- Published: October 24, 2022
- Updated: October 24, 2022
- University / College: Princeton University
- Level: Intermediate School
- Language: English
- Downloads: 33
In the year 1893, due to famine, when the farmers were not able to have enough crops from their lands, they pleaded with their British masters for some leniency in paying ‘Lagaan’, but the masters were least impressed. Instead, the villagers were told to deposit their Lagaan as soon as possible. In a mocking mood, Captain Russell (played by Paul Blackthorne) threw a challenge to the farmers, that if they can defeat the British soldier’s team in the game of cricket, they won’t have to pay any Lagaan. Bhuwan, the leading character played by the producer actor, Amir Khan, accepted the challenge. Initially, most of the villagers laughed at Bhuwan for accepting such a challenge, but gradually they saw in him a ray of hope and started preparing for a game – called ‘cricket’.
The film is interspersed with some musical dance sequences, the trademark of Indian movies in particular. Gauri, played by Gracy Singh is the female lead in the film. She is in love with Bhuwan and keeps encouraging him during the preparation for the game of cricket. But, Elizabeth Russell, the better half of Captain Russell somehow develops a soft corner for the villagers and their issues and in the process finds herself attracted to Bhuwan, which is of course not liked by Gauri. But, the storyline of the film is so strongly built around the main subject, that nowhere does it appear to leave the main course. Therefore such anecdotes only provide some refreshing changes while highlighting the humane side of the story.
Captain Russell gets an earful from his bosses, for having allowed the villagers an escape route, but most of his colleagues are behind him, as they firmly believe that the villagers are no match for a team of British soldiers. Their belief is certainly not without any basis, the villagers who have never played the game of cricket and they are not even having enough physically fit people to play the game appear in disarray initially, but gradually the entire village stands behind Bhuwan and his cricket team. They start making strategies and practicing for the D-day, with a bit of help from Madam Elizabeth Russell.
On the set date, the match starts and the British team opts to bat first and sets a target for the team of villagers. The preparation of villagers shows signs of fruition as the British team was not allowed to set a huge target. Then comes the turn of Bhuwan’s team and the tension and drama of the T-20 style of cricket are quite apparent in this match as well. In the final ball of the match when the team needed 4 runs and Bhuwan hits the ball over the boundary, only to be caught by the fielder, but lo and behold, the fielder himself had crossed over to the boundary. That translates into six runs and a victory for the team of villagers and hence results in a ‘Lagaan maafi’ i. e. no tax on agriculture produce this year.
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