Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

May 8, 2002 0 By Fans
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Still of Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh in Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in IndiaStill of Aamir Khan and Daya Shankar Pandey in Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in IndiaAshutosh Gowariker in Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in IndiaStill of Javed Khan, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Rachel Shelley in Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in IndiaStill of Paul Blackthorne, Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh in Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in IndiaStill of Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh in Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India


The people of a small village in Victorian India stake their future on a game of cricket against their ruthless British rulers…

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 8.1/10 (16,867 voted)

Critic's Score: 84/100

Ashutosh Gowariker

Stars: Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley

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.

Writers: Ashutosh Gowariker, Ashutosh Gowariker


Aamir Khan


Gracy Singh


Rachel Shelley

Elizabeth Russell

Paul Blackthorne

Captain Andrew Russell

Suhasini Mulay


Kulbhushan Kharbanda

Rajah Puran Singh

Raghuvir Yadav


(as Raghuveer Yadav)

Rajendra Gupta


Rajesh Vivek


Shri Vallabh Vyas


(as Sri Vallabh Vyas)

Javed Khan

Ram Singh

Rajendranath Zutshi


(as Raj Zutshi)

Akhilendra Mishra


Daya Shankar Pandey


Yashpal Sharma


Once upon a time in India


Official Website:
Aamir Khan Productions / indiatimes (warning: opens a big window, flash only) |
Aamir Khan Productions [India] (English) |

Release Date: 8 May 2002

Filming Locations: Bhuj, Gujarat, India

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,000,000


Opening Weekend: $285,368
(17 June 2001)
(34 Screens)

Gross: $835,767
(8 July 2001)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Model turned actress Sonali Bendre was interested in playing "Gauri" but Aamir Khan rejected her, felt that she looked much like a Westerner.


When Kachra takes his first wicket he hits the OFF Stump. Later in the next scene it shows that he hit the MIDDLE stump and the OFF Stump is not at all moved.


[the other villagers are refusing to let an untouchable join the team]

Let me remind you all of one thing: this is not a game we are playing for fun and entertainment – this is a fight we must win.

User Review

Boy, was I surprised!

Rating: 10/10

Okay, I am not from India, not even close. I am from Scandinavia.
Before Lagaan I had never watched any Hindi movies of any
I know about 3 words from the hindi language. And I don't like musicals
I viewed the movie on a DVD of rather poor quality compared to the state
the art DVDs I am used to. And I was told the movie lasted close to 4(!)
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
The Britons exploit the villages by collecting lagaan (tax). This means
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
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
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
If the villagers win, there will be no lagaan at all, for three
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
Lata Mangeshkar etc. And the dancing is a chapter in itself!
Few or none will leave this movie not remembering the song "Mitwa, sun
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
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!