There are many things I enjoyed with the movie but there also seems to
be a little problem after that. As a whole, the visuals are really good,
but there are times were it goes a bit too far (back to implausible).
The cast and acting was good, but the characters are very much the same
as in the first movie. There is nothing new about them, with the
exception of Mark Ruffalo’s character. We are given a better and more
thoughtful backstory about his past, and more emotional understanding.
Out of the horseman, Woody Harrison’s character is the only one whose
past is even talked about when his brother comes into the frame, which
didn’t really do much to the movie. I personally didn’t like it that
much. I enjoyed Isla Fishers replacement in Lizzy Caplan. She was a fun
and provides some positive energy to the group, which contain some
boring members. She has a personality which some of the characters
lacked, but her role only took a bad-turn when she and Dave Franco’s
character, Jack Wilder, entered a horribly-developed relationship, which
had nonsensical impact on the already bloated story. As long as the team
had chemistry, which they did, I was fine with some of the minor
永利网站，Last Saturday, I finally found some time to binge watch the latest Oscar
nominated movies. After some light research, I started with Lion. I was
surprised that the lead actor Dev Patel is a changed man. He got this
shaggy look with a solid physique. I could barely see the Slumdog
millionaire teen in him, great transition.
The tricks were impressive but I didn’t find the ‘wow’ factor like I did
in the first movie. Also, as Thaddeus was a magic debunker, I would’ve
liked, even for a brief minute or two, for him to explain how some of
the tricks worked, which would’ve helped the audience, but also expand
his role in the movie, especially as he is such a great actor.
Continuing on with the tricks, I wish that they didn’t all have to have
some sort-of CGI work on them. One of the things I liked about the first
movie were some of the tricks didn’t require CG work at all because they
were entirely performed by the magician. Though I know that the people
performing the tricks are not magicians, they could’ve at least applied
some free-hand stuff for the actors to perform.
For the 8 years he was away from the big screen, it seems he was
focusing more on the American market. After Slumdog millionaire, he
returned to the small screen, earned a recurring role in newsroom and
participated in The Last Airbender as a supporting actor. But the Lion
was definitely an ambitious move. With the Australian director Garth
Davis at the helm, starred Australia’s national treasure Nicole Kidman,
the movie had been nominated over 30 international awards and gleaned
loads of accolades. It was a tear jerker, and it represents something
precious and far too rare in the world where Brexit happened and
anti-immigrant hate is rampant.
Overall, the movie, despite its bloated story and extensive CGI work,
was entertaining and fun to watch. It has some resemblance to the first
movie, which I didn’t entirely enjoy, and hope that if they do make a
third (I hear they are) that they make a more believable and different
story, continuing on with some of the great visual effects.
It was a story about unconditional love and human nature, and how they
are intertwined in the world of technology. An Indian boy named Saroo
got lost in a train station and fell asleep. By the time he woke up, he
found himself far away from home on a moving train. He became homeless
for a couple of months, and dodged all the predators on the street.
Eventually he ended up in a shelter, was adopted by an Australian couple
and moved to Tasmania. Apparently, Saroo, the homeless child turned
Aussie has photographic memory. Back in 2008, Google Search was just
launched. Even though his hometown on Google felt like a needle in a
haystack, after two years of searching, he found the signature building
in the small village he once lived on the map. He eventually went home
and found his mom who never moved. She held a ray of hope that her son
would come back some day. She just didn’t expect it to be after 25
The story was emotional, and I could imagine how Chinese director would
opt for the same theme. In fact, I’ve watched a Chinese movie called
Dearest(亲爱的) , and it was on the topic of child trafficking. Watching
parents lose their children was emotionally wrecking and made me not
want to have kids. It was a parents’ nightmare universally, and a
But there is something different in Lion. There was no melancholic
music, no emphasis on how the Indian family was ruined by losing of a
child (even though Saroo’s guardian angel did pass away), and the ending
was positive. There are moments when I couldn’t control my tears, like
the scene when Saroo finally flew in and found his village and family
after all those years of searching and wondering. But sadness was not
the main tone of the movie. It’s about love, belief and persistence,
there is hope through out. The boy is ill-fated, but he is saved by a
good family. He is loved by his biological family.The boy is Indian, and
his adoptive parents Caucasian, but there is no emphasis on the race.
Two unrelated families tied by the boy. He is one of the luckiest people
in the world. That’s what matters.
But Lion is not perfect in any way. For starters, Rooney Mara’s
character Lucy was purely decorative. I understand that she is
director’s golden ticket to the American market. But if you take her out
of the movie, the story wouldn’t be affected. Lucy wasn’t particularly
helpful in Saroo’s searching, nor did her efforts worked in the movie.
Her entire existence is to prove how privileged Saroo is, and add some
drama and lust on the screen. Saroo was still lonely and trapped inside
his unsolved childhood mystery, while Lucy still wasn’t able to
comprehend his world, not for lack of trying.
He yelled at her for not getting him, and continued to build a wall
around his heart. With Lucy, Saroo seemed self-involved, self-pitied and
totally oblivious of her feelings. They are both good actors, Dev and
Rooney, but I don’t see chemistry between them, or a point to stay
together in the movie where love is the main theme. His persistence in
finding his birth mom touched me, but it’s not fair to lash it out on
his supportive girlfriend. The considerate, sophisticated and stunning
girl from the exotic land, who is emotional unsatisfied, I couldn’t help
but wonder, why she is with him? What did she see in him?
There are some high points in the movie. The child actor Sunny from
India was the real star. He was completely unfazed by the cameras. He
impressed me by holding up a bicycle 3 times his size to prove to his
brother he is capable, screamed his lung out in the moving train, was
physically deft in dodging all the predators, and overwhelmed by all the
love his new adoptive family provided. He immediately became my latest
obsessions and his interview skills were so genuine and funny, yep, how
could I not stalk him on YouTube?
But most importantly, Lion is not only a movie against the crazy world
with segregations, but the world where art is prevalently rushed.
I’ve heard the news a while ago about how certain Chinese TV companies
make their shows nowadays. They use doubles or CGI to “shoot” most of
the scenes. For the actors, there is no need to put any thought in
performing any more. Technology will take care of it, and they don’t
even have to do the basics – memorizing the lines, because they will be
later dubbed anyway.
Dev Patel, the lead actor, mentioned in one of his interviews that in
the process of making Lion, he shut down all the other projects and
prepared for the movie 8 months before the shooting. He worked out,
travelled through India by train and visited orphanages, he needed to
“get into Saroo’s head”.
Then the last scene was shot first – the reunion, but by then he was
“emotionally pregnant with the story for 8 months”. The story unraveled
in a natural order. In the end, the real antagonists, Saroo, his
adoptive mother and the biological mother all appeared in the same
scene, they met and hugged. I shed my Tasmanian ocean tears.
To end my very first movie review on douban, I’d love to quote my
favorite writer Junot Diaz, he once said: “The whole culture is telling
you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen
to the art.”
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