Teen Guna Lagaan
Cricket, good songs and unrequited love, this movie was a perfect mix of everything that India loves. Lagaan was premiered today in 2001, setting up new standards of entertainment.
Probably the only match finished in style with a six that compares with Dhoni sealing India’s win at the 2011 World Cup was that from the movie Lagaan.
The Indian team, a mosaic of farmers, labourers, herders and even fortune tellers managed to defeat the Gora Sahibs with their grit and resolve. A six made them win not just the match but also their pride and three years of no taxation. Needless to say, the audience was served.
Be it the storyline, or costumes by Oscar-winning Bhanu Athiya or the impeccable music score of A.R. Rahman or the mesmerising lyrics by Javed Akhtar, the movie was an absolute treat in many ways. All the actors fit into their roles perfectly, making the characters jump out of the movie screen.
Lagaan was a beacon of hope for Bollywood.
The film premiered on 15th June 2001 and became an instant hit. From fans to critics, everyone enjoyed it. For many, it was the relatability of the characters that made them love it. Themes of romance, hope, despair, joy, esteem are laced in the holistic storyline. The periodic setting in the pre-Independence era also gives it a unique twist.
Aamir Khan as the charming Bhuvan, Gracy Singh as the chirpy Gauri and British actress Rachel Shelley as Elizabeth made for a love triangle that set well within the entire narration, without coming off as forced like usual Bollywood romantic dramas.
The making of the film was not an easy task. Taking inspiration from B.R. Chopra’s Naya Daur, director Ashutosh Gowariker took the script to Khan.
The male lead was selected but finding a producer and the female protagonists took a lot of time. Eventually, Gauri was also secured but the search for a producer wasn’t coming to an end. Khan finally said that he would be the producer and thus his production company was established.
After much hard work, the film was finally ready. But before the grand release, another thing had to be done. Amir had promised that the residents of Bhuj, their main shooting location, would be the first ones to enjoy the movie.
All was set. The wait was finally over. Everything was ready. Lagaan was released and proved to be a blockbuster despite clashing with another superhit movie Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. In the domestic market, it collected ₹1.87 billion. Adding on the overseas earnings, the film grossed approximately ₹3.72 billion.
With all its critical acclaim, the movie won many international and national awards. It was also India’s third submission for the Oscars.
More than a decade has passed since Lagaan first came into theatres and it still remains a go-to watch for many.