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Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)

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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(story), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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3,741 ( 400)
Top Rated Indian Movies #41 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 44 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Yashodamai
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...
Bhura (as Raghuveer Yadav)
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Mukhiya
...
Guran
Shri Vallabh Vyas ...
Ishwar (as Sri Vallabh Vyas)
...
Ram Singh
...
Ismail (as Raj Zutshi)
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Arjan
...
Goli
...
Lakha
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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

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Language:

| | |

Release Date:

8 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lagaan  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The village shown in the film is titled Champaneer, which is supposed to be located in Madhya Pradesh. This is a fictitious place, but there is a place called Champaneer near Vadodara that is now a World Heritage Site. Coincidently, Vadodara and Bhuj, where the film was shot, are in the same state of Gujarat. See more »

Goofs

The game of cricket is a test match. Bhuvan's team can't lose the match if the stipulated time is over. The match should end in a draw. See more »

Quotes

Umpire: No ball!
Capt. Russell: [as he and Yardley, slightly incredulous, go over to the umpire] What?
Umpire: No ball!
Yardley: You're kidding me...
Capt. Russell: "No ball"? What do you mean, "no ball"?
Umpire: His foot was over the line.
Capt. Russell: [Turning to Yardley] Yardley?
Yardley: Are you quite certain, umpire?
Umpire: I am not discussing it any further, sir. I suggest we get on with the game.
Capt. Russell: Very well...
[...]
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Chale Chalo
Music by A.R. Rahman
Lyrics by Javed Akhtar
Performed by A.R. Rahman, Srinivas and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
As a sports movie, "Lagaan" is dramatized with great élan and suspense…

The setting is historical… The year is 1893… The British Raj imposes heavy taxes on the poor villagers despite all the problems droughts have caused on their income…

An arrogant army captain—unknown to him that his sister has fallen in love with a sensitive idealistic—confident in his countrymen's ability, offers the people relief if they can beat the fearsome British team at a game of cricket…

Despite its closeness to the conventions, "Lagaan" proved to be a break-out film… Besides the graceful and enchanting attractions of the song-and-dance sequences, it has a plot carefully fashioned to a special kind of audience—audience who likes sports movies…

They are minor characters compared to the captain's pretty sister (Rachel Shelley), who not only upholds the British tradition of fair play but also loses her heart to the handsome Indian hero…


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