Adoption drama Lion has found a great fan in author Salman Rushdie, who wants the movie to win every Oscar it has been nominated for and then some more for its message of “common humanity”.
Calling it a “three-hankie” movie, Rushdie said he wept “unstoppably” while watching the film on a DVD screener.
The Garth Davis-directed movie is the true story of a young boy, who gets separated from his family and is adopted by an Australian couple. As an adult, Saroo is troubled by resurfacing memories of his birth family in India and sets out to find them.
The Midnight’s Children writer said being an immigrant, he loves a story which talks about how this mingling of worlds can “enrich” lives at a time “when politicians and demagogues around the world, from India to the UK and the USA, seek to divide us, to separate us into ‘us’ and ‘them’”.
“Much of this fear targets migrants and refugees, people looking to make new lives in new worlds, or simply looking for shelter from horrors they have escaped.
“I myself am an immigrant here in America and so, yes, that’s the side I’m on, and I love being told a story of how migration can enrich the lives both of the migrant and the people into whose home he is received,” Rushdie said in his guest column in Deadline.
“That this joining of two worlds can bring about a birth not of fear, but of love. There could be no better moment to reward a work of art which tells us this story, which is the story of our common humanity.”
Praising the performances of Sunny Pawar, Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, Rushdie said he was won over its “authenticity” and realism.
“I’m frequently suspicious of Western films set in contemporary India, and so one of the things that most impressed me about ‘Lion’ was the authenticity and truth and unsparing realism of its Indian first half,” he said.
Lion has been nominated at the Academy Awards in six categories including best supporting actor for Patel, best supporting actress for Kidman and best picture.
Rushdie wishes the film wins in all the categories that it has been nominated in and also in those that it is not.