Starring: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Ronney Mara.
Dir by Garth Davis.
Dev Patel’s range, critics may well carp, goes from wide- to wider- to widest-eyed. In Lion, you get the wild-eyed version as he explores his inner darkness, allowing his acting to shine. This is Dev in a new avatar. Lion had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), as did Patel’s break-out Slumdog Millionaire eight years ago. Dev also played mathematics savant Srinivasa Ramanujan in The Man Who Knew Infinity, which was at the TIFF last September. This is the trajectory of Patel’s transition—from a wondering boy to a wandering man.
He gets competition for stealing the screen in the diminutive form of Sunny Pawar, playing a five-year-old living a hardscrabble existence in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh. Adorable is too trite an adjective to apply...