By Jay Hunter – Once a critically acclaimed producing machine, the Weinstein Companies fortunes have dipped in recent years. Movies such as Southpaw and Mandela may of had the formula to be major successes, but ultimately fell short. Unfortunately, Lion is a movie in the same vein with a solid roar but no bite.
When five-year-old Saroo (Dev Patel) gets lost on a train, taking him thousands of kilometres through India, he must learn to survive on his own before his timely adoption by an Australian woman (Nicole Kidman). Twenty-five years later, with just his memories as tools (and Google Earth), he sets out to find his lost family and return home
After some initially intriguing sequences which sees Saroo battle his conscience due to his drastic change in wealth, culture and circumstance the movie falls desperately into an overly emotional soul-searcher. Which wouldn’t usually be a problem for performers of this caliber, unfortunately the emotion is largely shackled due to the computer screen Saroo is using throughout. Another problem for the two hour movie is that it’s adapted from a relatively short book – A Long Way Home – diluting the product. The saving grace comes from the direction Garth Davis injects into the picture, with a strong visual identity throughout, but it’s not enough to make Lion the awards contender it so desperately wanted to be.