Lagaan (2001)

lagaan movie
via – Sony Entertainment Television

Today we will talk about Hindi cinema’s one of the finest movie Lagaan. We will take a look at the movie’s overview, its review, story, start cast & crew details, and I have also analyzed important and crucial characters of the movie.

As we all know that Lagaan is the most applauded sports-drama movie in Hindi cinema; what makes this movie so affective is its smooth script, characters and emotions tied with them. The movie is among the lengthiest films of all times with a run time of 3:45 hours. However, Lagaan doesn’t not become still at any point; screenplay goes slowly but things keep happening.

The movie can be divided into three parts, first is where the director Ashutosh Gowariker builds the story, second is where the villagers prepare for the cricket match and the last is the cricket match itself. The fascinating thing here is that the cricket match sequence is of more than an hour which embarks intensity in the movie.

Though Aamir Khan’s character of Bhuvan is in the focus most times but you also take other characters such as hilarious Guran and silent Bagha home. Also, what makes Lagaan more affective is the love between Bhuvan and Gauri where she becomes desperate for him because of Elizabeth Russell who teaches the villagers cricket. This love triangle essence is kept till the very end and doesn’t get faded even after a glorious cricket win.

Lagaan Plot

Set in a small village in India named Champaner during the British Raj in the year 1893.

At the border of Champaner there is the residence of the province’s East India Company’s branch. And, nearby there is the palace of King Puran Singh. Britishers take heavy taxes from the king in order to protect him from other kingdoms.  The king collects tax from all the villagers in the province. Britishers play the same game with the nearby kingdoms as well and hence generate a ton of revenue. However, it has been a few years since rain in Champaner and the farmers feel that they are not able to pay taxes this year.

King Puran Singh and the villagers believe that because of them not worshiping in a Hindu temple since years is the cause of drought. However, the temple is now in Puran Singh’s rebel cousin’s kingdom. He visits to Captain Andrew Russell of the East India Company where he asks for his help, but Andrew tries to humiliate the king by ordering the vegetarian to eat meat. When the king denies, Andrew orders to collect double tax this year as the penalty of last year’s half tax.

When the villagers of Champaner come to know about this cruel announcement; they visit to the king to have mercy on them. While begging to the king, Captain Andrew opens a bet to Bhuvan whom he hates. He puts a condition that if the villagers beat the Britishers in a cricket match then all the taxes will be forgiven of the entire province not only Champaner. But, if they lose then the tax will be tripled. To make Bhuvan say yes, Andrew increases the bet and makes the tax cancelled for three years. While villagers try to shut Bhuvan, he accepts the challenge.

Upon reaching the village, Bhuvan gets criticized badly but he tries to justify his decision. Soon, the raged people of nearby villages come to punish Bhuvan for his stupid decision. They take him to the king to abandon the bet. However, the matter has been out of king’s control and he suggests preparing for the game. Bhuvan, along with a team of a few watches a cricket game of Britishers to learn basics. There, the sister of Captain Andrew named Elizabeth has her eyes on them. She promises Bhuvan and mates to help them learn the game.

The training gets started and gradually more villagers agree to be with Bhuvan where he comes across villagers who have different skills that can complement them as a cricket player. He finds talent of villagers such as Bhura who is great with catching, Goli who is good with aiming and can be a good bowler. Meanwhile, Bhuvan’s girl Gauri becomes desperate when she notices Elizabeth’s charming attitude towards Bhuvan.

While the practice goes on, there is still lack of a few players to complete the team. There, a man from a different village named Deva Singh who is skilled in the game joins the team, followed by Ismail. However, there is villager named Lakha who hates Bhuvan more than Captian Andrew does because he wants to have Gauri with him.

Lakha visits to Captian Andrew and tells him about Elizabeth’s help to the villagers. Andrew orders Elizabeth to not go outside and get back to London soon. Moreover, Andrew instructs Lakha to join Bhuvan’s team as a traitor. Upon convincing the villagers and completing a task, Lakha gets into the team.

The upcoming cricket game challenge becomes more intense when the British Headquarter calls and criticizes Andrew on his childish bet. He is told that if he loses than he will be transferred to Africa and has to pay the tax himself to the British Empire.

Moreover, Elizabeth visits to Bhuvan for the last time and expresses her feelings for him but only in English that Bhuvan can’t understand.

Having prepared for a few months, there is need of one more player. Bhuvan finds that Kachra who is paralyzed spins that ball well and includes him in the team. However, because of being of a low cast, villagers deny to play with him. Bhuvan opens their eyes and tells them that it is not a fun game and they have to win at any cost. Thereafter, a good looking team of 11 players gets constructed.

The first day of the match begins where Captian Andrew wins the toss and chooses to bat first. Lieutenant Smith and Warden open the batting and the score goes very well. Bhuvan gives the ball to the spinner Kachra but it doesn’t work as the ball is new. Then, Deva takes the ball and soon he hits the stumps, but it is a no-ball. Things get balanced for Champaner’s team when Goli picks a few wickets with his unusual action. However, soon the game shifts towards the British team. Meanwhile, Lakha keeps misfielding and helps his team to lose. By the end of the first day, the score is 182 for 2 wickets.

At the night, Elizabeth watches Lakha in the mansion and gets to know about his traitorous character. She quickly visits to the village and tells about it to the villagers. Lakha escapes in a temple from the raged villagers where Bhuvan gives him a chance.

On the second day of the game, Bhuvan notices that Kachra is now spinning the ball and decides to give him the ball. British team’s batting order gets destroyed by Kachra when he takes a hat-trick. But the final score reaches to 322.

Bhuvan and Deva Singh open for Champaner and build a solid partnership. The score reaches to 71 and Deva is about to complete his half century. However, due to lack of attention he gets run out. Thereafter, the Champaner loses back to back wickets with Lakha and Ismail badly injured. Bhuvan and Ishwar build a decent partnership but old Ishwar’s stamina makes him run out. Because of some crazy hitters like Guran and a steady partnership with Ismail, the match reaches to the final over where Chamaper needs 10 runs. On the last ball it needs 5 runs to win but on the strike is Kachra and he gets out. While the Britishers starts celebrating, the umpire declares it a no ball and now Bhuvan gets on strike and hits a six.

Chamapner proudly wins the game and it also rains, and the situation makes the farmers blessed. The British Empire decides to remove its residence from the province after such shameful lose. While leaving, Elizabeth says good bye to all and remain unmarried in her life for Bhuvan.

Important Characters

Elizabeth Russell: Along with being in love with Bhuvan, her character pours more drama in the film and also plays a crucial role. She teaches the villagers all the rules of cricket and contributes a lot in their win.

Captain Andrew Russell: He is the main villain of the movie and his ruthlessness is showcased in the initial scenes of the movie where he hunts animals and humiliates the king for his joy.

Lakha: Lakha’s character might not have shown much in the movie but the impact he makes on the game is big. He cheats with his own team and makes the entire province in trouble to avenge on Bhuvan.

Gauri: Gauri’s character brings more drama and romance in the movie as she becomes protective for Bhuvan and due to her Lakha also traits with his team.

Deva Singh: The director and writer Ashutosh Gowariker brings Deva into the movie to make things logical. Deva is introduced as a rebel of Britishers who had played the game of cricket before and is good with batting and bowling. He gives a steady start to Champaner with his 49 runs. As there was no Batsman except Bhuvan, Deva’s character was a need in the movie.

About Ayush Chandra

Hello Movie Fans, I am Ayush from Aligarh city India. I love to analyze and write about movies, so I am here to share with you interesting and comprehensive articles on Movies. I especially like to review Movies.

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