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Mia and the White Lion

Opening Date
27 Dec 2018
98 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Gilles de Maistre
Mélanie Laurent, Ryan Mac Lennan, Lionel Newton
Ten-year-old Mia has her life turned upside down when her family decides to leave London to manage a lion farm in Africa. When a beautiful white lion, Charlie, is born, Mia finds happiness once again and develops a special bond with the growing cub. When Charlie reaches three, Mia’s life is rocked once again as she uncovers an upsetting secret kept hidden by her father. Distraught by the thought that Charlie could be in harm, Mia decides to run away with him. The two friends set out on an incredible journey across the South African savanna in search of another land where Charlie can live out his life in freedom.
By Kimberly  27 Dec 2018
Mia and the White Lion romanticizes South Africa’s vast plains, presenting it to be a paradise for animals.
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Mia and The White Lion is about Mia and her white lion, Charlie. Mia faces social isolation when her family relocated to South Africa. One day, her father brings home a white lion, Charlie from their lion farm. The first half of the film is filled with the frustration of raising a big cat in a house, as lions are meant to run free in the wild.
One day, Mia finds out that her father has been breeding and selling lions in the farm. Lions are brought into an enclosed area, the trophy game begins. Charlie is next on the list. Faced with this betrayal by her father whom she thought was breeding lions for the zoo, Mia’s next course of action is to save Charlie from the hands of these cold blooded canned lion hunters.
Mia’s story is one of bravery and have courage to do what is right, even when it seems like the whole world is against you. Charlie is highly sought after in the lion market as he is a rare, white lion. Her reckless courage to save Charlie makes her the target of the hunters wrath.

The underdevelopment of the antagonist makes him typical and boring. He comes across as just another violent and angry man who just wants to hunt to feel powerful. What should have been most poignant point of the film is the tension in the relationship between Mia and her father, as his actions are not entirely morally correct, but it puts the bread on the table. Yet, the lacklustre acting and chemistry between the actors do not bring through the emotions we are supposed to feel.
The film is shot like a documentary. The most action we get is when Mia crosses through a shopping centre with Charlie. The movie sequences are a bit choppy and the plot development is slow. Yet the movie romanticizes South Africa’s vast plains, presenting it to be a paradise for animals when Charlie finally successfully escapes into the wild. The call to action of the film is clear. Lions are not an endangered species, but they very well could be if canned lion hunting is not stopped in South Africa.
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