Lion. True story of a village boy who sleeps off in a moving train, and wakes up to find himself in an ominous city.

Starring:  SUNNY PAWAR, Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman
Director: Garth Davis
Language: Hindi /English

Classification: U/A
India release date: Feb 25, 2017
Genre: Drama
Mins: 1 hour, 58 mins

Award nominations:
6 Oscars nominations—Best film, adapted screenplay, supporting actor, supporting actress, cinematography, and music
3 Golden Globes nominations—Best film, supporting actor, supporting actress, and music

BAFTA Awards for ‘Best screenplay’, and ‘Best supporting actor’



“The opening act is realism at its rawest. You are dumped into the side of India that many won’t want to talk about or believe even exists. You forget at times that you are in a cinema hall. And your hands reach out many times towards that kid, but you are unable to shield or save him. And you feel helpless…

“You can be certain that you’ve watched a heart-wrenching film when you step out of the preview screening room—quietly unlike at most other times—and notice that the popular newspaper critics are a little shaken up too.”

Dalton - sg


“When someone tells you a truth you do not want to hear, it is not uncommon to lash out in anger. There is confusion, there is shame, there is embarrassment, and when it all gets too overwhelming, when the mind loses its ability to think rationally, or speak, there is fury… This is the truth that we have been avoiding all our lives. It’s back. It’ll keep coming back. What’re you going to do about it?”

Rating: FIVE stars | Full review

Rohan Naahar, Hindustan Times
“Look closely at this little Saroo, with thick hair, runny nose, and a thin film of the city’s grime and dirt coated over his skin that is severely tanned from a life spent under the harsh sun. I say this because you have seen this faceless boy in absolutely every Indian town/city, except never noticed, or wondered, where he could be coming from, or where he’s going.”

Rating: FOUR stars | Full review

Mayank Shekhar, Mid-day
“Reinforces our collective faith in humanity in a time of fast receding hope.”

Rating: FOUR stars | Full review

Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV
Lion roars because of a magical child. Sunny Pawar, enveloped by a giant shirt and his eyes agleam with curiousity, is irresistible. It is genuinely hard not to gape at this beautiful child and the way he commandeers the screen.”

Rating: THREE stars | Full review

Raja Sen, Rediff
“Indifference… Indians—rich, poor, and the ones in between—are so inured to the concept of poverty, so used to its images, wails, and desperation that they either mentally autocorrect its despair or pretend it doesn’t exist… Left me unmoved. I wondered why. Was it the inbuilt indifference or shoddy filmmaking?”

| Full review

Tanul Thakur, The Wire
“I thought it was a massive achievement for a six-year-old to hold the audience’s attention throughout the first half with barely 10 lines of dialogue. A huge part of this credit is also probably due to director Garth Davis for extracting a performance as natural as this.”

Full review

Tatsam Mukherjee, Scoop Whoop


“I have never come across a more terrible, insensitive and juvenile adaptation of a fairly well written and honest autobiography… LION is an ‘outsider’s perspective’ that brazenly peddles ‘slumdog exotica’. It totally misinterprets, misrepresents, and twists the substance of the original work. It’s an obvious fake… It’s a designer perspective with the sole purpose of depicting the third world underbelly in as ugly a manner as possible to evoke pity. It has nothing to do with the book or the life of a terrified little boy lost in a big bad city… Various conflicts within the Brierly family are invented out of the blue probably to give Ms. Kidman her shot at Oscar as a generous white woman with two adopted sons from the underprivileged class, one normal and the other autistic. The book has none of this bullshit… The director is obsessed with unpalatable, disgusting, nauseating, filth and squalor and inhuman poverty of India.”

Rating: ONE star | Full review

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Bollywood Trade




IMDB link of Lion

Top Film Reviews
No comment
Site Archives

Related by

  • Excerpts & links to reviews of Dhaakad Starring: Kangana Ranaut, Arjun Rampal, Sharib Hashmi Director: Razneesh Ghai India release date: May 20, 2022 Genre: Action, thriller Certification: A Language:...
  • Excerpts & links to reviews of Thar | presently streaming on Netflix Director: Raj Singh Chaudhary Starring: Anil Kapoor, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Harshvardhan Kapoor India release date: May 6, 2022...
  • Excerpts & links to reviews of Jhund by some of India’s topmost film reviewers Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Ganesh Deshmukh, Vicky Kadian Director: Nagraj Manjule India release date: Genre: Biography,...
  • Excerpts & links to reviews of Love Hostel by some of India’s topmost film reviewers The film is presently streaming on Zee5 Director: Shanker Raman Starring: Bobby Deol, Sanya Malhotra,...