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Lion review: On the track of lost childhood

By Damon Smith

Saroo (Sunny Pawar) lives in 1987 Khandwa with his mother Kamla (Priyanka Bose) and siblings.

The five-year-old idolises his 12-year-old brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate) and the two boys embark on a night-time excursion to the local railway station.

But a horrible twist of fate separates the two children and Saroo finds himself trapped aboard a train, which then heads 1,600km east to the bustling shanty towns of Calcutta.

Unable to speak the language, the boy eventually meets Saroj Sood (Deepti Naval), who runs the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption and places him with adoptive parents John and Sue Brierley (David Wenham, Nicole Kidman) in Hobart, Tasmania.

Many years later, Saroo (now played by Dev Patel) gets an opportunity to trace the railway line from Calcutta back west.

Lion is a majestic, heartfelt drama that delivers an almighty emotional wallop as Saroo gradually pieces together his past.

Four stars

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