Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

October 13, 202187/1002162 min
Year
2001
Director
India,United Kingdom
Age
7+
Country
India,United Kingdom
Runtime
224.0
Language
Hindi,English
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Imdb
81%
Rotten tomatoes
94%
vod-news
88%
Rating Summary
"Lagaan" is an enormously entertaining movie, like nothing we've ever seen before, and yet completely familiar. Set in India in 1893, it combines sports with political intrigue, romance with evil scheming, musical numbers with low comedy and high drama, and is therefore soundly in the tradition of the entertainments produced by the Bombay film industry, "Bollywood," which is the world's largest

One of the most expensive films ever to come out of Bollywood, Lagaan tells the tale of the Indian village Champaner, beset by drought and British colonialism in the year 1893. Without a drop of rain in months, the worried villagers of Champaner decide to ask the local authorities for a temporary repeal of their taxes — the hated lagaan. Led by the heroic Bhuvan (Indian superstar Aamir Khan) they bring their plight to the military governor, Captain Russell (Paul Blackthorne). But the sadistic Russell threatens to raise the lagaan threefold, unless the villagers can beat his men at a game of cricket, in which case he’ll lift taxes on the entire province for a period of three years. Bhuvan accepts the challenge, but there’s a problem — no one in Champaner knows how to play cricket. A band of misfits come to the rescue, coached by Russell’s soft-hearted sister Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley), and the race is on to be ready in three months’ time. An epic reworking of Victory with eye-popping song-and-dance routines, Lagaan was a major cinematic event in India upon its release.

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