What makes a movie successful? Review of the film Lion.


The Hunt for a Movie.

Living in a small town is good but it does have its disadvantages. When you want to see a movie that doesn’t have a massive budget, mega super stars or a superhero you are frankly, out of luck.

Not giving up though I searched high and low, and even expanded my search to two states (I live on the border). With persistence and diligence I finally found what I had been looking for.

With enthusiasm and gusto I looked at my mother and announced victoriously, “I found it.”

She clapped for my news, her pearly whites shining as she asked. “When and Where?”

“Tomorrow 11 a.m.”

“Perfect.” She said rubbing her hands together in excitement.

Off to dream world I went that evening waiting for the next morning. After dreaming all my dreams and worrying about all the duties I had the next day when I awoke the following morning the discovery had left my mind and tasks had entered.

Opening my bedroom door I began psyching myself up for the long haul of jobs, errands, cleaning and so on, I had to do.

After exiting the bathroom my mother found me and said, “You better get ready or we will be late!”

All the memories flooded my mind, me searching endlessly on Goggle, watching the trailer again and again, telling my mother this is the one she had been searching for.

“Yes. I must we can’t be late.” I said.

“You better hurry.” She warned. “You take longer than me to get ready.”

I smiled, “Mother, I know I am pretty much late for every event in my life but when it comes to the movies I will always be early.”

If you haven’t realized already, I was being quite dramatic but it is still pretty close to the real events. Definitely, inspired by true events.

Anyways, I had heard about this movie and wanted to see it. I knew it was going to be a film my mother would love and I would enjoy too.

The film is ‘LION.’

After our rigorous adventure of actually finding the film, (at a theater I don’t particularly care for) we made it. Early, of course. My expectations were high; very high, indeed.

‘Lion’ delivered.

It has been a long time in which a movie didn’t disappoint. Going to the movies to me is a special time; almost magical. Every year I become older you would think the movies would lose their sparkle but they never have. I hope they never do.

This movie has many things due its credit.

This motion picture is beautifully shot; the storyline was in full force not vacantly missing. The cast was nicely placed into this story, each one making us believe they are a real family.

The little boy in this film is adorable. Falling in love with him from the moment he comes on screen is the easiest thing you will ever do.

Sunny Pawar stars in LIONPhoto: Mark Rogers
Saroo as a boy.

One of my favorite parts about the movie was the pace. The story is in my opinion more like a novel (it is based on a book this is why it feels this way). You have time to get to know the characters, who they are, their struggles. Therefore the pace will naturally be slower, but this director had no concern with the pace he took his time.

It makes the film more personal, more real; you have time to know the characters, like them, fall in love with them. This is a nice change of pace from most films which feel they have to cram more in because they only have one and a half to two hours to fit it all in.

What Makes a Movie Successful?

Peoples’ opinions on the successfulness of a film can be many different things: money, influence, merchandise, stars, and sequels the list goes on. For me, a truly successful movie, is one that makes me think, stays with me for longer than a day, teaches me something, and may even cause me to make a change within my own life.

Lion accomplished this with flying colors I might add. 

Side Note- I will be discussing the movie ahead here and may give away parts of the movie but I don’t believe it will be detrimental in seeing the movie. You can decide to read on or stop until you have seen the movie.


In this movie you are shown what it would be like to be born into a poverty-stricken family in India. Often I think upon how we as humans do not have any choice as to where we are born, or who are parents are. We get the good with the bad because they are our family. This film reminded me to be thankful for where I was born and the circumstances I was born into.

Saroo the little boy in the film had to scrounge for food for his family. Many times he was dirty, tired and working very hard for a little boy. Even so he was incredibly loved and always seemed to be content when he was with his family.


Saroo’s adoptive mother, Sue, was a strong woman who with her husband adopted two little boys from India.

For Sue, adopting children was something, which gave purpose to her own life. When Sue  was twelve years old she saw a vision. She saw brown skinned children and knew then and there she would adopt children. This gave her life purpose to provide a loving home for children who needed one. The vision gave her hope in a challenging time in her life. It gave her life meaning, a purpose.

“He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.” Viktor E. Frankl


The most profound thing I learned from this film is this. It is in the same scene with purpose. Saroo as an adult comes to visit his mother who is struggling.

Saroo has been searching for his family for a significant amount of time but had kept it a secret from his family. He explained this to Sue and stated the reason he didn’t tell her was because he didn’t want her to think he was unthankful or that she wasn’t his family. Saroo then apologized to her saying how he was sorry she couldn’t have children of her own.

Sue told him this wasn’t true she could have had her own children but decided to adopt.

Right there.

Right there is where I thought- The Assumption. An assumption Saroo believed he was the second best or a consolation prize. Was he not what she truly wanted, but what she had to have? The sad truth is, it wasn’t even true. She wanted him. She has always wanted him. She chose him.


It made me think about my own life and assumptions I have made about myself.


Assumption-a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.

Biggest Ones.

My assumptions are I am too old to do what I really want to do, I have missed the mark, said no to the opportunity, made the wrong choice,and squandered my younger years. Some of these could possibly be true but where is the proof.

Proof. Who says you can’t change careers when you are older? Who says you don’t get more than one chance?

I realized I have to stop assuming my life is going to be one way when it could end up being a completely different way. If I worry about missing the mark or whatever, worrying about it does not help me to hit the mark the next time.

We never know where life is going to go.

My father told me my entire life there is only one thing guaranteed to stay and that is change.


I have been to many different countries and when I was younger I would always say I would go anywhere, but not India. Never, India. Although. . . this feeling may have changed after watching this film as it softened my heart towards this country. Maybe one day? Only time will tell.

Therefore to me, this film is truly successful because it hit all of my criteria; it made me think, it taught me something, and it gave me a heart for India.



Support a film, which has something to say. A film with a purpose, a meaning, a heart! Buy your tickets. Those of you who live in a big city won’t have to search like I did. Do it today!

Also, bring tissues.

After you have seen it let me know what you think? Did you like it? Did you learn something? Shed any tears? Let me know in the comments below.


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