Sunny Pawar and Deepti Naval star in a scene from the movie "Lion." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS photo/The Weinstein Company)
NEW YORK (CNS) -- The incredible true story of one orphan's 20-year odyssey to find his way back home roars to cinematic life in "Lion" (Weinstein).
Taken from his native India as a boy, Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel) grew to manhood in a loving adoptive family in Australia. But he was haunted by his lost childhood and the beloved mother (Priyanka Bose) he left behind. His 2013 memoir (written with Larry Buttrose), "A Long Way Home," inspired this poignant and uplifting film, directed by Garth Davis.
The story begins in 1986 as a lively tale of two brothers, 5-year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) and his older sibling Guddu (Abhishek Bharate). Life is hard in rural India, and they scavenge for items to resell so they can buy food for their family.
The brothers adore their mother, Kamala, who ekes out a living as a manual laborer, clearing rocks at a nearby quarry.
One night, Saroo follows Guddu to the railway station in search of work. They become separated, and Saroo, wandering into an empty train car, falls asleep.
When Saroo awakens, the train is moving, and he is locked inside. After 1,500 kilometers, the train finally comes to a stop, in the bustling metropolis of Kolkata (then still called Calcutta).
Saroo is terrified by this unknown place teeming with humanity. Unable to remember his family name and home village, he wanders the streets alone, barely escaping abduction.