Lion (2016)

  • I don’t know about y’all, but all of these posts about recent movies are weirding me out. It’s like…get back to the ’30s, already! There are too many iPhones and relevant celebrities in these movies! YOU’VE LOST YOUR EDGE.
  • Just kidding. But – I will plaster another Current Movie Spoiler Warning on this one. Because spoilers are bad, children, and I am vehemently against them.
  • First thing’s first – the poster for this movie is not very good. I do not like it. Why are Dev Patel & Rooney Mara in a horizontal love position around a picture of Dev Patel’s younger self? Narratively, it makes no sense within the movie’s context. My guess is: the marketing department decided that maybe not a whole lot of people would go see a movie where Dev Patel re-lives traumatizing parts of his past in a foreign land (uh, hi – that’s a movie synopsis that’s so 2008)…so they decided to make the poster suggest that perhaps a major focus in the movie is Rooney Mara & Dev Patel getting it on. We just saw this with that print ad for HI, NELLIE! (1934), which featured a near-kiss image of Paul Muni & Glenda Farrell…even though their characters were not romantically linked, even in the slightest, within the movie. What a scam.
  • (Maybe I should have held off on the Spoiler Warning until after I clarified that, though Mara & Patel do share romantic scenes in LION, their relationship is not the main point of this movie, and zero epic love moments between them are featured. Although you know…maybe the kind of person who would disregard a Spoiler Warning is the same type of person who would go to see LION thinking they were going to see a Mara/Patel love story, based on the poster…so – maybe this will serve its purpose, after all.)
  • I have to admit that – at the beginning of this movie – I questioned whether or not I was watching SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE: THE SEQUEL…thanks to the presence of a mini-Dev Patel, the immediate emphasis put on the close bond between two impoverished Indian brothers, & their (the impoverished Indian brothers’) penchant for climbing atop moving trains & stealing things from them. As the movie unfolded, the large number of differences between this & SLUMDOG were made very obvious – but still…the similarities are fun to note.
  • Let me jump back a second & say that I really did not enjoy the opening credits of this movie. There are a bunch of great (moving) shots of natural landscapes – but each one is only on the screen for a short amount of time before it fades to black & is replaced by a new one. Interspersed are the actual text credits, which also fade in and out…but not in sequence or coordination with the background fade outs. To me, this had a very jarring effect & partway through, I was silently begging the credits to end, because watching them was making me physically uncomfortable. Most people probably wouldn’t be bothered by them at all, much less agitated to the extent that I was – but I want to note this because – later in the movie, I understood why they were done that way. There weren’t full, panning shots of the landscapes because the memories in Saroo (Patel & Sunny Pawar)’s head were not full, perfect memories. Just when you think you’re developing a full picture – all of the details you want to see, revealed – the image fades to black. And that’s how it was in Saroo’s adult mind.

Brilliant, right?!

  • Back to the rest of the movie, though.
  • Sunny Pawar is CUTE as a fucking BUTTON.
  • Dev Patel did an outstanding job, once he appeared.
  • Why/how did David Wenham (John Brierley, Saroo’s adoptive father) get his name listed before Nicole Kidman’s on the poster & in the credits? I mean, I love David Wenham – but he was given way less to do in this movie than Nicole Kidman was. He was fine with what he did – but like…he shouldn’t have been billed above Kidman. That’s just dumb.
  • Kidman rocked it as Sue Brierley, Saroo’s adoptive mother. Seriously, she was great.
  • Rooney Mara (Lucy, Saroo’s eventual love interest) was good (as she is in most things) – but I felt like her character wasn’t written with enough depth. I mean – we find out her mom died a little while ago…and that she’s interested in hotel management…and that she loves Saroo…but…that’s about it. Definitely no fault of Mara’s – I thought she did a perfectly lovely job with what she was given – but really, that ultimately wasn’t much.
  • I really enjoyed the way they handled Adult Saroo’s living memories. (Is that the right way to describe them?) Whatever – I thought the filmmakers did an excellent job presenting those moments where reality & Saroo’s remembered images blended together. Those were great.
  • I loved the conclusion of the movie. Saroo’s arrival in his village, and the appearance of his mother on the screen…it was perfectly done. Super emotional sequence of moments.
  • I highly recommend this movie. And no, I will not end this post without commenting on the fact that it’s absolutely mind-blowing that this is someone’s real life. He got carried away on a train & had no way of finding his way home & got sent to another fucking continent, and then pieced his toddler life back together using Google Fucking Maps. That is INSANE.

Go see this movie.

That is all.

 

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