Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lagaan

Lagaan is an interesting mix of cricket and Indian nationalism in a single movie. Of course, with the mandatory love triangle :)

As with every Aamir Khan movie I saw so far, I greatly enjoyed it.

The story happens in the 19th century, at the time of the East India Company. The British are, as usually depicted in Indian cinema, abusing their power and cashing in big time. The story is about 'lagaan', an agricultural tax that gets doubled that year because the local Raja has begged the British commander to broker some treaty allowing his people to access a temple.

Of course, the people are not happy about that, especially since there is no rain that year.

The British commander is a prideful guy, and he decides to gamble a bit: he'll waive 3 year's worth of Lagaan if the local villagers can beat his team in cricket, but will make them pay the triple tax if they loose. And the villagers take the gamble.

The rest of the movie is about them trying to make sense of a game that has layers and layers of complexity built into it, trying to convince others to support them, etc.

Of course, there is a love triangle... one British lady falls 'in love' with the hero, who is himself about to get married to a village girl.

The dialogues are in pure Hindi, which means that even native speakers can hear words that won't sound familiar to them.

The storytelling weaves many threads together very nicely, and I enjoyed seeing an actual scenario after a few a-dime-a-dozen Indian movies lately.

Watch it, it is a must!

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