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Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)

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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.

Director:

Ashutosh Gowariker

Writers:

Ashutosh Gowariker (story), Ashutosh Gowariker (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Top Rated Indian Movies #66 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 47 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aamir Khan ... Bhuvan
Gracy Singh ... Gauri
Rachel Shelley ... Elizabeth Russell
Paul Blackthorne ... Captain Andrew Russell
Suhasini Mulay ... Yashodamai
Kulbhushan Kharbanda ... 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
Raj Zutshi ... Ismail
Akhilendra Mishra ... Arjan
Daya Shankar Pandey ... Goli
Yashpal Sharma ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi | English | Awadhi | Urdu

Release Date:

15 June 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Taxation: Once Upon a Time in India See more »

Filming Locations:

Bhuj, Gujarat, India

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$285,368, 17 June 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$70,147, 16 June 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie had the biggest number of British actors ever to be cast in a single movie in the history of Indian Cinema. See more »

Goofs

When Gauri is singing alone at the end of "Radha Kaise Na Jale", she inhales while singing. See more »

Quotes

Lakha: See how badly hurt I am?
Gauri: Hurt? It's my father you need. Not me. Father? Lakha has cut his hand.
Ishwar: He seems to cut his hand more than he cuts wood.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in PK (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Just One Word: Wow!
1 July 2005 | by hokeybuttSee 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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