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Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)

 -  Adventure | Drama | Musical  -  8 May 2002 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 40,815 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 231 user | 70 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

The people of a small village in Victorian India stake their future on a game of cricket against their ruthless British rulers...

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Top 250 #218 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 44 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gracy Singh ...
...
Elizabeth Russell
...
Suhasini Mulay ...
Yashodamai
...
Rajah Puran Singh
Raghuvir Yadav ...
Bhura (as Raghuveer Yadav)
Rajendra Gupta ...
Mukhiya
Rajesh Vivek ...
Guran
Shri Vallabh Vyas ...
Ishwar (as Sri Vallabh Vyas)
Javed Khan ...
Ram Singh
...
Ismail (as Raj Zutshi)
Akhilendra Mishra ...
Arjan
Daya Shankar Pandey ...
Goli
Yashpal Sharma ...
Lakha
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Once upon a time in India


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

8 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lagaan  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ashutosh Gowariker:  an untouchable and a widower. See more »

Goofs

After the first day's play, the direction of light-and-shade don't seem to correlate to the time-of-day (may be this is continuity?) See more »

Quotes

[Russell comes back from his meeting with the senior soldiers, where they got mad about the tax cancellation, a soldier salutes and walks by... ]
Capt. Russell: Is that the way a soldier behaves? You're SUPPOSED TO SALUTE when a superior officer passes!
British Soldier: I did, Sir.
Capt. Russell: I didn't see it!
British Soldier: [Salutes]
Capt. Russell: That's better.
Lt. Smith: I imagine your meeting didn't go quite as expected, sir?
Capt. Russell: Damn right it didn't! The senile old hats want to teach me how to run the show. They've lost their sense of adventure with age!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Ghanan Ghanan
Music by A.R. Rahman
Lyrics by Javed Akhtar
Performed by Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan,
Kishori Gowariker, Shaan and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just One Word: Wow!
1 July 2005 | by (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

LAGAAN (4+ outta 5 stars) Years of subjugation and unfair taxation by the British Empire come to a head and the inhabitants of a small Indian farming community face off against their evil oppressors... in a cricket match??? This may seem like a ridiculous idea for a movie (and I won't even mention the fact that it's a musical) but this was the most exciting and wonderful movie I've seen in quite some time. Yes, it all comes down to a cricket match between the upper class British twits and the neophyte Indian farmers... and the movie is almost FOUR HOURS long... but, wow... what a movie this is! The slow building of trust and community among the usually-bickering villagers as they prepare for their ultimate battle is both fascinating and inspiring. It's like watching The Magnificent Seven or The Wild Bunch gathering together for a big showdown... only instead of shooting and killing... there's cricket! A cocky British Captain (Paul Blackthorne) makes a deal with the proud, young Bhuvan (Aamir Khan): he will give the entire region three years of no taxes if they can defeat the British cricket team... but if they lose they have to pay triple tax this year. Since there has been no rain all season and they can't even pay their regular taxes... this becomes a tense, do-or-die situation. Aamir Khan is terrific in the lead (he resembles a cross between Tony Curtis, Peter Sellers and Al Pacino). He is always believable, whether trying to inspire his fellow villagers or facing his English enemies in stony silence or wooing his the lovely Gauri (Gracy Singh) with song and dance. Great story! Great music! Don't miss this one!


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