Thank you for writing this, Matt. You make some interesting points here. I just saw LION last night, and while I try to give some time before I fully reflect on a film, I do disagree with you on a few points.
I thought the score itself was fantastic. You do have a point that, at times, the music felt like it was leading the audience. But I don’t think I found it quite as unsettling as you seem to have.
You say “The two have chosen to depict India as filthy, disgusting country, never once taking the moment to expose the beautiful landscapes or rich culture.” The movie does show many not-so-pretty parts of India’s culture. I’ve never travelled to India myself, so I cannot speak to the accuracy of the portrayal. However, I don’t think it’s fair to say the movie never once took the moment to portray beautiful landscapes. There are wide sweeping shots of the countryside near Saroo’s home at different points in the film. I thought the cinematography was quite beautiful, actually.
I’ll admit, this movie has its faults. You do a good job of outlining them. But I guess I just want to push back a little bit. I think there’s more emotional resonance and character to this film than you may be giving it credit for.
I found it to be a beautiful, moving film. I would have liked to see a deeper delve into Saroo’s relationship with his Australian mother and his girlfriend, though.
Thanks again for writing this review. I find reading the views of others helps me conceptualize my own feelings about a film, even if we happen to disagree.