Saroo was a child who was brave and had the heart of a hero. Living in a small village India, he wanted nothing more than to stay with his brother and support his family. Going off to work in the fields, he got separated and ended up lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of miles away. An orphanage picked him up and sent him to a family in Australia for adoption. While he grew up and had opportunities unheard of for people from his village, his success was only paralleled by the growing anxiety over a family left behind. He came to desire seeking out his mother and the brother he believed was still searching for him.
The Lost Child: Saroo’s strength was what helped him survive in the streets of Calcutta, but it had to be a truly scary experience to be thousands of miles away but have no sense of where he was. The resilience and survival skills of the young boy were truly exhilarating. He had to determine who he could trust and with whom he needed to be guarded. While taken in by the orphanage, his adoption could have potentially saved his life and given him a chance to build a future.
Living Far from Home: Being adopted by the Australian couple was something truly beneficial for building a future. He grew up with resources and opportunities that would not have been available had he remained in Calcutta. While he made it to being an adult before the curiosity truly hit him, he was struck by feeling like his past was missing and eating away inside of him. The exhaustive search had him feel separated from his adoptive family and from his girlfriend. Finally finding home through Google Earth, he had a chance to reconnect with his lost family.
Defining Family: While his birth family would always be his true, original family, his Australian parents became his second family. They loved him from the day they met him and treated him like their own natural son. Even when he got the chance to reconnect with his birth mother, he felt compelled to have both mothers meet. He also struggled with his desire to reconnect with his brother but felt a sense of care for his adoptive brother, even with his emotional challenges.
Final Verdict: While the storytelling was a bit imbalanced at times, Dev Patel’s performance was strong and the story was deeply moving. The surprise at the end with Saroo’s name adds to the joy experienced in the fateful reunion.
Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5