Search

Search only in certain items:

40x40

Bob Mann (459 KP) rated Old (2021) in Movies

Jul 28, 2021  
Old (2021)
Old (2021)
2021 | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
6
6.0 (10 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Cinematography and Sound Design - very Hitchcockian (1 more)
Concept and initial set-up of the movie
Goes OTT with farcical elements and story inconsistencies (0 more)
Dafter than the Dharma initiative.
"Old" is the latest from the gloriously inconsistent writer/director M. Night Shyamalan. Will this be great Shyamalan (à la "The Sixth Sense") or dire Shyamalan (à la "The Last Airbender")? The answer, in my view, is somewhere in the middle. It's a curate's egg of a movie.

Positives:
- The premise feels very familiar (desert island beach; time slips; weird things happening.... "Lost" anyone?). But as a shell for a big screen adventure it kept me well-engaged.
- Shyamalan and his "Glass" cinematographer Mike Gioulakis use some novel techniques to portray the ageing effects. The angles they utilize feel quite Hitchcockian at times. Shyamalan supports this with the sound design, which makes this a REALLY good movie to watch in a cinema with good surround sound. Often the camera will be spinning showing nothing but ocean or rocks, with the character's conversation rotating behind you in the cinema. It's really quite effective.
- Shyamalan knows that no visual effects can improve on the horrors your mind can come up with. Although a '15' certificate, the "sustained threat, strong violence and injury detail" referenced by the BBFC pales into insignificance (in terms of what you actually see) compared to the equally rated "Freaky".
- I've seen other reviews comment that the "twist" (no spoilers here) was obvious. But, although not a ground-breaking idea, I was sufficiently satisfied with the denouement. It made sense, albeit twisted sense.

Negatives:
- I enjoyed the movie's leisurely set-up, introducing the characters and the movie's concept. (In many ways, it felt like the start of one of Irwin Allen's disaster movies of the 70's and 80's). But then Shyamalan turns the dial up to 11 and the action becomes increasingly farcical. Add into that the fact that you can see some of the 'jolts' coming a mile off, and the movie becomes progressively more disappointing, with a high ERQ (eye-rolling quotient) by the end.
- In particular, there are inconsistencies to the story that get you asking uncomfortable questions. For example, wounds can heal in the blink of an eye.... but not stab wounds apparently.
- The cast is truly global in nature: Vicky ("Phantom Thread") Krieps hails from Luxembourg; Bernal is Mexican; Sewell is a Brit; Amuka-Bird ("David Copperfield") is Nigerian; Leung is American; Eliza Scanlan is an Aussie; and Thomasin McKenzie (so good in "Jojo Rabbit", and good here too) is a Kiwi. But although it's clearly quite natural that an exotic beach resort would attract guests from all over the world, the combination of accents here makes the whole thing, unfortunately, sound like a dodgy spaghetti western!

Summary Thoughts: 'Time' and 'ageing' have of course been a popular movie topic for many years. I remember being both gripped and horrified by George Pal's wonderful 1960's version of "The Time Machine" when Rod Taylor threw his machine into fast forward and the dead Morlock decomposed in front of his eyes! Ursula Andress did the same as the rapidly ageing Ayesha in 1965's "She". And, more recently and with better effects, Julian Glover did the same in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".

Unfortunately, "Old" isn't likely to join any of these classic movies in my consciousness. It's a diverting enough movie, with fabulous views of the Dominican Republic (which the local tourist board will no doubt be delighted with). A "less is more" approach might have made this a classic. But unfortunately, that's not what Shyamalan delivered here. Since what we get is a 'Lost-lite' with farcical elements.

And, by the way.... The movie that Charles (Rufus Sewell) refers to starring Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando is "The Missouri Breaks". It has a very unusual John Williams soundtrack, which I have on vinyl somewhere and is probably worth a few bob!

(For the full graphical review, please check out One Mann's Movies on t'interweb, Facebook and Tiktok. Thanks.)
  
    Toca Life: Stable

    Toca Life: Stable

    Education and Entertainment

    (0 Ratings) Rate It

    App

    Welcome to a world of horses and adventure! Groom horses, care for them and show them! Engage in...

Viceroy's House (2017)
Viceroy's House (2017)
2017 | International, Drama
5
5.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
The 80:20 Rule.
India, 1947. Churchill’s government has sent Lord Grantham – – sorry — Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma (Hugh Bonneville, “The Monuments Men“) as the new Viceroy. His mission is to make sure he is the last ever Viceroy, for India is to be returned to independence. But racial tensions between the Hindu and minority Muslim populations are brittle and deteriorating fast. Can India survive as a single country, or will Mountbatten be forced to partition the country along religious lines to avoid civil-war and countless deaths?

Of course, there is little tension in this plot line since we know Pakistan was indeed founded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah (played by Denzil Smith) on August 14th 1947. (In reality, Jinnah’s victory was short lived as he died of TB the following year). The rest of India went on to be ruled by Jawaharlal Nehru (played by Tanveer Ghani). What the film does remind this generation of is the extreme cost of that partition, with riots, mass abductions and rapes, over a million estimated deaths and one of the biggest migrations of populations ever seen. (All of this is largely shown through original newsreel footage, which is effectively inter-weaved with the film).

So as an educational documentary it is useful. However, as an entertaining movie night out? Not so much. After coming out of the film we needed to buy some milk at Tesco and I was put on the spot by the checkout lady to sum-up the film: “Worthy but dull” was what I came up with, which with further time to reflect still seems a good summary.
This shouldn’t have been the case, since the film is directed by the well-respected Gurinder Chadha (“Bend it like Beckham) and boasts a stellar cast, with Bonneville supported by Gillian Anderson (“The X Files”) as Lady Mountbatten; Michael Gambon (“Harry Potter”) as General Ismay (Mountbatten’s chief of staff); Simon Callow (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”) as Radcliffe (the drawer of ‘the new map’); and Om Puri (“The Hundred Foot Journey“) as former political prisoner Ali Rahim Noor. Playing Mountbatten’s daughter is Lily Travers (“Kingsman: The Secret Service“): Virginia McKenna’s granddaughter.

But unfortunately, for me at least, the film lumbers from scene to scene, seldom engaging with me. Bonneville’s Mountbatten, whilst perfectly sound, was just a re-tread of Downton with added humidity and curry; Anderson’s (probably extremely accurate) crystal-glass English accent quickly becomes tiresome; and elsewhere a lot of the acting of the broader Indian cast is, I’m sorry to comment, rather sub-par. For me, only Om Puri, who sadly died in January, delivers an effective and moving performance as the blind father (literally) unable to see that the arranged marriage for his daughter Aalia (Huma Qureshi) is heading for trouble thanks to Mountbatten’s man-servant. And no, that isn’t a euphemism…. I’m talking about his real manservant, Jeet Kumar (Manish Dayal)!!
As an aside, the late Puri (probably most famous in western cinema for “East is East”) has made over 270 feature films in his prolific career, over and above his many appearances on Indian TV. And he still has another 6 films to be released! May he rest in peace.

Probably realising that the historical plot is not enough to sustain the film, the screenwriters Paul Mayeda Berges (“Bend it like Beckham”), Moira Buffini (“Tamara Drewe”) and Gurinder Chadha try to add more substance with the illicit romance between the Hindu Jeet and the Muslim Aalia. Unfortunately this is clunky at best, with an incessant 30 minutes-worth of longing looks before anything of substance happens. Even the “Lion“-style denouement (also with a railway train connection) is unconvincing.

After that, the film just tends to peter out, with a ‘real-life photograph’ segue delivering a rather tenuous connection between a character not even featured in the film and the director!
Mrs. Chadha has clearly corralled an army of extras to deliver some of the scenes in the film, in the hope of delivering a historical epic of the scale of Attenborough’s “Gandhi”. For me, she misses by a considerable margin. But that’s just my view….. if you like historical dramas, its a film you might enjoy: as the great man himself said “Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress”.
  
A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)
A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)
2014 | Comedy, Western
Neil Patrick Harris is delightfully devious. (1 more)
MacFarlane shows he has potential in his on-screen acting debut.
The humor is at times very vulgar and immature. (2 more)
The film is slow-paced and overly long.
"A Dozen Ways to Die in the West" would have been a more appropriate title.
A Million Ways to Die in the West is good for a few laughs but it feels like it goes on unreasonably long. Still, if you're a fan of MacFarlane's other works, you'll most likely enjoy his parody of the Old West.
Following the success of his directorial debut, Ted, Seth MacFarlane steps in front of the movie camera for the first time in his new film, A Million Ways to Die in the West. MacFarlane is best known as the creator of the popular animated television series, Family Guy, and he was also the host of the Oscars just two years ago. Now he’s taking the starring role in a film he wrote and directed himself. Here MacFarlane plays a cowardly sheep farmer named Albert who is miserably living in the dangerous Old West. Or rather, the not-so-dangerous Old West. Despite what the title suggests, there’s not a whole lot of dying going on in A Million Ways to Die in the West. You won’t find a whole lot of substance either, but there are a fair amount of laughs if you’re able to tolerate the crude toilet humor and dirty jokes. All in all, MacFarlane does a decent job in this comedy, but his jokes stick too close to his own conventions, and much like life on the frontier, the film can be kind of a drag.

If you’ve ever seen Family Guy, you should feel right at home with the humor in this film. It’s crass, edgy, violent, and full of pop culture references. Although, given that this is an R-rated movie, MacFarlane’s able to push the limits further than usual, and he makes sure to do that by including a lot of raunchy humor and toilet-gags. Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, male genitals are still the hottest thing in comedy right now. As you’ve no doubt deduced, this is certainly not a film you’d want to take your kids to see. Nor is it for the easily-offended. Though in the film’s defense, it’s not entirely tasteless, and its use of vulgarity isn’t overly frequent. There’s plenty of great slapstick physical comedy and some pretty hilarious dialogue. I laughed more than I thought I would, and was never so disgusted that I wanted to walk out. It’s an entertaining film, it just happens to run a little long and lose momentum down the stretch. Plus the main premise of the film is never all that compelling to begin with.

In A Million Ways to Die in the West, MacFarlane’s character Albert is a man entirely self-aware of the time and place he’s living in, as well as the many dangers that come with it. He sheepishly lives his life, terrified by the threat of death that lurks around every corner. When his beloved girlfriend leaves him for a man with a mighty mustache, Albert has to cowboy up to prove his machismo and try to win her back. Luckily for him, he meets a gun-toting woman named Anna who’s happy to help him face his fears and show him the ropes of being a cowboy. Unfortunately however, this new friendship ends up putting Albert right into the crosshairs of Clinch Leatherwood, the deadliest outlaw around.

While MacFarlane does a respectable job in his first foray into acting, his character feels rather uninspired. I couldn’t help but see him as a hodgepodge of various Family Guy characters, having the clumsiness of Peter Griffin, the self-consciousness of Chris Griffin, and the intelligence and charm of Brian. Given that he created that show, perhaps that should be expected, but it just felt like Albert was lacking a unique and consistent identity. He’s a character who can be charming and funny, but he also comes off seeming like a jerk. All in all, the film has a good cast of actors, with Neil Patrick Harris being the stand-out of the bunch. He plays the pompous, mustached snob, Foy, who steals the heart of Albert’s girlfriend, Louise. Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman are likable as the flawed, clueless couple who serve as Albert’s close friends, Edward and Ruth. Although their characters stay pretty comfortably within the realm of what you would expect from their respective actors, with Edward being the naïve nice guy, while Silverman’s Ruth is the seemingly-sweet-and-innocent, foul-mouthed hussy. Charlize Theron does a fine job as Albert’s mentor, Anna. She has a strong presence in the film and is fun to watch, but despite her best efforts, the emotional element she brings to the story ends up feeling forced and unconvincing. Though that’s no fault of her own. It’s just hard to imagine her, or anyone, falling head over heels so easily and suddenly for a guy like Albert. Then, of course, there’s Liam Neeson, who is effective in his performance as the intimidating villain, Clinch, but would have benefitted from more screen-time.

A Million Ways to Die in the West proficiently parodies the western film genre, capturing the right atmosphere for the setting and time period. Visually it’s a pleasant film to look at, with good camera-work, well-created sets, and lots of beautiful scenery. This makes it all the more disappointing then that the filmmakers decided to place a visual filter over the entirety of the film to give it a more old-fashioned look. As a result, there is a constant flickering throughout the whole movie, and while not quite seizure-inducing, it certainly is distracting. At times you kind of get used to it and forget about it, but it really stands out in scenes with heavy lighting and most of the movie takes place in broad daylight. On the audio side of things, the music is appropriately fitting, but little of it is particularly noteworthy. There is a great song about mustaches, accompanied with a well-orchestrated dance number led by Neil Patrick Harris in what is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the film. Additionally the film’s theme song is appropriately fun. The visual effects in the movie, although limited, are done quite well and nicely add to the film’s comedic effect. Although I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say the movie could have done just fine without all of the animated urinating sheep.

I think the film’s greatest flaw is the fact that it’s doing too much as it tries to incorporate all of the main stereotypes of the western genre. It has duels, bar brawls, jailbreaks, horse chases, and even capture by Indians thrown in for good measure. In trying to cover all of the bases, the movie ends up running too long and becomes a little boring and tired. Rather than building up to a climax, the film diverges with some unnecessary scenes, and then concludes with a lackluster ending. It would have been cool to see Clinch and his group of bandits lay siege to the main town, which could have given the filmmakers an opportunity to create a wide variety of deaths, and allow Albert to exercise his newly developed skills before setting up to an ultimate final showdown. Maybe that would be adding to the long list of clichés, but at least it would have given this slow-paced film some much needed adrenaline and would have made it more true to its misleading title. There are also several cameo appearances in the film, and while a couple of them are great conceptually, I don’t think any of them are quite as satisfying as they should be. They end up feeling out of place, like last-second additions that have no purpose other than to acknowledge other films. I can appreciate the attempt but the cameos aren’t particularly funny and they just seems to emphasize how much better those other films are.

Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West is good for a few laughs, but just like his character Albert’s long-winded ramblings, it feels like it goes on unreasonably long. It’s still an entertaining film regardless, and if you’re a fan of MacFarlane’s other work, you’ll most likely enjoy his parody of the Old West. The movie has a talented cast, some truly great scenes such as a bar brawl and a memorable dance, as well as plenty of good old-fashioned slapstick, and witty dialogue. If you can handle the occasional gross-out gag, you’ll probably have a good time. Just don’t expect to actually see the many ways people can die In the Old West. The movie doesn’t show many deaths at all, and all the best ones you likely already saw in the trailer.

(This review was originally posted at 5mmg.com on 6.3.14.)
  
The Last Samurai (2003)
The Last Samurai (2003)
2003 | Action, Drama, War
Tom Cruise as Nathan Algren Ken watanabe as Katsumoto The battle sequences Hans Zimmer's score Nathan and Katsumoto's conversations The beauty of japan Edward Zwick An emotional ending (0 more)
Nothing (0 more)
" I will tell you, how he lived"
The honour and code of the samurai has always been enticing to a Western civilisation that is far removed from such customs, which perhaps makes The Last Samurai such an enticing, enigmatic film. Edward Zwick crafts quite an epic adventure rich in mythology & thematic resonance that while traditionally Hollywood in its construction still manages to exist a cut above many such movies of its ilk, a touch of class surrounding how the story of Captain Nathan Algren is put together, based as it is on several real life legendary American figures who played key roles in the Satsuma Rebellion in Japan during the late 19th century. This isn't a direct re-telling of those events but serves as a leaping off point to construct a tale about a stranger in a strange land, of a man haunted by fighting an unjust war who rediscovers his honour & place in the world through a dying culture. Zwick's film is slick, sweeping, beautifully shot and frequently involving, backed up by a strong performance by Tom Cruise in one of those roles that remind you just what a good actor he can be.

In the role of Algren, Cruise begins a dejected man living out of a bottle, bereft of purpose & suffering post-Civil War nightmares of a man touted as a hero despite feeling the guilt of slaughtering Indians crushed under the might of a military machine; in that sense, The Last Samurai is very anti-war in its message, John Logan's story painting the Americans and specifically the Imperialist Japanese not in the greatest light. Cruise takes Algren on a traditional voyage of discovery, first pitted against the samurai code & eventually becoming consumed by it, consumed by the similarity of the way of the warrior between both cultures - and Ken Watanabe's dignified samurai 'rebel' Katsumoto learns from him, as well as the other way around, with Cruise remaining stoic & only getting flashes of a chance to display the usual Cruise charm, but that's OK - Algren isn't the kind of character to benefit from that, Cruise's natural magnetism is enough here. Wit is provided thankfully through, albeit briefly, Billy Connolly as a tough old Irish veteran & chiefly Timothy Spall as our portly 'narrator' of sorts, who serves to help mythologise Algren & the legend itself. Zwick is most concerned with that, you see, the idea of legends and how men become them, exploring that concept alongside digging into the cultural rituals and practises of a changing Japan.

Algren's story is placed at a time when the old ways of Japan were shifting, under the pressures of global politics & business; the Emperor here is a naive young man, sitting on an empty throne, looking to Watanabe for validation as his advisor's push to quash a rebellion fighting to preserve the old ways, preserve Japanese interests as America knocks on the door. That's why Cruise's role here is so interesting, his character learning of the samurai code & helping those around him remember their history, and Zwick explores well the concept of national identity alongside personal ideas of myth, legend & destiny. It all boils together in a careful script, never overblown, which neatly develops the relationships involved & helps you fully believe Algren's transformation into the eponymous 'last samurai'. Along the way, Zwick doesn't forget theatrics - staging plenty of well staged & intense fight scenes which utilise the strong Japanese production design, before building to a quite epic war climax with army pitted against army, with personal stakes cutting through it, backed up indeed by another superlative score by Hans Zimmer. It becomes more than just a historical swords & armour film, reaching deeper on several levels.

What could have been a slow paced, potentially ponderous movie is avoided well by Edward Zwick, who with The Last Samurai delivers one of the stronger historical adventure epics of recent years. Beautifully shot in many places, with some excellent cinematography & production standards, not to mention an impressive script well acted in particular by Tom Cruise & Ken Watanabe, Zwick creates a recognisably Hollywood picture but for once a movie that doesn't dumb down, doesn't pander and ultimately serves as an often involving, often damn well made story. Especially one to check out if you love the way of the samurai.
  
The Big Sick (2017)
The Big Sick (2017)
2017 | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Propelled by its near perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, I went cold turkey into The Big Sick, without so much as seeing a trailer. Although it took a worrisome amount of time, I did eventually warm up to the film and ultimately I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. The Big Sick is a movie that’s unflatteringly honest at times, and it’s a bit light in both of the romance and comedy departments, but it’s a well-rounded true story that makes up for its any of its shortcomings with a big heart.

The Big Sick tells the unique, real-life love story of how Kumail Nanjiani, played by himself in the film, met the love of his life, Emily. The film begins with Kumail working as a struggling stand-up comic. After a performance one night, he meets Emily at a bar and takes her back to his place. The two of them gradually begin dating, but Kumail keeps it a secret from his strict Pakistani parents, who expect him to abide by his culture’s custom of arranged marriages. When Emily’s health unexpectedly takes a dangerous and mysterious turn, Kumail must confront his family, as well as meet Emily’s family, to confess his true feelings of love.

Allow me to begin by addressing the fact that I spent a good half of The Big Sick feeling entirely ambivalent about it. While it seemed well made, I didn’t feel particularly entertained nor engaged by it. Slowly but surely, however, the movie began to win me over, thanks primarily to the help of Ray Romano and Holly Hunter, who co-star as Emily’s parents. By the end, I appreciated and enjoyed the film, and I feel as though I would probably like it even more with a second viewing.

The movie rubbed me the wrong way early on with its not-so-romantic romance that culminated from a one-night-stand. I found the relationship of Kumail and Emily to be somewhat dull, and I was perplexed by how unfavorably it depicts both characters. Though considering the screenplay was actually written by both of them, I suppose there’s something noble and courageous to be said about their honesty. This is not a typical romanticized love story. It has two decent but flawed characters, who I felt indifferent towards at the outset but learned to care about over the course of the film.

Kumail is quite enjoyable as the lead star and I suspect this will be a breakout role for him. He has a good sense of humor and really showcases it in a couple of hysterical scenes. My favorite being a late night visit to a restaurant drive-thru, which is one of the flat-out funniest moments I’ve seen in theaters all year. I also really loved both Romano and Hunter. They’re both complex and comical characters struggling with their own strained marriage, while hesitantly getting to know Kumail and coming to terms with their daughter’s grave illness. Certainly not the best circumstances to be meeting your girlfriend’s parents, and even worse considering they knew that Kumail and Emily had broken up shortly beforehand.

Hunter’s character is volatile and highly defensive of her daughter, yet she’s still wholly identifiable as a loving and concerned parent. I think she gives the strongest performance in the film. Ray Romano is also a pleasant addition, and his character ironically tries to be the voice of reason and balance, even as his own life is crumbling beneath him. I also liked Kumail’s parents, played by Anupam Kher and Zenobia Shroff. Kumail’s mother is amusing in her never-ending pursuit of potential female suitors to marry her son. However, having grown up with western values, Kumail’s own beliefs serve as a stark contrast to those of his strict and traditional family.

The way in which The Big Sick depicts the differences in American and Pakistani culture is what I think really helps to set it apart. It tackles these contrasts with both comedy and sincerity, while also drawing attention to the subtle and the not-so-subtle racism that’s often prevalent in the misunderstanding of other cultures. It’s an honest and respectful film that should be approached as open-mindedly as possible. Those of you willing to give this one a chance may find that it to be well worth your while.

(This review was originally posted at 5mmg.com on 9.5.17.)
  
40x40

Bob Mann (459 KP) rated Lion (2016) in Movies

Sep 29, 2021  
Lion (2016)
Lion (2016)
2016 | Drama
9
8.7 (10 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Lost in Train-station.
As January progresses, the quality Oscar films just keep on coming! India’s vibrant and teeming tapestry of life is a natural gift for film-makers, without a word needing to be spoken, and director Garth Davis – in an impressive feature film debut – utilizes that backdrop to the max.
In a true life story, five-year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar, in an astonishingly adept child performance) is accidentally separated from his family in the Madhya Pradesh region of Western India and goes on a journey by train of hundreds of miles to Calcutta: a city full of people who don’t even speak his language.

Lost, alone and facing the perils of a street child in a dangerous city, Saroo is eventually adopted by a kindly Australian couple (played by Nicole Kidman (“Before I Go To Sleep“) and David Wenham (Faramir in “The Lord of the Rings”)).

Growing up in a comfortable, loving, but not – ultimately – idyllic home environment, Saroo (now Dev Patel, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) grows up and in his late teens goes to Melbourne University to study Hotel Management (Dev Patel? Hotel Management? What were the odds?!). While there, memories of the past resurface and an obsessive need to trace his Indian origins takes hold, disrupting both his career plans and his relationship with the love of his life Lucy (Rooney Mara, “Carol“). But with a remembered home-town name that doesn’t exist, only hazy memories of the train station he departed from, and thousands and thousands of train stations across India, how could he ever succeed?
India is enormously photogenic and cinematographer Greig Fraser (“Rogue One“, “Foxcatcher“) takes the maximum advantage of that with some memorable and dramatic landscapes: work that has been Oscar nominated. Also Oscar nominated and contributing strongly to the look and feel of the film is a well-judged and effectively used piano score by Volker Bertelmann and Dustin O’Halloran.
In the acting stakes, Dev Patel gives his best ever performance and his Oscar nomination – curiously for Best Supporting actor since, I presume, Sunny Pawar has the most screen time – is very well deserved. A moving performance, particularly at the tearful end of the movie, for which a box of tissues is recommended.

Nicole Kidman, not an actress I have ever hugely warmed to, is excellent here as the fragile adoptive mother, despite having to sport a crazy red curly wig. Another Oscar nomination.
Also worthy of note is young Abhishek Bharate as Saroo’s brother Guddu: the touching chemistry between the thieving young rascals at the start of the movie grounds the whole family relationship that’s sets up the emotional heart of the subsequent quest.

Luke Davies’ adapted screenplay is also Oscar nominated, although perhaps not as deserving to win as some of the other nominees. I would (naively perhaps) assume that adapting a screenplay from a true-life story must be an easier task, since the facts have to speak for themselves. But besides that, while the first half of the film, with the scenes in India, is exceptionally good, the Australian section became a more patchy with the motivations of Saroo’s actions and the impact they have on his adoptive family not feeling completely fleshed out.
While I’m sure being a street urchin in Calcutta in the mid-80’s was a horribly difficult and perilous existence, the screenplay paints the sense that that almost EVERY male in the city is either a pedophile or hopelessly corrupt: something that if I was a Calcutta resident I would likely take offence to.

However, this is a hugely involving and enjoyable movie, and a “Best Film” rounds off the impressive haul of six Oscar nominations. You might be cynical and view the subject matter as being comfortable Oscar-bait… but you can hardly argue about the absolute quality of the film-making on show here.
By the way, if you are curious as to where the title of the film comes from, you need to wait until the end titles: a masterly touch that I really liked!
The end titles also lay out the fact that the perils of street kids in India is still real and present, and the film is supporting charitable work to help. If you were moved by the film (as I was) you can make a donation at http://lionmovie.com (as I did)!
Highly recommended.