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This enthralling and inspiring cinematic experience details the true story of just one of the 80,000 children who go missing in India each year.

Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is an energetic five-year-old boy who vanishes from Khandwa whilst on an outing with his brother. He embarks on a decommissioned train which takes him to Calcutta and is eventually adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) in Tasmania. He prospers, until his memories return of his former life.

Newcomer Pawar, who won the coveted role from 2000 other hopefuls, is a gifted young actor who manages to successfully carry the first half of the film. Audiences will be affected by his portrayal of a happy child who quickly transforms into a frightened lost soul, desperate to reconnect with his family.

Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), who plays the adult Saroo, and Nicole Kidman both deliver career-defining performances, which have justifiably earned them Golden Globe Award nominations in the supporting actor and actress category.

This unforgettable film contains heart-breaking footage of the real homecoming and delivers a shock announcement in the final moments that should ensure there isn’t a dry eye in the house. The resonating theme is that self-identity and grass roots are of paramount importance and overshadow materialism. (MMo)

★★★★