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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)
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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