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Lion

Little Saroo falls asleep in a freight car one night and lands in Calcutta 1600 kilometers away. Adult Saroo begins to search for his roots years after being adopted by an Australian family.

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Gareth Davis has made a prestigous drama with a fantastic cast that will surely require some tissues. Davis worked on the charming, feminist TV show Top of the Lake together with Jane Campion (THE PIANO). Based on the autobiographic novel “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley, Lion tells the story of 5 year old Saroo who falls asleep in a railway car alone one night and lands on the streets of Calcutta 1600 kilometers away. He is then adopted by an Australian couple and searches for his family using google earth as an adult. The real stars of the film, Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, and Rooney Mara, don’t appear in the first hour. Gareth Davis concentrates on Saroo’s traumatic experience at first. Davis is an excellent director of children and the decision to keep the camera at an eye level during Saroo’s dangerous odyssey makes for an intense and disturbing experience. In the second part of the film adult Saroo (Dev Patel) has a Proustian moment when he eats a Jalebi, an Indian cookie, at a party of an Indian classmate which triggers an unattainable yearning for his childhood. Dev Patel, who had awkward, youthful charm in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and THE EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, has become a poised star with LION, convincing as both the romantic love god at Rooney Mara’s side and the internally torn intellectual. Nicole Kidman counters with stark humanism and is obviously happy to not play a dream woman for a change. LION moves and reconciles.

Tom Dorow

Translation: Elinor Lewy

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USA/Großbritannien/Australien 2016, 129 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Garth Davis
Author: Luke Davies
DOP: Greig Fraser
Montage: Alexandre de Franceschi
Music: Volker Bertelmann, Dustin O'Halloran
Distributor: Universum Film
Cast: Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Sunny Pawar
FSK: 12
Release: 23.02.2017

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