Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sia – "Never Give Up" (2016)

I'll keep getting up
When I hit the ground
Never give up, no

The movie Lion tells the story of a poor five-year-old Indian boy named Saroo who boarded a train to look for his older brother after the two became separated at the local railway station.  Saroo ended up in Calcutta, almost a thousand miles from his town where his family lived.

For several days, he survived on the streets.  Eventually, a concerned man took him to a police station.  But the way the Hindi-speaking Saroo pronounced the name of his hometown was impossible for Bengali-speaking officials in Calcutta to understand, so there was no way to reunite him with his family.

Lion is based on this book
Saroo was taken to a sort of orphanage, and was eventually adopted by the Brierlys, an Australian couple.

After he became an adult, Saroo began to use Google Earth to look for his hometown.  After years of needle-in-a-haystack searching, Saroo located satellite photos of one particular train station that matched up with his childhood memories of the station where he became separated from his brother.

I won’t tell you what happened next, but it’s an amazing story . . . and a true story to boot.

Lion stars Nicole Kidman as Saroo’s adoptive mother, Rooney Mara as his girlfriend, and Dev Patel as the adult Saroo.  (Patel was only 17 when he was cast in the starring role in Slumdog Millionaire.)

Sunny Pawar as the young Saroo
But the real star of the movie is eight-year-old Sunny Pawar, who plays the young Saroo.  

Here’s the movie trailer:

And here’s a video explaining how Saroo used Google Earth.  (Spoiler alert!)

Lion is based on Saroo’s book, A Long Way Home.  You can click here to buy that book from Amazon.

*     *     *     *     *

The song that plays during the closing credit sequence of Lion is “Never Give Up” by Sia, a 41-year-old Australian singer, songwriter and record producer.

Sia usually performs while wearing a half-blonde, half-black wig that covers much of her face because she doesn’t want to be famous, or recognizable.

She explained why she feels that way in a piece she wrote for Billboard magazine in 2013:

If anyone besides famous people knew what it was like to be a famous person, they would never want to be famous.  Imagine the stereotypical highly opinionated, completely uninformed mother-in-law character and apply it to every teenager with a computer in the entire world.  Then add in all bored people, as well as people whose job it is to report on celebrities.  Then, picture that creature, that force, criticizing you for an hour straight once a day, every day, day after day.

In 2014, Howard Stern asked Sia if she was religious during an interview.   “I believe in a higher power and it's called ‘Whatever Dude’ and he's a queer, surfing Santa that's a bit like my grandpa, so yes.”  She went on to say that “Whatever Dude” inspired the lyrics she wrote for Rihanna's #1 hit single, “Diamonds.”

Here’s “Never Give Up”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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