×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Lion’ Drives Story With Minimum Dialogue, Maximum Emotion

Garth Davis’ Oscar-nominated “Lion” is essentially two films in one, the first half driven by visuals and backdrops, the second half by language and dialogue and the pervasive power of memory to help form our sense of cultural identity. Emotion is what holds these distinct, real-life stories together — one, the story of a boy who becomes separated from his family and everything he knows in the world; the other a story about that same boy, now a grown man, struggling to find his way home.

When “Lion” starts out Saroo is 5 years old and living in dirt-floor squalor in central India with his family. All the dialogue is in Hindi. India, through sweeping shots of its burnt-sienna landscape and people dressed in traditional jewel-toned garb, becomes a central character.

We experience the world through Saroo’s wide-eyed stare, the way his chocolate brown eyes light up at the smell of deep-fried jilebis at the market and the desperate manner in which he tugs at his elder brother’s shirt, aching to taste the round sugary treat that they cannot afford.

When Saroo finds himself on an empty, out-of-service train barreling across the tracks toward places unknown, it’s the tears spilling down his face and the sounds of that train — the hiss and screech of its breaks, the clack of its dust-covered seats — that intensify his mounting panic.

Alone in the streets of Kolkota, Saroo winds up in an orphanage where another boy bangs his head against the wall, he’s so tortured and abused, and the children sing themselves to sleep each night. It’s the looks on their faces as they quietly sing, forlorn and hopeless, that capture the daily horror of their lives.

More Film

  • Writers Guild Blasts CAA, WME for

    Writers Guild Blasts Talent Agencies CAA, WME for 'Soaring' Profits

    The Writers Guild of America has singled out Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency, for allegedly soaring profits. The WGA, in an acrimonious negotiation over proposed new rules on how agencies represent writers, issued a report called “agencies for sale” on Monday morning — a few hours before a fifth [...]

  • MGM logo

    MGM Hires Robert Marick to Expand Consumer Products

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer has hired industry veteran Robert Marick as executive VP of global consumer products and experiences. In his new role, Marick is responsible for overseeing the expansion of MGM’s traditional merchandise, interactive and consumer products business. He’s also developing a global strategy with a focus on core consumer products licensing, digital and gaming, [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Personal Tales From Hong Kong, China

    Personal Tales From Hong Kong and China Among the Asia Film Financing Forum Projects

    A brace of personal tales from China and Hong Kong are among the 23 projects vying for attention at the 17th Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. Liu Miaomiao is a rare female ethnic Hui Muslim filmmaker. She came to international prominence with 1993’s “Chatterbox” that won the President of the Italian Senate’s Gold Medal [...]

  • Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year

    Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year She Takes Risks in Her Film Choices

    Josie Ho vows to master the art of calculated risk in the year 2019. As an actress and film producer, she is conscious of the choices of projects she makes: appearing in the new film by Japanese hotshot director Shinichiro Ueda, producing a new documentary feature while developing some 10 titles in the pipeline of [...]

  • FilMart: Big Data, Content Key to

    FilMart: Big Data, Content Key to iQIYI's Online Ambitions

    Tech and data play a huge role for iQIYI, China’s second-largest streaming platform, as a way to innovate and step out ahead of its competitors, iQIYI founder and CEO Yu Gong explained in a keynote speech Monday at FilMart. “We don’t see a lot of innovation-driven entertainment companies yet. We want to be the one,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content