15 July 2004 | claudio_carvalho
A Magnificent and Overwhelming Fairytale – An Oscar Deserving
In 1893, India was a colony of England. The starving native farmers had to pay an imposed tax to the British soldiers for the protection of their lands, delivering most of their harvest to the British Queen. In those years, the lands were very dry due to the lack of rain, and the inhabitants of Champaner decide to request to their Rajah Puran Singh (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) to waive the taxes. While waiting for the Rajah, Bhuvan (Aamir Khan), the beloved friend of Gauri (Gracy Singh), comments that the silly game of cricket was a stupid game, comparable to the Indian child game 'gilli-danda'. The nasty and arrogant Captain Andrew Russell (Paul Blackthorne), who had had a previous discussion with Bhuvan, listens to his comment and challenges Bhuvan to play a match against the British team, imposing the following condition: if the natives win the game, they would not need to pay Lagaan for the next three years. Otherwise, they would triplicate their payment in that year. Bhuvan accepts the bet despite of the opinion of his people. The sister of Captain Russell, Elizabeth Russell (Rachel Shelley), finds the competition unfair to the Indians and decides to help Bhuvan and his friends, teaching them how to play cricket.
This movie is a magnificent and overwhelming fairytale. It really deserved an Oscar nomination! The nice and well-directed story has wonderful songs and interpretations, romance, treason, dispute, drama, beautiful messages, outstanding choreography, being a stunning film indicated as family entertainment. The expensive Brazilian DVD is a shame, showing a total lack of respect of the 'Columbia Tristar Home Video' with the Brazilian costumers: the important songs do not have subtitles in Portuguese. I changed the option in the 'Menu' to 'English', and there were subtitles in English. At least in the opinion of the ridiculous Columbia representatives, Brazilians shall learn English first to understand the wonderful lyrics sang in Hindi. I feel really sorry for those who cannot understand English, since they will miss the meaning of these songs. It is amazing how 225 minutes running time passes so fast when you see such a marvelous movie. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): 'Lagaan – A Coragem de Um Povo' ('Lagaan – The Courage of a People')