True Story Behind Movie Lion 2016? Saroo Brierley’s Journey

true story of the movie lion

What is the True Story Behind the Movie “Lion”?

Introduction In 2016, the film “Lion” captivated audiences worldwide with its heart-wrenching portrayal of a young boy’s journey from getting lost in rural India to finding his way back home as an adult. This incredible tale of survival, identity, and family is not just a cinematic masterpiece but is based on the real-life story of Saroo Brierley.

This article aims to delve into the true story behind the movie, explore Saroo Brierley’s life today, and uncover why “Lion” is celebrated as a poignant narrative of hope and discovery.

Saroo Brierley’s Childhood: A True Story of Life Lost and Found

In 1986, five-year-old Saroo found himself alone and helpless when he accidentally boarded a wrong train in rural India. Separated from his family, he traveled over 1,500 kilometers away from his hometown.

After surviving several weeks on the streets of Kolkata, Saroo was taken into an orphanage and later adopted by an Australian couple, John and Sue Brierley.

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How Did Saroo Brierley Get Lost?

Saroo’s life took a drastic turn when he and his brother Guddu ventured out to a local train station in Khandwa.

The young Saroo fell asleep on a stationary train, which unexpectedly departed, whisking him far away from his family.

Despite his efforts to explain his predicament, the vast language barriers and his limited understanding made it impossible for him to navigate his way back.

The Adoption and Life in Australia

Adopted by the Brierleys, Saroo grew up in Hobart, Tasmania, with all the comforts of a loving home.

However, the memories of his biological family lingered, leaving Saroo with a nagging sense of loss and an unyielding desire to find his roots.

“Lion”: A Cinematic Reflection of Saroo Brierley’s Journey

Directed by Garth Davis and written by Luke Davies, “Lion” is based on Saroo Brierley’s memoir, “A Long Way Home”. The film stars Dev Patel as adult Saroo, and through its vivid storytelling, it explores themes of identity, resilience, and the meaning of family.

The narrative is beautifully structured, leading viewers through Saroo’s despair as a lost child and his relentless quest as an adult, using Google Earth to locate his birthplace.

Where is Saroo Brierley Now?

Today, Saroo Brierley has reconciled the pieces of his two worlds. Residing in Australia, he is actively involved in raising awareness about missing children globally.

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Saroo’s journey back to his birth mother in India, which is poignantly captured in “Lion”, represents a closure of his decades-long search.

He remains connected with his Australian and Indian families, symbolizing a unique fusion of diverse cultures and shared histories.

Why is “Lion” a Good Film?

“Lion” is not merely a story about finding one’s way back home; it is a testament to the human spirit’s indomitable will to connect and belong.

The film’s success is underlined by its emotional depth, bolstered by stellar performances and a moving screenplay.

It not only earned critical acclaim but also resonated with a global audience, grossing over $140 million worldwide and receiving multiple Oscar nominations.


The true story behind the movie “Lion” offers more than just a narrative of loss and recovery; it is a celebration of human connection across continents and cultures.

Saroo Brierley’s life story encourages us to seek out our origins and embrace our past, no matter how distant or forgotten. Through its compelling narrative and powerful depiction, “Lion” serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder of the enduring bonds of family.

As we reflect on Saroo’s journey, it becomes evident why this film continues to touch the hearts of millions around the world.

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Jeremy Jahns Expert Movie Reviewer and Critic
I am Jeremy Jahns - Your Cinematic Explorer Immerse in movie reviews, Hollywood insights, and behind-the-scenes stories.

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