Movies have been a passion of mine for years. As a kid, I went to see plenty at the local theater with my mom and dad. It is no surprise to me that because of this I tend to feel deeply connected to the emotions that I see characters going through on screen.
That being said, I knew I was in for an emotional ride pretty early on once I sat down to watch "Lion" – and with my mom sitting next to me, no less.
The epic journey of Saroo
"Lion" begins with a boy named Saroo, who at 5 years old is separated from his mother, older brother and little sister after getting lost on a train that takes him thousands of miles away from his home.
As I sat there and watched his tale unfold, I found it almost impossible to comprehend how he must have felt. For me personally – as someone who has never been outside of the US – I found India downright terrifying. The sheer number of people that were swarming around the boy and did not even bother to spare him a second glance was enough to break my heart.
Putting things into perspective
Over one billion people live in India. The United States does not even come close to that, populated by only around 300 million. For a lost child who does not even know his mother's real name or exactly where he lives, the odds of finding home are next to impossible.
"Lion" takes us on Saroo's journey through life up to adulthood where, thanks to modern technology and good ol' Google Earth, he can find answers to questions he was never able to when he was younger, not that he would have had access to a computer given the poverty he grew up in.
I have never considered myself a fan of the drama genre or of films that boast that they are based on a true story. Ok? Yeah? Big deal. Most films take at least a little bit of something from everyday life. But this movie… I loved it. From start to finish I was anxious, upset, excited, all of it along with Saroo. I just wanted him to see his family again, damn it!
Is "Lion" the right movie for you?
You probably think you have got it all figured out from whatever you have heard about this movie or just from reading this, but there is so much more to it. Reading about it will not do it justice. I walked out of the theater feeling incredibly lucky and downright blessed to have a life so easy compared to some of the people in this film. It is something of a reality check to see just how different someone else's life has been, even though I am sure some of it was embellished for the sake of making a movie as interesting as possible.
Do yourself a favor and set aside a couple hours to go see this with someone. If "Fifty Shades Darker" is your thing, hey, go for it – I am sure I will eventually force myself to sit through that train wreck. But I would much rather see a movie like this.