The second to last Oscar nominated film left to watch is based on the non fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. Starring Dev Patel as Saroo with Sunny Pawar playing the young Saroo with Nicole Kidman as Sue Brierley Saroo’s adoptive mother and Rooney Mara as Lucy Saroo’s girlfriend.
In the a Slum in India Saroo lives with his mother, sister and older brother Guddu where Saroo & Guddu steal coal from freight trains to buy food & milk for their family, one day Guddu starts to leave for a night job that will take him away from home for a week but Saroo begs to go along and he persuades Guddu to take him but when they arrive at the train station Saroo falls asleep so Guddu leaves him on a bench whilst he goes of to find work. Saroo wakes up to find no one around and searches for Guddu, he gets on an empty train looking for him calling his name. Whilst on the train Saroo falls asleep and wakes to find the train is moving, he tries to find a way off but the doors are locked and he’s stuck on the train for a couple of days finally arriving at Calcutta, he gets off the train but finds no one understands him and he can’t understand them as they’re speaking Bengali whilst he only speaks Hindu, he tries to get a train home but he only knows the town as “Ginestlay” but no-one knows of this place. He starts to spend the night with a bunch of street kids that start to get rounded up but he escapes and continues to move around the city sleeping rough but whilst walking along the tracks he meets Noor a friendly young women who takes him back to her apartment giving him food and drink and says she knows someone who can find his mother & home but he over hears them talking and it suggests they’re going to sell him into the sex trade, Saroo then runs away. Whilst sleeping rough he starts to mimic someone eating in a cafe who sees him and goes to speak to him and takes him to the police where they start a search for his mother and take him to an orphanage. Some months later a Mrs Sood meets Saroo and tells him they’ve tried finding his month without success as the town “Ginestlay” doesn’t exists but an Australian couple Sue (Nicole Kidman) & John (David Wenham) Brierley want to adopt him and starts teaching him and a few of the other children English ready for the move. Saroo and another boy (Mantosh) move to Hobart to start there new life.
20 years later Saroo moves to Melbourne to study where he meets an American student Lucy and they start a relationship, doing a social night they start chatting where they’re from and at first Saroo says he’s Australian but after seeing a food from his childhood he says he’s is lost and is adopted and doesn’t know where he’s from and says he only remembers water tower from the railway station near his home. His friends suggest searching Google Earth to find his home, at first he resists but soon after it takes over his life and ruins his relationship with Lucy. Several Months later he finally finds the neighbourhood he is from “Ganesh Talai” and then explains all to his adoptive mother and Lucy. Saroo travels to India and to his own town looking for his family, an villager asks him who he’s looking for and when says he takes him to his biological mother and they’re reunited along with his sister. They tell him that Guddu was struck and killed by a train the night they want to the station.
The film ends with real footage and photos of Saroo’s reunion with his biological mother along with his adoptive mother and it ends with Saroo learning that he was pronouncing his name wrong as it was Sheru rather than Saroo, Sheru meaning Lion hence the film name.
Originally I wasn’t planning on seeing this but boy am I glad I didn’t, this is a truly emotional film but was brilliantly done and has will run Havksaw Ridge and La La Land in the Oscars. Dev Patel is up for an Oscar and he may get it, Nicola Kidman is also up for one but she’s in a tough group for it, however for me the Actor that stood out was the actor that played the young Saroo; Sunny Pawar; even I wanted to adopt him! As it seems with most films this year go and watch, if you have emotional bone in your body this will move young I don’t mind admitting I had a tear in my eye. I loved this film.