: When Godse (Balakrisha) wakes up from a coma, he's shocked to find out that he has forgotten his past. The rest of the story is about how he unravels the mystery behind his true identity and the political conspiracy which wrecks his life.
: It's true what people in Telugu film industry say about Balakrishna - he's a director's actor. He believes in every scene, dialogue and action sequence, no matter how over-the-top they are. And, he is every bit the hero that the director wants him to be. It is this earnestness in him that shines like a beacon, irrespective of what the fate of the film is. And that is pretty much what one can talk about in the context of his latest action drama, Lion. Directed by Satyadeva, the film is an action drama which, more often than not, finds itself in a mess.
The film opens in a hospital, where Godse (Balakrishna) wakes up from a coma for a long time. He doesn't remember his past and is surprised when an elderly couple, played by Chandramohan and Jayasudha, claim to be his parents. Soon, he comes to Hyderabad in search of his true identity and he bumps into Mahalakshmi (Trisha), who he believes is his girlfriend. When she tells him that it's a case of mistaken identity, Godse is taken aback and he meets a similar fate when he meets his parents as well. What's the reason behind their denial? Is Godse really the man he claims to be? That forms the crux of rest of this story.
A film like this requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, especially when it comes to the gravity-defying stunt sequences. In one particular scene, Balakrishna is airlifted and moments later, he breaks himself free and lands on the ground without a scratch on his body. And there's plenty of mumbo-jumbo about firewall security, tracking devices to name a few. While the intent to mount the film on a huge scale is palpable, the biggest let down of the film is the storytelling itself. It's so convoluted right till the end. There are flashbacks within a flashback and by the time you know what's happening, the basic plotline stops making sense. The first half is drab, although, to be fair, the film picks up momentum from the interval scene onwards.
Lion has a huge star-cast, but not a single one of them, except Balakrishna and to an extent, Prakash Raj, has any substantial roles to play. Perhaps, the only saving grace is the background score by Mani Sharma and few power-packed dialogues. At a run time of 160 minutes, Lion feels excruciatingly long, and despite several twists and turns the story is barely engaging. And you can't help but wonder if Balakrishna, along with the rest of the cast, deserved something better.
Check out the trailer of the film here: