Benz Eye View: Lion

lion_2016_film
Lion

Pros:

1.) The cinematography is the one thing that should catch your attention, because it is beautifully shot.  One of the very first shots in the movie is a young Saroo in front of a row of butterflies, and it looks glorious.  There are plenty of shots like these, but anyone can tell you that cinematography is excellent (which is no wonder that it is nominated for Best Cinematography).

2.) The movie knows how to manipulate emotions.  Kind of fitting considering the movie is called Lion, and it is somewhat similar to The Lion King.  Explaining how will spoil the movie, but let’s just say that it involves family.  I rather you watch it without knowing much about the movie to get the full emotional moments…

3.) …Those emotional moments have better weight thanks to the actors.  The two actors who stand out are Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.  Even though these two actors know how to cry and become emotional onscreen, their talents as actors still shine through others and each other.  I can truly buy that they are really have a mother-son bond.

 

Cons: 

1.) I found the first half of the movie to be pretty boring.  The first few minutes were integral, but the parts where young Saroo encounters some danger is not really necessary.  Skip to the part where Saroo ends up in an orphanage and gets adopted, and the movie would be better without the extra baggage.

2.) The cliché of “you do not understand how I feel despite the fact you are trying to help me” is in the movie, and it is as annoying as it sounds.  I do not care that it is based on a true story and it happened like that; I am not a fan of these clichés, especially if they are poorly used.

3.) (SPOILERS) A grown-up Saroo is trying to find his family, and he manages to find them by chance.  That is kind of insulting considering how hard he tried to find them via calculations.  It may not bother you, but it sure as heck bothered me.  (END SPOILERS)

 

Overall: 

Catching up with the nominated Academy Award films, the next one on the list is Lion: a movie based on a true story about Saroo Brierly.  From what I have seen, it is a good movie, but I do not think it deserves the nomination.  There are plenty of elements that deserve some notice like heart-warming moments, fantastic cinematography, and excellent acting.  However, there are some glaring problems like padding scenes, unnecessary moments, and an annoying cliché that can easily be resolved by getting some help.  Despite that, Lion is a good movie, and it deserves some credit as something worth watching.

7/10

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