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A Hindu man and a Muslim woman fall in love in a small village and move to Mumbai, where the have two children. However, growing religious tensions and erupting riots threaten to tear the family apart.
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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)
The movie was shot in villages of Bhuj (Gujarat). Bhuj was destroyed in an earthquake on 26th January 2001, six months after the movie was shot. See more »
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 »
[the other villagers are refusing to let an untouchable join the team]
Let me remind you all of one thing: this is not a game we are playing for fun and entertainment - this is a fight we must win.
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This was my first full-fledged trip into Bollywood and I couldn't have asked for a better entry. While there were some inconsistencies in sound, overall I loved the picture. Some of the songs and dances were breathtaking and emotionally charged. In particular the number where Bhuvan and the young boy are sitting on a hill and they're shrugging their shoulders, soon getting the village into the act. The other number where Bhuvan and Gauri re-enact the love of Krishna and Radha in exquisite dancing. Also there were many moments of stunning, breathtaking images, including the women of the village seated in the temple praying for salvation. Absolutely stunning.
While I feel some judicious pruning could have trimmed the nearly 4 hour long version I watched (the DVD of which included an additional 17 minutes cut from this version) the picture did not seem nearly as long as it really was.
Aamir Khan is such an instantly likable presence and Gracy Singh is simply irresistible as Gauri.
Paul Blackthorne was a hilarious, old-school villain right out of a penny dreadful melodrama and I mean this as a compliment.
Rachel Shelley's Elizabeth was a perfect blend of Victorian reserved beauty and free spirit and noble in her heartbreak.
So many other performances ran the gamut from old school "b" stereotypical characters to some original ideas.
The blending of melodrama (in its purest sense) true comedic moments (the hen keeper), self and enlightenment culminated in the scene where Bhuvan shocks the village by touching an untouchable; his stirring, heartfelt speech about brotherhood and putting away castes shaming the village into enlightenment.
Some of the criticism leveled at Lagaan is (I believe) unduly harsh. This is a charming movie and a perfect introduction into the joys of Bollywood.
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