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Does “Lion” Deserve Oscar Noms?

Justine Garcia, Reporter

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2016 was a great year for film. There were many great comic-book blockbusters like “Captain America: Civil War” and “Deadpool”. Many animated films like “Moana” or “Zootopia” stood out. In addition, horror films like “Lights Out” and “The Conjuring 2” weren’t too shabby, either. However, an overlooked film of 2016 was “Lion”.

“Lion” is a film based on a true-story about a young boy living in a povertous region of India that loses his family and eventually gets adopted by an Australian family. The film stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara and many others. One star that might stand out is Sunny Pawar, a new up and coming eight year old actor that plays young Saroo, whilst Dev Patel plays the older version of the character. The performance that Sunny Pawar gives is beyond his years. He gives an element of authenticity to the story, as his acting is very natural, which lacks with most child actors. Overall, the performances were superb, enough to gain two Oscar nods for supporting actors: Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.
To go deeper in the story, Saroo is the first seen as a young boy loitering around trains, collecting coal with his brother for money. One day as they are looking, they lose each other, leaving Saroo lost. He is wandering the streets seeking his family, but he has no luck. Eventually, he is approached by an orphanage that provides for children and teaches them how to speak English. A family from Australia looks to adopt him and from there, he is living a better life. Later on, we see an older Saroo in university who has lost touch with his roots when asked about his culture in class. Saroo attends a dinner at a friends house, who just so happens to be serving Indian food. We see that Saroo’s eventual girlfriend, Lucy, is embracing the culture more than he is. It is not until Saroo sees jalebi, an Indian desert he asked his brother to buy him once at a market, that he begins to search for answers regarding his origin and identity.
“Lion” is a story you hardly see in film today. Hollywood is abundant with white actors. There is a lack of culture and people of color. In this film, we get to see a different story, one that reflects on finding your roots.

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