Friday, June 23, 2017

Lion (A Long Way Home) – Movie vs Book

"Lion" is an Australian movie based on a true story. The author of the original book Saroo Brierley is an Indian young man who was adopted by an Australian couple after he lost contact with his family at the age of five. After 20 years, he decides to come back to his home country and look for his family.

When I first saw the trailer of "Lion", it was hard, shocking, and heartbreaking. And since the movie wasn’t yet released on DVD, I decided to read the original book "A Long Way Home", and thank God I did. The story was really inspirational and profoundly emotional. The long journey followed by the author in search of his origins and his past was a real lesson of patience, perseverance, hope and love. The book encouraged me more to watch the movie, which I did in February 2017.


Main Characters

Saroo: The author and protagonist
Kamla (Fatima): Saroo’s mother
Guddu and Kallo: Saroo’s older brothers
Shekila: Saroo’s little sister
Sue Brierely: Saroo’s adoptive mother
John Brierley: Saroo’s adoptive father
Mrs. Saroj Sood: A woman working in the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption (ISSA)
Lisa: Saroo’s girl friend
A teenager: who helped Saroo when he was living in Calcutta streets.
An old man: who saved Saroo twice from drowning.

Secondary Characters

Mantosh: Saroo’s adoptive brother
Asra: Saroo’s friend from the orphanage
Saroo’s father.
Amreen: Saroo’s Indian friend from college
Saleen and Jacob: The Brierley’s neighbors
Cheryl: An interpreter
Julie and Joseph: Sue’s parents
Mary and Christine: Sue’s sisters


In his memoir, Saroo Brierley tells readers about his life story between his home country India and his adoptive country Australia. Saroo was born in India in a poor family. He had two older brothers and one little sister. When he was very little, his father got married a second time and left them, so his mother raised him and his brothers by herself. To feed her children, she endured carrying heavy rocks and stones on her head for an insignificant salary. Guddu and Kallo, Saroo’s brothers, felt also responsible for their family and did everything to bring food; begging, asking for leftovers, stealing, and working in marginal jobs.

One day, when Saroo was only five years old, he insisted on accompanying his brother Guddu to look for food, but when it was night, Saroo felt too tired that he fell asleep. His brother tried to wake him up, but in vain, so he left him in a train station and told him to wait for him. When Saroo woke up, he looked everywhere for his brother and didn’t find him, so he got into a carriage and felt asleep again. When he awoke, it was broad daylight and the train was already moving. After a journey that seemed to be an eternity, the train arrived to its final destination, Calcutta, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, a megacity known for its over-population, pollution and poverty.

This day was the beginning of a long nightmare. Finding himself alone in this scary city, Saroo had to use his survival skills to find food, to protect himself from dangers, to look every day for a safe place to sleep. He tried repeatedly to come back home, but he didn’t manage to do so with his little experience. So, he decided to accept his new reality and to live on his own. After several months spent in the Streets of Calcutta, fighting hunger, kidnapping, abuse and death, Saroo was moved to a juvenile detention center, and then to an orphanage, which gave him the chance to be adopted by an Australian couple, the Brierley’s.

Twenty years later, Saroo’d never forgotten his home country and his family, but once at college, he met new Indian friends who awakened in him memories from his childhood, and made him remember his mother and brothers whom he’d missed very much. When he knew about new software called Google Earth that could view the whole world from above and search for place-names, he decided to search home based only on Google Earth and his memory of child. The author described in this book the difficult moments he lived during his long search and expressed his feelings, his emotions and his thoughts during this tough period.


Early maturity

While some parents are spending their time on learning how to feed their children in a healthy way, how to choose their clothes, how to provide them useful activities and fun games, and what schools are the best for their education, a large number of children around the world are struggling to find something to eat, something to wear, and a place where to sleep safely. These children who are forced to live on their own most of the time develop more skills than other children. Saroo for example had a strong personality and a fighting spirit that enabled him to face hard tests. His remarkable intuition and prudence helped him avoid dangerous situations. His autonomy and his sense of responsibility made him find food and survive hunger. But what really impressed me was his very strong memory; I was astonished by his capacity of remembering, after twenty years, very small details from his childhood, such as some events when he was three years old, the names and appearances of some places in his hometown, the way home from the train station, and even the smell of some meals prepared by his mother.

The World’s dark side

Living under grinding poverty and then in the Streets of a megacity was a hellish experience for Saroo, but thanks to Allah then to his survival skills and intuition, he could go through all the challenges without being damaged. However, Saroo’s story sheds light on a large number of children all around the world who suffer from the horrors of poverty and violence or live under war. This story reminds us of all those children who are obliged to live in the Streets, who are sexually abused, forced to work or to beg, who are exploited by criminal gangs or even violently killed.

Missing Home

This book is about that human need of belonging to something, a country, a religion, a nation. Even if we live in good conditions, even if we are surrounded by people who love us and take care of us, we still feel an inner need to know our origins and to link our present with our past. In Saroo’s case, this need was even stronger because first he loved his family of origin very much and second because he was forced to live away from them; his breaking-up with them wasn’t planned, it was abrupt, unexpected and tough. That’s why, he always missed Home and repeatedly imagined his mother and his brother Guddu suffering because of him and waiting for him to come back. He needed to see his family again and explain to them what happened to him so that he can go on with his life. Finding Home wasn’t thus a luxury, it was a necessity.


This memoir is truly inspirational and teaches us a number of lessons:
Love: Money is not everything, the bonds between Saroo and his family, were unbreakable thanks to the love, protection, and sacrifice of his mother and brothers.
Hope/Optimism: Since he was a child, Saroo has been optimistic; he could have been depressed because of all the horrors he’d seen, but instead, he continued to hope and dreamed always of a better future. Even in his search process, he was quasi-sure he would achieve his objective and find his family.
Perseverance/Patience: Saroo’s journey to find Home was a true lesson of perseverance. With all the possibilities of keywords he had to try and the roads and connections he had to verify everyday stuck to his laptop, he couldn’t give up. Deep inside he knew it was a question of time; he just had to keep trying even if it would take the rest of his life.
Discretion: When Saroo started his search, he decided to keep his objective for himself and not to tell all people, except the ones that can help him achieving it. Maybe he just didn’t want his adoptive parents to worry about him or be disappointed in case the search isn’t fruitful. But personally, I think discretion is a good attitude for everyone trying to achieve an objective. Based on my own experience, I noticed that when you keep a dream for yourself, your motivation remains strong, but once you reveal it to someone, the motivation decreases and you lose half the energy you had before. I don’t know what the secret is, but I know that even the Prophet “PBUH” incited us to be discrete in our projects, so there is surely a good reason behind.
Technology: Some aspects of technology could be very harmful to people (e.g. spying, hacking…), but it could also be of a great interest if used correctly and for the good of humanity. Without technology, Saroo would never have met his family again, but fortunately he did, and his experience inspired many people to use new technologies to find their families or to pursue other dreams.

Comparison between the book and the movie

The main story of the book is maintained in the movie, but some details concerning events, places and characters were changed.

In the book
In the movie
The author focuses a lot on his life in India before he gets lost.
The period before he gets lost wasn’t given a great interest.
In Calcutta, a man pretended to help Saroo while he was intending to sell him to a child abuser.
This character is played by a woman.
Saroo has two brothers, Guddu and Kallo
Kallo is not mentioned.
The author describes in details his new life since he arrived to Australia till he started looking for his Indian family.
The movie doesn’t focus a lot on this period.
After Saroo gets lost, his family converts to Islam.
This detail is not mentioned.
The author focused on two key words in his search: Ginestlay and Berampur.
The second word is not mentioned even if it’s an important detail.
A whole chapter in the book is dedicated to Sue’s life story.
This story is ignored.
Saroo’s girlfriend has a secondary role
We focus more on Saroo’s relationship with his girl friend


Personally, I think both the book and the movie were good, but the book touched me much more because it contains more details.

The Book: 4/5

1. "A Long way home" isn’t a literary book, it’s a personal experience written in simple words and easy language. However, its style is still beautiful because it’s sincere, deep and realistic. Maybe the only thing I didn’t like about the writing is that the author used basically narration, I think it would have been more interesting if he had used dialogue in some scenes.

2. The author describes all the periods of his story with the same sense of details. He let us feel all what he had gone through; he made us smile when he is safe or happy, cry when he is sad, lonely and lost, panic when he is scared or in danger, he made us live every moment with him and let us unconsciously pray for him to survive when he was a child and to find home when he was grown-up.

3. The author in the book devoted great attention to the process of finding Home. He explained all the search details, the means he used, people he asked for help, the keywords he considered, all the possibilities he tried. All these details made us share with the author his moments of joy and sadness, hope and desperation, motivation and exhaustion.

The Movie: 3/5

1. The movie was in general good, the actors did great job, the music was beautiful and the original story was broadly respected.

2. Many important details from the book were ignored in the movie, especially the period before the author gets lost. This period is crucial to the story because without it, we can’t understand the harsh conditions where Saroo’s family was living, how they suffered under grinding poverty, how they spent days and days without food and how they had to learn to survive in an early age, but most importantly, how much they loved each other and remained united and cohesive despite their challenging life.

3. The search journey was also given less attention compared to the book, which didn’t help understand and feel all the difficulties encountered by the author during his search.

A Tribute to two people

I couldn’t finish the article just like that without paying tribute to two characters in Saroo’s life for whom I have great respect, the Brierley’s. The first thing that comes to our minds when we know a couple adopted a little child is that they can’t have babies. It’s something normal and usual. But the Brierley’s were able to have children themselves, and yet they choose adoption. They thought there are already enough children in the world who need love and care, so they decided to adopt children from poor countries and to give them a caring family and a better-life. On top of that, they didn’t specify any preferences of the adopted child, neither age nor sex, they just wanted to offer help to whoever needed it. For them, even if the adoption of one child could be a drop in the ocean, it could at least make a big difference for this child.

Personally, I’ve never heard before of a young married couple who deprive themselves of having children of their own and choose adoption instead unless they have health issues or psychological problems. Especially if we know that the procedure for formal adoption is very complicated; interviews, document preparations, police checks, etc. Moreover, bringing a child from a completely different background and with probably a painful past, helping him adapt to his new life and taking the risk to endure his bad character and deal with his mental and physical issues, all this requires patience, a huge effort and an exceptional courage.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. when you get lost you should trace your steps so you know your way back home and you don't get lost like saroo.

  3. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.

  4. Your record type decides what number of motion pictures you can have leased at any one time. You can lease a film and afterward rate it on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.Jamtara Netflix Review

  5. I have read all the comments and suggestions posted by the visitors for this article are very fine,We will wait for your next article so only.Thanks! 9xrockers

  6. Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. Latest & Bugs Free Version

  7. I am fully satisfied with the information you have posted. Good job. Keep posting
    Click here

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Awesome article, it was exceptionally helpful! I simply began in this and I'm becoming more acquainted with it better! Cheers, keep doing awesome! bollyshare

  10. Advancing and promoting your film online is followed up by assembling a spotless and perfect film bundle to send to film merchants.123Movies

  11. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work หนังต่างประเทศ

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13.  They realized the only security they had was to apply their unique talents to a business of their own creation. LIFE STYLE

  14. Your profile ought to be proficient and steady. Keep your data predictable with comparable profession objectives and vocation targets in each profile. 3 Quick Tips For Remote Work From Home

  15. There is positively no explanation not to have a home you are buying reviewed. It ensures you and your speculation. home inspector saskatoon

  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  17. Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. ดูหนังใหม่

  18. this information is helpful and boon for the readers. therefore, I thank the person who wrote it .Facts about Las Vegas

  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  22. I love this blog!! The flash up the top is awesome!!

  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  24. Hello, this weekend is good for me, since this time i am reading this enormous informative article here at my home. best ebooks online

  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  26. No one would appreciate a hundred dollars going down the drain for a pretty average movie.

  27. Today, I was just browsing along and came upon your blog. Just wanted to say good blog and this article helped me a lot, due to which I have found exactly I was looking. imagefilm erstellen

  28. As a viewer, the film is painful to watch, puts you through the wringer and there is virtually nothing enjoyable about it.123movies

  29. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  30. To achieve a simlar depth of field to film (which is relatively shallow), a large sensor is required. While a few camera such as the Panavision Genesis do have 35mm sized sensors – such video cameras are expensive.


  31. Great article Lot's of information to Read...Great Man Keep Posting and update to People..Thanks cctv camera

  32. Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work.en uygun uçak bileti

  33. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  34. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me. buy instagram likes and comments paypal

  35. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  36. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  38. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  39. Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It's so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also movie trailers

  40. On the off chance that you have a pool, a poolside film is perfect for a sweltering summer night. You may have a late evening pool get-together and grill, trailed by an unwinding poolside film night.

  41. I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article.albania hotels

  42. Most states have their own state libraries. For example, I know one author who sent copies of his book to the Library of Michigan. The result was, without his asking, he ended up being listed on a brochure the Library of Michigan distributed to libraries statewide featuring Upper Michigan authors.

  43. I think that thanks for the valuabe information and insights you have so provided here. kiss manga

  44. Thanks friends, for providing such enlightening data.
    dig this

  45. There are three different models of hubs, but they all have the same basic function. Best Essay Help

  46. Thank you for addressing this. I've had these same thoughts running through my mind a lot, and appreciate very much having them sorted out for me and in writing!visit albania

  47. Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for.

  48. I was surfing the Internet for information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. เว็บดูอนิเมะ

  49. A great website with interesting and unique material what else would you need. best punching bags for apartment

  50. Thanks for providing recent updates regarding the concern, I look forward to read more. ดูหนัง

  51. This is a truly good site post. Not too many people would actually, the way you just did. I am really impressed that there is so much information about this subject that have been uncovered and you’ve done your best, with so much class. If wanted to know more about green smoke reviews, than by all means come in and check our stuff. cineblog01

  52. Hello, I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject. ดูหนัง

  53. I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information. ดูหนังออนไลน์ใหม่hd

  54. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good. I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well! หนังออนไลน์

  55. Distinguish techniques for connecting with graduated class relationship for articulating public great and building spans between advanced education and the different private and public area organizations. Higher Education

  56. Utilizing these home administration tips for occupied mums you will find that things around your home will stream better, you will be less pushed and you will be more coordinated. платен домоуправител софия

  57. Whether it is about a flight or hotel, about sightseeing or food, about packing tips or travel insurance is here to guide you to the best tips for holiday travel and vacations. We provide you information on vacation rentals, travel insurance, holiday package, airline or train tickets, cruises, car rentals, restaurants, tourist activities and so on.

  58. This article is really contains lot more information about This Topic. buy custom essays We have read your all the information some points are also good and some usually are awesome. Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have ma