‘Lion’ – How much can we take for granted

Like many other film buffs out there, I was giving my refresh button a solid workout on  January 24th to find out the Academy Award nominations for 2017.

As a film in the running for six nominations, the recent drama ‘Lion’ has absolutely stolen a piece of my heart. Actually, forget ‘stolen’, I got down on my knees, not-so-dry-eyed and offered up my whole heart as the credits rolled.

Sitting down in my favourite local arthouse “picture palace”, I was somewhat aware of the potential this film had to blow me away, thanks to my fellow Oscar-loving friends, two hours of Dev Patel’s charisma (and because Slumdog Millionaire blew me away). However, this poignant true story about family and nostalgia had me lying awake at night not just marvelling at the exceptional standard of acting, screenplay and music that just collaborated to form this exquisite film, but at the realities of third-world nations.

It can often be assumed that Hollywood depicts an actuality that isn’t quite as authentic as what exists behind the doors of your local cinema, but this particular night I was questioning how we should shape our attitudes to harsh situations that we haven’t experienced first hand.

As a twenty-something, I’m naturally going through the ‘wanting to change the world’ phase (as mum refers to it). However I would expect I fall into a small minority of those who want desperately to be exposed to the truths of the rest of the world and who would prefer to trek through subsaharan desert and play with orphanage kids than lie on a beach in Fiji drinking cocktails. It is generally agreed that Australians have it well. It is also generally agreed that we take a lot for granted and that we should be appreciative of everything we have.

I want to know how we’re meant to know what we’re taking advantage of without venturing out of our well-constructed houses and experiencing things for ourselves. Am I the only one who is restless to close my laptop, box up my National Geographics and go and see how other people live for myself, in the three-dimensional world? Or should we just stick to watching the discovery channel, being worldly in the news we read, donating to appropriate charities, and then shutting it back out of our minds?

Along with reigniting my obsession with Indian culture, this film highlighted the timeless significance of relationships and what family means. The cinematography captured the urban and maybe unconventional beauty of Indian slums and has undoubtedly catalysed my decision to travel to India this year. Other than being one Bollywood movie away from growing my own bindi, I’m feeling curiously drawn to culture whose second biggest city has the same population as the entirety of Australia.

So pack your lonely planet books, India is coming.