Movie Review: LION – the magnificent first half cast a long shadow across the second, but the overall result is deeply satisfying

I’ve described a couple of movies as being “of two halves” – Room, most recently.  The phrase goes back to something football (soccer, to my readers here in the colonies) pundits say when describing a game where the first half is dominated by one team, and the second half dominated by the other.  It happens in movies too, mostly when the second half of a movie is not as strong as the first.  These movies generally have much the same structure, usually a radical change at the midpoint.  In Room, it’s the escape of Joy and Jack, in Lion, it’s the jump in time from 1986 to 2006.  In the case of Room, while the narrative changes, the second half is still mostly engaging.  In Lion, the result is a lot less interesting.  Less interesting in comparison to what comes before, and I provide this caveat because the first half of the movie is rock solid – entertaining, compelling, and thoroughly engaging.

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