This is another film that was nominated as Best Film in the Oscars and Golden Globes. And both Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman have won awards for their acting in the film.
You have probably heard the incredible story by now, one that would seem far-fetched if made up. Five-year-old Saroo gets on a train to sleep but it takes him a thousand miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home. The screenplay is based on Saroo Brierley’s autobiography A Long Way Home and is more of an emotional odyssey than a plot-driven film.
Portrayed in infancy by astonishing discovery Sunny Pawar, the young Saroo beams with a strength and determination that makes you marvel at his resourcefulness as much as you fear for his well-being. Though his accidental train journey takes him to a strange land far from home, where the Hindi-speaking boy doesn’t even understand the language (Bengali), he is quick to adapt and driven by a deep-rooted confidence that someday, somehow, he will find a way back to his mum. This isn’t some jaunty kids’ adventure, but neither is it a gruelling ordeal. In its second half, the story shifts down a gear to become a domestic drama about adoption and identity. Dev Patel turns in a career-best performance which finally delivers on his early Slumdog Millionaire promise, while Kidman is very impressive in the relatively minor role of Saroo’s Australian mother, Sue. Her performance during one short but excruciating dinner-table scene is a mini acting masterclass. The film is a triumphant debut for the director, Garth Davis.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall