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Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

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Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

Cast Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley, Paul Blackthorne    more...
Director Ashutosh Gowariker
Romance / Drama / Musical / Sport
Hindi

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Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Synopsis

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.


The rains have failed, and the people of a small Indian village in Victorian India hope that they will be excused from paying the crippling land tax that their British rulers have imposed. Instead, the capricious British officer in charge challenges them to a game of cricket, a game totally alien and unknown to them. If they win, they get their wish; if they lose, however, the increased tax burden will destroy their lives. The people are terrified, but one man thinks the challenge is worth staking their entire future on. Will he convince the villagers to give it their best shot?


Circa late 1800s, India is ruled and governed by the British. A small rural town is asked to pay it's annual taxes to a British army captain. The Rajah of this town, Puran Singh, pleads before Captain Andrew Russell to reduce the levy as monsoons had not been adequate and as a result crops had suffered. But the Captain does not agree. Taking advantage of the simple-minded townspeople, he magnanimously makes a offer to play cricket with their team, if they win then there will no taxes levied, but if they lose then they will end up thrice the amount of taxes. The Rajah returns to confer with his subjects. A young man by the name of Bhuvan tells the Rajah that he will make up a team and that the Rajah should accept the Captain's challenge. The Rajah delightedly does so, much to the glee and amusement of the Captain. Then begins the task of selecting a team. Bhuvan finds this to be a real challenge, as no one has really played cricket, they do not even own a bat or a ball. The selection of the team is marred with problems as to religion and caste, with some men saying that they will never play in the same team with a person of a lower caste. Nevertheless, Bhuvan pushes on, and does manage to come up with eleven men. Then begins the practice, and Bhuvan finds an ally in Elizabeth Russell, Captain Russell's sister, who agrees to coach them on the sly. The team uses a large stick in place of a bat, and a round stone as a ball. Each player is assigned certain tasks, and the tension reverberates as the day of the actual match draws closer. News get around, and people from miles around flock to watch this match. They are joined by several senior ranking British Officers. This match now has become a prestige issue, and the British High Command makes it known that it not stand to lose face at any cost. Finally, the day arrives. The match begins. Bhuvan and the Rajah hope that they have covered all potholes, and hope for a miracle. But what the two had not banked on was treachery at the hands of one of their very own players, who had accepted a bribe from Captain Russell, to ensure that the Indian team loses.


In a small village of Champaner in North India in 1890s is a community of poor and innocent farmers who are happy ploughing, sowing, praying for the rains and reaping their harvest. Part of this community are Bhuvan Aamir a young farmer and Gauri Gracie Singh, his love. A spate of adversities strike them with the entry of a brute-like British army captain who challenges the locals to a cricket match. A dastardly character, he is planning, in the sly, to burden the villagers with a land tax Lagaan. One of the conditions of the game is that the loser will pay the state the land tax. The captain knows that the villagers are ignorant of the game and its rules and therefore be beating retreat against his trained players. Although poor, the villagers are people of self-respect. Led by Bhuvan they are ready to take on the Britons despite their ignorance of the game. Now comes to their rescue the army captain's younger sister Elizabeth Rachel Shelley. Firstly Elizabeth helps the rustic lads purely out of sympathy for them but later she grows affection for Bhuvan. But Bhuvan is fixated on one thing. With grit and determination he and villagers stand together against the ruthlessness of their perpetrators. Faith and courage comes face to face with arrogance and ruthlessness and what follows is spectacular climax of showdown between Indians and Britons.


Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Movie Info

Country : India
Distributor : B4U Entertainment
Movie sound: DTS / Dolby Digital
Movie color: Color
Language: Hindi
Genre: Romance / Drama / Musical / Sport
Release Date: Wednesday 8th of May 2002
Run Time: 224 min
Banner: Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Pvt. Ltd., Aamir Khan Productions Ltd.

Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Preview

Set in the latter half of the nineteenth century “Lagaan” is a film about the adversities and injustice perpetrated by the British upon the innocent peasants who face these extraordinary circumstances with fortitude and dignity.

It is Aamir Khan's maiden home production and is written and directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar whose earlier directorial attempt “Baazi” proved to be a dud at the box office.

The film casts Aamir Khan, Gracie Singh (of Amaanat fame) and a host of Indian and British actors including Jessica Radcliffe and Rachel Shelley. AR Rahman's music in the film is folkish and have a beautiful amalgamation of Indian and western instruments. And the costumes are by Bhanu Athaiya who had done the costumes for Richard Attenborough's “Gandhi”.

In a small village of Champaner in North India in 1890s is a community of poor and innocent farmers who are happy ploughing, sowing, praying for the rains and reaping their harvest. Part of this community are Bhuvan (Aamir) a young farmer and Gauri (Gracie Singh), his love.

A spate of adversities strike them with the entry of a brute-like British army captain who challenges the locals to a cricket match. A dastardly character, he is planning, in the sly, to burden the villagers with a land tax (Lagaan). One of the conditions of the game is that the loser will pay the state the land tax. The captain knows that the villagers are ignorant of the game and its rules and therefore be beating retreat against his trained players.

Although poor, the villagers are people of self-respect. Led by Bhuvan they are ready to take on the Britons despite their ignorance of the game. Now comes to their rescue the army captain's younger sister Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley). Firstly Elizabeth helps the rustic lads purely out of sympathy for them but later she grows affection for Bhuvan.

But Bhuvan is fixated on one thing. With grit and determination he and villagers stand together against the ruthlessness of their perpetrators. Faith and courage comes face to face with arrogance and ruthlessness and what follows is spectacular climax of showdown between Indians and Britons.





 
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Aamir Khan releases documentary on journey of ‘Lagaan’

Gracy Singh performs at Ravindra Natya Mandir
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Reviews 
Movie Review : The Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Review (3/5)
Lagaan,” as Aamir puts it, “has not been an easy film to make”. When its director Ashutosh Gowarikar first narrated the idea to him, he brushed it off without showing any enthusiasm. But Ashutosh didn't give up and worked on the script and it's subtleties for a good five months. And when he ...
Music Review : The Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Review (3/5)
A. R. Rahman is again at his prodigious best. His score for Aamir Khan's period drama Lagaan is a delectable blend of Indian classical music, folk melodies and jazzy snazzy tunes.The film is a period drama set in 1890 in a remote village in central India. In his compositions, Rahman c...
Most Favourable User Review : so great (5/5)
amazing movie, glad to be nominated in oscar& hoped to be win... more
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Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Photos 
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India


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