More moving than any film I saw last year, Lion will rip out your heart and replace it with an even more compassionate muscle. The true story of Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel), an Indian man who was lost at the age of five and adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David “Faramir” Wenham), brought me to the verge of tears more than Pete’s Dragon, the other movie that nearly broke me down emotionally.
The most moving sequences involve Sunny Pawar, the young thief who snatches this film away from Patel, Kidman, Mara Rooney (as Saroo’s girlfriend) and everyone else. So many moments in Lion nearly reduced me to a blubbering mess, from the first time grown Saroo tries jalebi to the footage of real-life Saroo going home.
The irony at the center of this film—losing his family led Brierley to find a life more privileged than any other of which he could dream—mildly complicates an otherwise excruciatingly simple film about heartbreak.