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Recommended age 12-18
118 minutes
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Lion is a beautifully produced film that truly captivated my heart and became one of my favorite movies. This film captures everything that I look for in a film. It is filled with emotional, heart-touching scenes, a powerful message and wonderful cinematography. It is very unique and special, very different from what you ordinarily see at the cinema.

The story tells about 5-year-old, vulnerable Indian boy Saroo who gets lost on a train and travels thousands of miles across India away from his dear family. Saroo faces many hardships of life all by himself. Eventually he is taken in and adopted by a caring Australian couple. Years later Saroo feels a part of himself missing and is filled with murky memories of his past as a young child in India. Using Google Earth, Saroo is determined and passionate to find his lost family through the use of this tool.

The lovable and kind Saroo is played by the talented Dev Patel who also had the leading role in the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Dav Patel portrays Saroo's passionate determination to be reunited with his family and country in the most believable way. Rooney Mara plays adult Saroo's girlfriend who aids him in finding his family. Sue Brieerley, Saroo's adopted mother is portrayed by Nicole Kidman in another stunning performance.

The film runs 120 minutes and I have many favorite scenes, but what touched me most is watching the passion that drives Saroo to find his family. Although he faces many hardships and issues, his love and passion for his family drive him to not quit but overcome every obstacle. Seeing his dedication to be reunited with his roots is inspiring.

The message of this film touched my heart, due to similar personal experience I share with Saroo. As someone who also left their motherland at age six to come to a country with better opportunities I, like Saroo, know how it feels to be reunited with your motherland and have only mercury memories from where you come from. So I relate very deeply to the message of not forgetting your origins and staying true to your background and roots. In addition, the film portrays the message of family and unity, which are dear to me as well.

I highly recommend this film for ages 13 to 18. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and expect to see this film be nominated for an Oscar. It is playing in theaters now so, go check it out. You will be glad you did.

By Maria Guerrero, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

see youth comments
In 1986, Saroo was a five-year-old child in India of a poor but happy rural family. On a trip with his brother, Saroo soon finds himself alone and trapped in a moving decommissioned passenger train that takes him to Calcutta, 1500 miles away from home. Now totally lost in an alien urban environment and too young to identify either himself or his home to the authorities, Saroo struggles to survive as a street child until he is sent to an orphanage. Soon, Saroo is selected to be adapted to the Brierley family in Tasmania, where he grows up in a loving prosperous home. However, for all his material good fortune, Saroo finds himself plagued by his memories of his lost family in his adulthood and tries to search for them even as his guilt drives him to hide this quest from his adoptive parents and his girlfriend. Only when he has an epiphany does he realize not only the answers he needs but also the steadfast love he has always had with all his loved ones in both worlds.
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