Director Garth Davis takes a beautiful story based on the novel ‘A Long way home’ and turns it into an extraordinary film which simmers slowly, to boil over your emotions and tears as it progresses.
Sunny Pawar, all of 8 years old (playing Saroo at age 5 in the film) is a confident yet unassuming talent, who pulls you into his world with his compelling eyes and indefatigable spirit. Little Saroo helps his brother Guddu so that they may provide some food on the plate. Poverty has been shown with dignity, unlike other Hollywood movies, so has the plight of the downtrodden. Saroo’s inadvertent journey takes him far from his village in a big bad city, where he is quick to escape from danger and senses what’s good or not for him. Kindness takes him to an orphanage and finally to Australia.
A grown Saroo, played effectively by Dev Patel seeks his roots, his home. But how would he find a remote village with an obscure memory of it ? His parents, played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham are such fine examples of how a father and mother should be. Nicole is caring, confident and is a patient mother while David is casual, strong and a supportive father.
The movie explores themes of family, belonging, parenting, siblings, love, and the bond between mother and child without poking you in the eyes. The emotions flow, muted and discreet, until the final frame, but you don’t feel distraught, rather a renewed belief in humanity ensues.