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Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Musical  |  8 May 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 61,929 users   Metascore: 84/100
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The people of a small village in Victorian India stake their future on a game of cricket against their ruthless British rulers...



(story), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gracy Singh ...
Elizabeth Russell
Suhasini Mulay ...
Rajah Puran Singh
Raghuvir Yadav ...
Bhura (as Raghuveer Yadav)
Rajendra Gupta ...
Rajesh Vivek ...
Shri Vallabh Vyas ...
Ishwar (as Sri Vallabh Vyas)
Javed Khan ...
Ram Singh
Rajendranath Zutshi ...
Ismail (as Raj Zutshi)
Akhilendra Mishra ...
Daya Shankar Pandey ...
Yashpal Sharma ...


This is the story about the resilience shown by the Indians when they were under the British Rule. They are already taxed to the bone by the British and their cronies, but when Jack Russell announces that he will double the Lagaan (tax) from all villagers, they decide to oppose it. Leading the villagers is a handsome young man named Bhuvan, who challenges them to a game of cricket, a game that is to be played by veteran British cricket players, versus villagers, including Bhuvan himself, who have never played this game before, and do not even know a bat from a piece of wood. As the challenge is accepted, the interest grows and attracts Indians from all over the region, as well as the British from all over the country - as everyone gathers to see the 'fair play' that the British will display against their counter-parts, who are aided by none other than the sister, Elizabeth, of Captain Rusell. Written by Sumitra (corrected by Sonia)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Once upon a time in India

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

8 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lagaan  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Preity Zinta was offered Gracy Singh' s role. But she could not commit 4 months to the film. See more »


The film although based in the year 1893 shows quite a few British Lieutenants to be clean-shaven. The British Indian Army regulated all commissioned officers to wear whiskers till 1910, so the lieutenants had to wear beards or at least moustaches. See more »


Narrator: And so, not just Champaner, but all the villages in the province did not have to pay Lagaan for three years. Captain Russell had to pay for his capricious behavior. Besides having to pay triple Lagaan, he was transferred to the Central African Desert. Elizabeth returned to England, holding Bhuvan in her heart. She did not marry and remained Bhuvan's Radha all her life. Bhuvan and Gauri had a splendid wedding. Raja Puran Singh himself came to bless the newly-weds, enhancing Champener's status ...
See more »


Featured in 50 Films to See Before You Die (2006) See more »


O Palanhaare
Music by A.R. Rahman
Lyrics by Javed Akhtar
Performed by Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Lagaan Once Upon A Time In India
23 January 2003 | by (United states Of America) – See all my reviews

This movie not only opened my eyes to the beatuies of india but also the hearts of India. I fell in love with this movie at once and I feel very close to all of the characters I know them and feel for them. The dancing and singing made my heart pound and my heart overwhelmed by the matchless beauty and I was imagining myself following along with Gauri. I love this story and I could watch it daily and never tire of the beauty it holds. I have always loved indian people and the culture which they live, I am American and have never visited India,soon I will visit in person and dreams of going there will no longer tug at me . I hope to one day perform the dances as well as those in the movie. I really loved that in the movie the characters were faced with such hardship but somehow they were of cheer and sang together and lifted one anothers spirits.I love this movie some may tire of its length but I wish it would continue forever. I want to be a part of it.

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