Images Courtesy : Wikipedia,

Over the weekend I managed to watch two Oscar-nominated films of this year.

Both films are based on books and I am sure the books offer more insights into the actual stories than one can find in 2-hour-long films; nevertheless the films on their own are outstanding.

The first one was “Lion”, directed by Garth Davis and starring, among others, Dev Patel in the lead role and Nicole Kidman. This debut film by Garth Davis is a story based on true events, of an Indian boy who gets lost, gets adopted by an Australian couple and is raised very lovingly by them and then comes back after 25 years to find his birth mother and siblings, because all the while he knows somewhere deep down in his heart that they would still be waiting for him to come back.

The second one was “Hidden Figures” – a story of the extraordinary grit and determination of three black women to fight racial and gender discrimination in their own way in the United States of the 60’s; and become “firsts” in their fields of Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science at NASA. This brilliant film is again based on true events and shows how education and persistence, plus kindness and understanding from a few people around went a long way in building trust and respect for these deserving women who would’ve otherwise had to be satisfied with just being unheard, unseen “human computers”.

Two very touching stories, each of them trying to break down the “them and us” barriers in their own way.

An Australian couple who decides to adopt two children from across the globe, in spite of being perfectly capable of having children of their own, because “there are so many people out there who need us; why bring more people into the world?” A noble thought, to which they completely live up and raise two Indian boys as their own; give them an education and a family, a secure, safe and loving environment to grow up in; boys who would’ve otherwise probably languished in an orphanage with uncertain futures, end up with parents who love them more than anything else in the world. And a child who then goes back and finds his birth place and birth mother with the help of technology available in the 21st century and earns the love of both mothers, rather than keep wondering about what would’ve happened to the birth mother. The caste, race, religion of the parents or the children is no barrier here, the need to give and receive love is what matters. Dev Patel as the son and Nicole Kidman as the adoptive mother are both fabulous! The actual footage of the reunion when the two mothers and the son met together brings tears to the eyes!

“Hidden Figures”, (directed by Theodore Melfi) as a friend of mine so rightly said, is so relevant in the America of today where a lot of sections of the population are again insecure of being marginalised. And why only the United States, it is happening practically all over the world – on the one hand the world is virtually turning into a global village, while on the other, ghettoisation at every level is increasing day by day. So are we really coming closer or are we alienating ourselves, building walls between “us and them” again? People all over the world have fought really hard to break down these walls, and the story of these three gritty women shows us how difficult it was for black women, ( who were the lowest rung of the social classification, by the way, as per a survey; the highest rung being the white male with all the privileges) to earn the work, the degrees, the training and the money that they deserved. Leave alone all these things, how it was a fight to even get access to simple things like washrooms, libraries or classes at colleges. The only things on their side are the intellect that they are blessed with and a desire to make use of it and they do it with dignity and dedication and provide invaluable service at NASA to help put the first American astronaut into space and for the successive space missions as well.

Kudos to the directors, actors and producers of both the films. I would give a rating of 4.5/5 stars to both! Both of them must, must-watch productions for elders and children alike – inspiring biopics of ordinary people doing extraordinary things!