Lion (2016)

The true story of a life lost and found.

Adapted from the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, Lion is about a five-year-old Indian boy who, after a wrong train takes him thousands of miles away from home and family, survives many challenges before being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only the scantest of clues, he learns of a new technology called Google Earth, and sets out to find his lost family. Nominated for 6 Oscars, including Best Picture.


Dev as: Saroo Brierley
Directed by: Garth Davis
Written by: Luke Davies & Saroo Brierley (autobiography)
Other cast: Rooney Mara (Lucy), Nicole Kidman (Sue Brierley), David Wenham ( John Brierley), & Sunny Pawar (Young Saroo).
Release Date: September 10, 2016 (TIFF) | November 25, 2106 (USA) | January 20, 2017 (UK)
Runtime: 118 min
Boxoffice: $136,962,270 (Worldwide)
Critical Acclaim: 86% Rotten Tomatoes | 86 Meta Critics Score

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Production Notes

Production began in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta) in January 2015. Dev Patel, who plays the adult Saroo, arrived early in the shoot to film the scenes of reunion with Saroo’s birth mother. Dev campaigned hard to win the role, convincing Garth Davis and the producers that cinema audiences had yet to see the range he was capable of.

To better look like the real Saroo Brierley who is tall and strong after a lifetime in the Australian outdoors, actor Dev Patel embarked on a punishing weight and food regime, to add bulk and muscle. He also worked with a dialect coach to perfect the notoriously difficult Australian accent.

Dev confirms that he chased the role. He says he’d never read a script so enchanting: “It encapsulates triumph. It’s such a hopeful story about this kid’s will to survive and to find his family again. What particularly drew me to the role was that it is a very contemporary character and also that the story has complex family dynamics – it’s a beautiful role.”

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