Lion (2016 Film)

Lion (2016 Film) Imagery


In the very beginning of the film, we see a young Saroo surrounded by a swarm of yellow butterflies. It is a beautiful image of a child swept up in nature's beauty. As an adult, Saroo has a flashback to this moment, and it helps him locate his childhood home.


When Saroo falls asleep on a train, he ends up in Calcutta (now called Kolkata), 1500 kilometers away from where he got on. For Saroo, the city is a confusing and frightening place, which is reflected in the depiction of Calcutta as chaotic and busy. The city is depicted as at once busy, dangerous, lonely, and beautiful, a bustling place into which one could easily disappear.


In one memory, Saroo recalls being with his biological mother at her job, which is picking up rocks. He remembers sharing a mango with her. This image is very evocative and striking, an image of the beauty and innocence of the mother-child bond.

Australian Beaches

Once Saroo begins trying to figure out his origin story, we see many shots of him wandering around alone trying to piece it all together. We often see him walking along beaches in Australia, the hood on his sweatshirt up, as he searches for answers in his own memory. These shots are beautiful and emotionally poignant, shot in the golden afternoon light of the beach.