Mumbai: Emotions are the same everywhere and Canadian director Philippe Falardeau's "The Good Lie" (‘Fandango') is the story about how people from two continents, with different cultural, social and economic backgrounds connect on an emotional level.
Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon may be the current red carpet style queen, but she has shed her glamorous avatar for her role in the film. And the actress, often remembered as a fashion savvy upper class girl with a brain in "Legally Blonde" or a chic designer in "Sweet Home Alabama", wows with her so-natural performance in this tale of survival that covers two continents.
Oscar-nominated Falardeau's story of "lost boys" from Sudan and their survival was screened in the World Cinema section, which presented 40 films from various parts of the world, at the ongoing Mumbai Film Festival (MFF).
The director of movies like "The Left-Hand Side of the Fridge" and award-winning "Monsieur Lazhar", Falardeau reportedly found an instant connect with writer Margaret Nagle's script about the survivors of the Sudanese civil war.
It wasn't difficult for Falardeau, whose connection with Sudan goes a long way, to relate to the story for many reasons. First, in 1994 he visited the country as a cameraman while working on the documentary "Waiting", and later he worked on the similar theme in his film "Monsieur Lazhar", which was Canada's official entry for the Best Foreign Language film at the 84th Oscars.
Falardeau's story begins in Sudan during the time when civil war broke out in the country. It revolves around a bunch of young survivors, who walk miles and miles while coping with hunger, pain and loss of their loved ones, to reach a safer shelter. They find refuge in a camp and wait for years to be rescued and finally four of them are brought to the US as part of an outreach program.
Of them, three ‘lost boys' - essayed by Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany and Emmanuel Jal - are sent to Kansas City, while the fourth one, played by Kouth Wiel, is separated from them at the airport as she is sent to another city.
How the three immigrants try to adjust in the new environ while dealing with pain and loss and how they gradually find an emotional connect with Carrie (Witherspoon), who spares no effort to reunite them with their sister, is the high point of the story.
Witherspoon is bang on as a no-nonsense, American woman, who agrees to help the refugees in settling down and finding a living after they win a lottery for relocation to the US.
After wowing the audience at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, "The Good Lie" opened to a rousing review in the US early this month.
Despite a tinge of Hollywood flavour, the touching tale of the lost boys strikes a chord with the audience.