Lion (2016)

Impression: I have a soft spot for India and all things Indian. So, the colorful street scenes and full trains, and bustling city life make me smile. But there seems to be something somewhat patronizing about having a poor kid be rescued by rich Australians, only to grow up romanticizing poverty. But it’s hard to criticize, since it’s based on a true experience of one man, and reflects his reality. The plot was compelling and well paced, and kept you rooting for little Saroo to make it through the many obstacles to safety, and then for grownup Saroo to find his family.   Myself, having a kid the same age as Saroo in the beginning of the story, possibly made me even more anxious and worried for his safety than the average viewer would have been. At times, it felt almost like a thriller with a tiny protagonist.
Facts:  True story of a 5 year old Indian boy who gets lost at a train station, survives amazing adventures in a city where he does not speak the language and eventually gets adopted in 1980s Australia.

Loving (2016)

Impression: Solid, well acted, and well shot movie that keeps your interest, told in a straight-forward manner. The problem with this kind of movie is that you know how it will end. Maybe some events on the way to the inevitable will be unexpected, but there is not much that can happen that will surprise you. That’s not to say that it’s not important that a movie which paints a picture of that time and place and the popular sentiment of the time be told. It is, it’s just difficult to make it into a great instead of just a very good movie.  One fact that blew my mind was realizing that inter-racial marriage was still an issue so recently, and one court intervention just 10 years before I was born.
Facts:  Based on a true story of an inter-racial marriage between Richard and Mildred Loving that challenged late 1950’s miscegenation laws by bringing their case to the US Supreme Court.