This six-time Oscar nominated film tells the story of Saroo Brierley (Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel) and his struggle to reconnect with his family. After being separated from his biological family, Saroo finds himself in a totally new environment and raised in a completely different culture than his own. As he grows up, he obsessively begins to search for the family he left behind.
This story is tragically beautiful and heartbreaking, and provides a heartfelt performance by both Sunny Pawar (who adorably plays the young Saroo) and Dev Patel (who plays his older self). Saroo works alongside his mother, who lives in a very poor village and moves rocks. Although poor, he loves his family and finds comfort in his mother and brother. After a tragic accident he finds himself miles from home, lost, and pushed into the dangerous streets of Calcutta. As the authorites refuse to help him return home, due to his mispronunciation of his hometown, he finds himself in worse and worse conditions until he is adopted by an Australian family.
The now adult Saroo (Dev Patel) struggles with his loyalty to his adopted family and the family he lost in India. He tries to track down his family in secret out of love for his adopted mother, who is already worried about his adopted, troubled brother, Mantosh.
This story had me sobbing on the Megabus back to school, and honestly its beautiful and horrible to watch at the same time. The struggles that little Saroo had to deal with at such a young age is horrible to witness, and he’s just so adorable that you can’t help but just love him. His journey is tense and harrowing and if you go into the film knowing none of the backstory you never know how or if he’s going to get out of these dangerous situations.
The continuing story after Saroo becomes an adult is equally tragic as he suddenly feels compelled to find the family he left behind. His Google Map hobby turns into an obsession as he searches desperately for home.
A compelling and tragically gorgeous story, this film is one of my favorite of recent years. Not only is it a true story, it is a heartbreaking tale that examines the real definition of family and culture. Saroo has to question if he is really Indian or Australian and what family he identifies with and as he does he must struggle with core questions of the human existence. A story that is guaranteed to bring you to tears, this gripping story is a must watch on any Netflix list.
Amy’s Recommendation: 10/10
P.S. You will love Sunny Pawar. Don’t fight it. He is the cutest little kid I have ever seen.