‘Lion’- The Showbiz Cinema experience worth a box of tissues

Going to the cinema to see anything other than movies like Shaun the Sheep, Peppa Pig or Shrek is a rarity once you have kids. If you want to watch anything on TV that consists of a language you can decipher, or that ventures beyond a ‘G’ rating, it takes careful planning.

However, on Monday night (after a long movie drought) I treated myself to a ticket at Showbiz Cinema with a fellow mother also looking to escape a naughty pig with attitude and a few sheep who can’t speak properly. When these opportunities are gifted to me, I do not like to waste them. And after scanning the Showbiz Cinema app for many months in search of the perfect movie, I was very pleased with my choice. Once I stopped crying almost four hours later.

Lion is a raw and heart-wrenching film based on a true story about a five-year-old boy named Saroo who falls asleep on a stationary train while looking for his older brother- only to wake up 1300 miles from his home in Kolkata. He is forced to survive in the bustling city of India, and is eventually adopted by an Australian couple. As he begins to salvage his dissipating memories 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family using new Google Earth technology. A little different than a couple of pigs who won’t eat their vegies.

Lion is one of those movies that etches its way into your soul, and stirs your emotions into oblivion; making it impossible to exit the building in the same skin. The film takes your mind hostage as it accurately portrays the confronting images of real street life in India.

After two hours of hopeless sobbing and silent deliberation like two inconsolable children, we guiltily returned home to our privileged lives with endless food, a comfortable bed and a safe roof over our heads. And after holding my own children tight as they slept innocently in their safe beds, I urgently scrolled through the adoption sites online for many hours that night. Tiredness eventually prevailed though, and with a heavy head and heart, I helplessly succumbed to a deep sleep with the weight of 80,000 missing Indian children on my shoulders.

Lion certainly reignited my appreciation for my own life (and the cinematic experience), and – apart from the weary eyes and lack of sleep – I would highly recommend this soul-changing movie while it is still showing at Showbiz Cinemas. However, I do suggest one thing. If you can wangle a screening this weekend, lock it in. You’ll need a day to recover from the emotional carnage that the film inflicts upon every viewer in its path. Spend the day Recognising Lake Boga’s War efforts this weekend, topped off with a visit to Showbiz Cinema to watch Lion and you should be oozing with gratitude by the time the work week is here on Monday.

While we cannot adopt 80,000 children, we can donate to the #LionHeart campaign who work to protect children in India and around the world.

While I am feeling emotionally charged and full of inspiration, I am jumping on the  movie bandwagon once again this weekend. This time I plan to see Hidden Figures, a movie about three incredible female mathematicians who defied gender and racial stereotypes, and inspired many others to aim high in the process. Hollywood, you are on a roll. I’m not sure I’II be inspired to become a world-famous mathematician, but if it is anything like Lion, who knows?

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