Thursday, March 16, 2017

Home Alone Goes to Calcutta

If somebody told me that I could spend the rest of my life just visiting 100 different countries in the world, India would be #101 on my list.   I have zero desire to see anything there where it always looks hot, steamy, crowded, dirty, and smelly.  I never ever eat Indian cuisine and, to top it off, I was once fired by the most despicable and arrogant Indian woman you could imagine.   Hateful bitch that she was, I hope she is the first to go when Trump deports people and she winds up back India just in time for the monsoon that will wash her away to Hell.

But I digress.   All of the above is to say "Lion" was going to be a tough sell for me even before I sat down in the theater.  But, surprise surprise, I did enjoy the film even though it clearly reinforced in me the intense non-desire to visit this armpit of the world.  Hey, I don't even want to visit my home town of Mount Vernon, New York which has clearly become the India of Westchester County.

While the Oscar-nominated "Lion" was not as good as the accolades tossed to it, the movie was a compelling, yet predictable tale that certainly could have used about fifteen minutes less screen time.  One more time, "Lion" is yet another film that opens with the now customary slide "based on a true story." Jeez, can't any film maker come up with a plot on their own any more?

"Lion" tells the tale of little Saroo who lives in some desolate area of India with his mother and brother Guddu.   Somehow, while out with his brother collecting rocks, Saroo wanders off and winds up on a decommissioned train that takes him thousands of miles away to Calcutta.   Hence the title of today's blog review.  Saroo has many adventures while lost, including his escape from child traffickers who are apparently as plentiful in India as curry eaters.  

Luckily, Saroo connects with the right person and is adopted by a childless couple in Tasmania (yes, Tasmania).   With Nicole Kidman as his new mom, Saroo's new life is one of privilege and a television set.   We speed up 25 years later when Saroo is now a good looking young man working in hotel management with a hot girlfriend and an ocean view.   Hey, if I were him, I'd be good to go.  But, as fate would have it, Saroo goes to a party, eats an Indian pastry that reminds him of his youth, and suddenly wants to go find his family. Heck, it would take a lot more than a cookie for me to make that trek.

The rest of the film follows Saroo's passion to find his home and the second half of the movie is really one big advertisement for the Google Earth app.  Like I said, "Lion" suffers from being a bit too long especially when you have to sit right up to the closing credits to find out the meaning of the movie's title.   Suffice it to say, there are no wild animals that show up in this film.

While I enjoyed "Lion" and especially the performance of the little kid who played young Saroo, it all had a feel of tales I've seen before.   And, unlike "Home Alone," I don't think we're going to see many more sequels of "Lion."

LEN'S RATING:  Three stars.

Dinner last night:  Stir fry vegetables.

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