, “Wow, what a lucky guy! Yeah, too bad about missing his family, but he really dodged a bullet!”

      It’s a dramatic story, sure, but a pretty thin one. Would’ve been better as a 1-hour documentary/profile than a 2-hour movie, IMO.


      • JV says:

        Lots of adopted kids become suddenly interested in and compelled to find their birth parents in their 20s. I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t speak to how well they explored that, sounds like they didn’t do a good job. But, the kid’s material comfort in Australia really is beside the point here.


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