Lion does not roar, but pleasingly purrs. Although flawed, nuanced direction and performances ensure that it packs an emotional punch.
This is a film of two uneven halves, charting Saroo’s separation from his family, adoption by kindly Australian parents and his search for his birth mother
The adorable Sunny Pawar shines through the stronger first half as the young Saroo, demonstrating an astonishing range for one so young, his slight frame seemingly swallowed by the relative vastness of Calcutta.
Dev Patel, in an A-lister performance, steps in as the adult Saroo in the second half. Sadly, this is when the film shifts down a gear, just about keeping on the right side of melodrama. Whilst it is an able dramatisation of the search for cultural identity and family dynamics,the denouement feels rushed.