Lion, Starring Dev Patel: A Feel-Good Drama

Lion, starring Dev Patel, scored mediocre reviews – a low wattage 69 out of 100 on Metacritic – but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it. The story starts with a destitute young boy, Saroo, who gets lost and separated from his family in 1980s India, a world of dire poverty; a real dystopia. The child actor, Sunny Pawar, performs with sublime authenticity; those deep brown eyes looking out at the world, hustling through train stations and running from authorities, could move a heart of stone. As the story progresses, Dev Patel plays the grown up Saroo, convincingly and with a light touch. Saroo dreams of finally finding his family again after many years. The climatic scene offers a deep payoff, truly emotionally compelling. Lion is the rare drama that succeeds with hardly a touch of humor. A three-hanky movie, in a good way.