Listen: Russ Matthews from the Big Picture with Breakfast team Laura and Duncan
For Saroo Brierley, using Google Earth to find his home in India was like finding a needle in a haystack.
The new film Lion portrays his heart-wrenching true story of sheer determination and a desperate longing to find home.
Saroo, played by Dev Patel, is an Indian-born Australian who was separated from his family in India at the age of five, before being put into an adoption agency. He was eventually adopted by a couple from Hobart, Australia.
The film jumps ahead to Saroo’s life as an adult, when he is coming to terms with his adoption, and has a yearning to know more about his past.
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Finding a Needle in a Haystack
With only the memories in his mind as his guide, Saroo uses ‘Google Earth’ map software to search for his family. The film shows his journey, first as a young child, and then as an adult remembering glimpses of his past.
The Theme of Adoption
At the heart of the film, is the theme of adoption and its value. Russ Matthews from the Big Picture told Hope 103.2’s Breakfast team Laura and Duncan that he was impressed by the way the adoptive parents honoured their son’s birth family.
“I loved how they didn’t diminish the value of his adopted family but they were really able to embrace in trying to seek out his family in India,” he said. “It is the need for celebrating where that child has come from, giving the child the opportunity to meet their blood family, but also to build and reconnect with them.”
Excellent Portrayal by Sunny Pawar
The film stars Golden Globe majors like Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel, but for Russ Matthews, the actor Sunny Pawar – who played the young Saroo – is what made the film.
“It was really Sunny’s portrayal as the five year old that I think carried this film and really made the difference.”
Russ gives Lion three and half stars out of five. The PG rating gives the film great value for the whole family.
“It would be for families to go out and really engage further conversations of the bigger ideas of adoption, love of a family and also even home,” he said.