The Good Lie

2014-11-07 10:19
What's it about:

They were known simply as “The Lost Boys.” Orphaned by the brutal Civil war in Sudan that began in 1983, these young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort took 3 600 lost boys and girls to America. This is the story of their survival and triumph in life.

What we thought:

I have to admit when I watched the trailer of The Good Lie I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, here we go again; another movie where the Americans save everyone, like they always seem to do in movies.

And who can blame me for thinking that this movie would be about Reese Witherspoon playing the saviour when it has been marketed that way? The poster itself is made up of a giant close up of her.

The Good Lie is based on the real life events of an American woman Carrie (Reese Witherspoon), an employment counsellor who helps four young Sundanese refugees known as The Lost Boys after they are relocated to the US.

The Lost Boys is the name given to children who were displaced and orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War.

And this is where the story begins. In Sudan we meet Mamere, Abital and their older brother Theo. In the first few minutes of the movie tragedy strikes and the entire village is wiped out. Leaving the children to fend for themselves. Theo leads his siblings and some other children on the path to Kenya. So the kids set out across enemy infested territory to gain their freedom. On the way there they meet up with thousands of other refugees and meet Paul and Jeremiah.

But tragedy strikes their little group when Theo sacrifices himself to protect the others when they encounter rebel soldiers.

Fast forward thirteen years to the refugee camp in Kenya, Mamere (Arnold Oceng), Jeremiah (Ger Duany), Paul (Emmanuel Jal) and Abital (Nyakuoth Wiel) are all grown up and they are selected to emigrate to the United States.
When they reach Kansas, the group is torn apart when Abital is separated from the rest of her family. She is sent to Washington.

And so the boys set out to get their sister back and enlist the help of Carrie and her boss, Jack (Corey Stoll) while navigating this new world they find themselves in.

There are some really funny scenes as the boys learn how to use a light switch, when they mistake the phone for an alarm, when for the first time they hear a joke and their first bite of that American staple pizza.

But adapting to this new life is not easy and each of them struggle with their memories and personal demons of their past experiences.

What makes this movie so poignant is the cast. The male leads are themselves real Lost Boys. The acting is earnest and their  real life experiences showed in their performances. And it’s because of them that the movie is not the corny fodder that you expect it to be at first glance.

Reese Witherspoon might be the big name but she is merely a supporting role. This story is about The Lost Boys, their story and how they saved each other. You cannot help but be moved as you witness their determination and will to survive as a group, a family and not as individuals.

The Good Lie is a story told from the heart making it a must-see.
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