Why didn't it make me cry? Well, we have the first half with the remarkable Sunny Pawar as little Saroo in nightmarish conditions as a lost boy. Cut to grown Saroo in middle class comfort. Then his early memories start bothering him. There wasn't a smooth transition from bleak boyhood to pleasant middle class young manhood and flashbacks of despair. The screenplay needed something more.
Saroo's desire to relocate his birth mother, to rediscover his roots, could cause major tension with the the Australians who adopted him and gave him a new life. This business is something he needed to bring up with them private. But his Caucasian girlfriend casually nags him to bring the subject up while she's a guest at the family dinner table with him, his special needs adopted brother and his Australian parents. The family dinner table is the biggest birthplace of drama since ancient Greece. What the heck was she thinking? I found myself wishing that Saroo's girlfriend had been the one who got lost in Calcutta. However, the young man will trace his roots and come to learn more about the woman who adopted him.
LION runs about 2 hours and 10 minutes. With a tighter and smoother script, it could've been delivered in a touching 1 hour and 50 minutes.
I did love seeing Dev Patel "grow up" in this movie and take on a new image. I hope Hollywood tosses him some of the same script opportunities it usually sends to James Franco, Ryan Gosling and Chris Pine.