“Lion” is a superbly directed and acted film that got great reviews but just didn’t find the audience it deserved. Based on a true story, the film follows five-year-old Indian boy Saroo (Sunny Pawar) who gets lost on a Calcutta train traveling away from his home and family. Frightened and bewildered, he ends up thousands of miles away, in chaotic Kolkata. Somehow he survives living on the streets, escaping all sorts of terrors and close calls in the process, before ending up in an orphanage that is itself not exactly a safe haven. Eventually Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), and finds love and security as he grows up in Hobart. As an adult, not wanting to hurt his adoptive parents’ feelings, Saroo (Dev Patel) suppresses his past, his emotional need for reunification and his hope of ever finding his lost mother and brother. But a chance meeting with some fellow Indians reawakens his buried yearning. Armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, Saroo sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home. An uplifting film, with top-notch performances by Patel, Pawar, Kidman and Wenham.
Vitals: Director: Garth Davis. Stars: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Nicole Kidman, Abhishek Bharate, Sunny Pawar.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 119 min., Drama, Box office gross: $25.852 million, The Weinstein Co./Anchor Bay.
Extras: Deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes gallery, “Never Give Up” official lyric video performed by Sia.
All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.