A film released this week about a boy from India who gets lost, lives the life of a slumdog and is finally adopted by an Australian family has got film critics here ecstatic.

“Lion”, which stars Nicole Kidman, Roony Mara and Dev Patel, is seen as an emotional drama and one critic has advised that viewers take hand towels to the theatre.

What has won the heart of the critics, however, is the superior piece of acting by the young boy, Sunny Pawar, who, by the time he arrives in Hobart, “has lived through enough trauma for three lives”.

The film is based on the real life story of Saroo Brierley, who wrote book about his life in India and his resurrection in Australia.

“Sunny Pawar, playing young Sheru, is exceptional. Director Garth Davis tells this part of the story with delicacy and classic technique, surrounding the child with huge spaces and people who might be angels or devils. Our identification with his plight becomes complete,” says the Sydney Morning Herald.

In a review titled “Lost boy tale hits emotional payload”, the Age critic writes: “Truly, Charles Dickens could not have written a more perfectly strange story than that of Saroo Brierley, the Indian boy lost on a train who has to find his way home again 25 years later… The first story has such simple beauty that you don’t want it to end. The second has so much pain that less might have been more. The pain is also Dickensian, but the picture tends to dwell when it needs to rocket.”

“Lion” surely has given Dev Patel, who also starred in “Slumdog Millionaire”, a big leg up as he emerges as a major Hollywood actor.

By Binoo K. John

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