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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 63,244 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 243 user | 71 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.



(story), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 44 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gracy Singh ...
Suhasini Mulay ...
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:





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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
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Did You Know?


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


When Kachra takes his first wicket he hits the OFF Stump. Later in the next scene it shows that he hit the MIDDLE stump and the OFF Stump is not at all moved. See more »


Burton: [smugly hits Yardley's ball for 4] How was that?
Yardley: [bowls a fast ball, knocking Burton back onto his own wicket, sarcastically] How was *that*?
See more »


Featured in Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage (2002) See more »


O Rey Chhori
Music by A.R. Rahman
Lyrics by Javed Akhtar
Performed by Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik and Vasundhara Das
See more »

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User Reviews

A must see for all Indian cricket fans!
18 June 2001 | by (Chennai) – See all my reviews

Initially I was warned about the length of the movie-3hrs and 50 mins.But believe me, its worth it.There is a refreshing Indian-ness about the movie,which is welcome after a recent bout of Hollywood remakes in Hindi that have become such an eye-sore.

The emotion that Indians share about cricket is effectively taken advantage of(the cricket match played between villagers of Champaner and the British officers which forms the climax ,extends to about an hour and a half).

The best part of the movie is the characterization of the eleven players (villagers).Aamir Khan is at his best in this movie and Gracie Singh lives the role of Gauri.The acting talents of the British actors esp. that of the officer Captain Russel(played by Paul Blackthorne) is notable.

There was never a boring moment in the film, the dialogues and songs' lyrics are very meaningful.And lastly I must appreciate the work behind the entire cricket sequence as it covers most of the aspects of the game and not to mention - match fixing,sledging,body line bowling ,making it gripping till the last ball! A must see for Indian cricket fans!

42 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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