1 March 2002 | Morten H.
Boy, was I surprised!
Okay, I am not from India, not even close. I am from Scandinavia. Before Lagaan I had never watched any Hindi movies of any kind. I know about 3 words from the hindi language. And I don't like musicals much. I viewed the movie on a DVD of rather poor quality compared to the state of the art DVDs I am used to. And I was told the movie lasted close to 4(!) hours... I figured this would be a complete waste of time... BOY was I wrong! This movie is completely the opposite! It is just amazing! Mr. Gowariker has selected an incredible cast with Aamir Khan in the lead. He makes an stunning performance as the village rebel, Bhuvan. He tries to unite the village in a struggle for life against the greedy Britons. The Britons exploit the villages by collecting lagaan (tax). This means that most of the harvest surplus is gone and there is just enough left for food for the farmers themselves. It's a classic war between "David", the native villagers of India, and "Goliath", the powerful and greedy Britons. But what makes it really interesting is that this war is fought in a Cricket arena. This is a challenge from the Britons, who are well known with Cricket, against the village, where most people have never laid eyes upon a cricket bat. If the villagers win, there will be no lagaan at all, for three years! And if the Britons win, they will collect triple lagaan, which will mean the end of the village. The stakes could not be higher!!
I can't remember a movie being this thrilling and having so much life in it. And the music has a huge impact thanks to the great voices of Udit Narayan, Lata Mangeshkar etc. And the dancing is a chapter in itself! Few or none will leave this movie not remembering the song "Mitwa, sun Mitwa". It is a must see for everyone, inside and outside of India. And this movies has been totally righteously nominated for an Oscar too, and I wouldn't be surprised if it goes all the way to the top. It has my vote! It gets 10 out of 10 from me. Excellent!