PDA

View Full Version : Lagaan - review


ManOfLaMancha
June 18th, 2001, 10:37 AM
If you don't know anything about the movie and intend to watch it in the near future, try to stay away from this post, if you can. I went to the movie hall with only the vague inkling that it had something to do with British Raaj. And so the movie was a lot more interesting than it would have been.

So here's how the movies goes. Remember you've been warned.

Bhuvan (Aamir) stays in a village (Champaner) which is ruled by Raja Puran Singh. The year is 1893 and the farmers have to pay tax in the form of grain, called Lagaan. The chief of the British Cantonment is a capricious Officer and in a fit of stupidity orders the farmers to pay twice the lagaan. There has been no rains so far, so farmers are screwed. Bhuvan makes some disparaging comments about cricket. The Officer gets angry and, being what he is (a jerk), he bets with Aamir. Aamir has to play a cricket match with the English team. If he wins, the village won't have to pay Lagaan for 3 years. If he loses, the village will pay 3 times the regular lagaan.

Now the villagers have never seen cricket. The villagers are angry and want to kill Aamir. But, he being the producer, saves himself. The Officer has a conscientious sister freshly arrived from England. She starts teaching these rustic villagers the nuances of cricket. In the process, she also falls in love with Aamir. But, Aamir has already given his heart to a village belle. So now, there's a subplot of the jealousy from Aamir's gfs side. There's another subplot of a guy being in love with Aamir's gf and trying to screw Aamir, but we'll leave it out.

So the villagers manage to learn cricket amidst song-singing and infighting. How they manage to do that is beyond me! A lesson for our cricketers, maybe? Before the day of the match arrives, much water has flown under the bridge - Aamir has given a lecture on untouchability, unity, woman emancipation, equality, fraternity. The day of the match arrives. Actually, its a 3 day match with some 1-day rules thrown in to make it interesting. I won't divulge much about this part. Suffice it to say that the match takes more than an hour.

Aamir as usual is okay. At times, you see shades of Rangeela tapori. But its as if with a jerk he comes back to his serious role. He is dependable as always. Delivers without being spectacular. The heroine (Gracy Singh) was a let down, she dances okay doesn't act so well. Looks awkward in emotional scenes. The english heroine (Rachel Shelley) is so-so. Her role is more like a guardian angel, less like a human being. Unconscious white-worhip here?
I was listening to the music for the first time. Found it decent and foot-tapping. If I continue to listen to it, maybe it'll grow over me.

Humor in the movie is pretty decent without degenerating into the usual slapstick that desi movies tend to do. The English aren't all stupid, bumbling, and stiff.

The movie overall is longish - 3 1/2 hours. All in all, a watchable movie. Left me with a slight headache because of the overdose of emotions.

risingsun
June 18th, 2001, 10:46 AM
what you talking man, no overdose, every episode of lecturing about anything be it caste, unity or woman emancipation does not last more than 5 minutes. and is not repeated.

if you do not watch the movie with a commercial view, if you watch it as your fight to get a breathing space for 3 years in the otherwise poisonous atmosphere, the movie is interesting.

i remembered one of eosap's fables watching the movie.

A hunting dog is roaming in the jungle with his master. the two begin talking about relative strength of animals and in the course of doing so the dog says that he is stronger than a rabbit anytime. after some time both spot a rabbit running away, the master bids the dog to catch the rabbit, the dog chases after him but comes back empty handed. When the master teases him about it the dog answers that he was trying to catch rabit for fun, but rabbit was running for his life, his struggle is more from heart. had i been hungry and in desparate want of food, it would have been a question of my survival and he would never have got away!!!

ManOfLaMancha
June 18th, 2001, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by risingsun
what you talking man, no overdose, every episode of lecturing about anything be it caste, unity or woman emancipation does not last more than 5 minutes. and is not repeated.

Okay, let echarchans be the judge. There is a cripple untouchable in the movie, who can spin ball better than Bishan Singh Bedi. Aamir wants him in the team, the villagers obviously don't (remember its 1893). So Aamir gives a 3-minute Untouchability-For-Dummies lecture and lo-and-behold, the villagers are embracing the untouchable (whose name is incidentally Kachra).


if you do not watch the movie with a commercial view, if you watch it as your fight to get a breathing space for 3 years in the otherwise poisonous atmosphere, the movie is interesting.

But the movie was a commercial one! Almost all movies are a fight against some kind of oppression. Does it mean that all of them are good? Most of them aren't. If you really want to see a great movie about oppressed farmers, try watching Seven Samurai and then compare it with Lagaan.

Home sick
June 18th, 2001, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by risingsun

i remembered one of eosap's fables watching the movie.

A hunting dog is roaming in the jungle with his master. the two begin talking about relative strength of animals and in the course of doing so the dog says that he is stronger than a rabbit anytime. after some time both spot a rabbit running away, the master bids the dog to catch the rabbit, the dog chases after him but comes back empty handed. When the master teases him about it the dog answers that he was trying to catch rabit for fun, but rabbit was running for his life, his struggle is more from heart. had i been hungry and in desparate want of food, it would have been a question of my survival and he would never have got away!!!

This is great inspiring story

risingsun
June 18th, 2001, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by ManOfLaMancha

what you talking man, no overdose, every episode of lecturing about anything be it caste, unity or woman emancipation does not last more than 5 minutes. and is not repeated.

Okay, let echarchans be the judge. There is a cripple untouchable in the movie, who can spin ball better than Bishan Singh Bedi. Aamir wants him in the team, the villagers obviously don't (remember its 1893). So Aamir gives a 3-minute Untouchability-For-Dummies lecture and lo-and-behold, the villagers are embracing the untouchable (whose name is incidentally Kachra).

<<<<<<< more bhaiyya hum to bole hai na, koi bhi funda 5 minute se jada nahi pela gaya hai.


if you do not watch the movie with a commercial view, if you watch it as your fight to get a breathing space for 3 years in the otherwise poisonous atmosphere, the movie is interesting.

But the movie was a commercial one! Almost all movies are a fight against some kind of oppression. Does it mean that all of them are good? Most of them aren't. If you really want to see a great movie about oppressed farmers, try watching Seven Samurai and then compare it with Lagaan.

<<<<<<<<<but but but yarrr, this thing is realistic, isn't it? weren't the firnag's as shown in there? is it not entirely possible that in those days when the country had already witnessed 1857 such a thing could have happened? think yourself to be in middle of such situation, what will you feel? moreover in the movie do you feel even once that you cannot take any further, that you have to leave the movie hall? I'm sure you know of so many HINDI films which depict fight against oppression but you feel like going away even before the first hour is over.

ManOfLaMancha
June 18th, 2001, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by Home sick


This is great inspiring story

Abe, supada, kya inspiring tha? Movie ki aesop?

ManOfLaMancha
June 18th, 2001, 11:05 AM
Arrey Rising bhai,

Maine kab kahan ki movie ekdum hi bekaar hain! Review ka last sentence dekho yaar. Aur maine to thodi bahut khamiyan nikali hain.

The reason I ain't raving is that it failed to move me as much. Bottomline, I've seen better movies.

Home sick
June 18th, 2001, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by ManOfLaMancha


Abe, supada, kya inspiring tha? Movie ki aesop?

bhai mere the inspiring part is this :

A hunting dog is roaming in the jungle with his master. the two begin talking about relative strength of animals and in the course of doing so the dog says that he is stronger than a rabbit anytime. after some time both spot a rabbit running away, the master bids the dog to catch the rabbit, the dog chases after him but comes back empty handed. When the master teases him about it the dog answers that he was trying to catch rabit for fun, but rabbit was running for his life, his struggle is more from heart. had i been hungry and in desparate want of food, it would have been a question of my survival and he would never have got away!!!

risingsun
June 18th, 2001, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by ManOfLaMancha
Arrey Rising bhai,

Maine kab kahan ki movie ekdum hi bekaar hain! Review ka last sentence dekho yaar. Aur maine to thodi bahut khamiyan nikali hain.

The reason I ain't raving is that it failed to move me as much. Bottomline, I've seen better movies.

so i have MOLM.

That fact of matter is that with the onslaught of movies like pyar tune kya kiya, jodi number one etc etc etc, this one is muchh muchh betttter.

ManOfLaMancha
June 18th, 2001, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by risingsun


so i have MOLM.

That fact of matter is that with the onslaught of movies like pyar tune kya kiya, jodi number one etc etc etc, this one is muchh muchh betttter.

That's quite true. I for one have hardly seen any hindi movies in the past few years. My basis for comparison was hera-pheri ;)

risingsun
June 18th, 2001, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by ManOfLaMancha


That's quite true. I for one have hardly seen any hindi movies in the past few years. My basis for comparison was hera-pheri ;)

dyeva re dyeva vo to bahoot changla movie.

But i am not able to decide which is better.

Big-G
June 18th, 2001, 11:48 AM
Manchu Bhai..ek line mein bata dey. Yeh movie main dekhoon ki nahin? I haven't seen it, but i have heard all kinds of things abt it.

(btw, i didn't read your post...as per your advise)

ManOfLaMancha
June 18th, 2001, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by Big-G
Manchu Bhai..ek line mein bata dey. Yeh movie main dekhoon ki nahin? I haven't seen it, but i have heard all kinds of things abt it.

(btw, i didn't read your post...as per your advise)

Dekh le. Par kisi se bhi story mat sunana. Nahin to itna maza nahin aayega.

Big-G
June 18th, 2001, 11:49 AM
Rising..manchu...jara star rating dey do yaa..i have a decision to make :D

Big-G
June 18th, 2001, 11:50 AM
yaar..one of my gandu friends told me last night that it is about a cricket match...saaley ney suspense hi khatam kar diya.

ManOfLaMancha
June 18th, 2001, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by Big-G
Rising..manchu...jara star rating dey do yaa..i have a decision to make :D

two and a half stars. on second thoughts 3 stars. maybe somewhere in between.

okay, 3 stars.

risingsun
June 18th, 2001, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by Big-G
yaar..one of my gandu friends told me last night that it is about a cricket match...saaley ney suspense hi khatam kar diya.

mai bhi 3 stars deta hoon 5 mein se.

vaise Big G mujhe batao Jo jeeta vahi sikandar mein cycle race kitne time thi? phir bhi movie dekhne mein majaa aaya ya nahi?

Big-G
June 18th, 2001, 11:58 AM
Rising yaar... JJWS is one of my all time favorites...i really loved that movie.

How is this one compared to that?

Big-G
June 18th, 2001, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by risingsun


mai bhi 3 stars deta hoon 5 mein se.

vaise Big G mujhe batao Jo jeeta vahi sikandar mein cycle race kitne time thi? phir bhi movie dekhne mein majaa aaya ya nahi?

:D :D oh...now i got the message. Right said suraj bhai.

risingsun
June 18th, 2001, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by Big-G


:D :D oh...now i got the message. Right said suraj bhai.

vahich tooo,
sala samajhta nahi baat ko krota hai aadhi raat ko :D :D

ManOfLaMancha
June 22nd, 2001, 09:16 AM
I think this guy (Pritish Nandy) has gone berserk. The whole article about Lagaan is available at link below. For the benefit of those who don't want to read the whole review, here's a part:
...It is possibly the finest movie I have seen in my life and, believe me, I have seen some very fine movies. From Battleship Potemkin ... to Kaagaz ke Phool, one of my own favourites, to the hugely over-rated Sholay to Titanic. But I have never seen a movie quite like Lagaan.
...Forget Sholay; it is bigger and better than anything that the Indian movie industry has ever produced. Our cinema history will now have two eras. Before-Lagaan and post-Lagaan.
...


Yeh to double blasphemy hain!! Sholay over-rated and Lagaan better than Sholay :D :D

I think Nandy has gone senile. Feel like kickin' his butt.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/jun/21nandy.htm

aryaputra
June 25th, 2001, 01:45 PM
Hate to say this Molm but Pritish is not the only one to feel so strongly about this movie.

It indeed is a very beautiful movie.

Whether there will be post and pre lagaan eras - only time will tell.

ManOfLaMancha
June 26th, 2001, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by aryaputra
Hate to say this Molm but Pritish is not the only one to feel so strongly about this movie.
It indeed is a very beautiful movie.
You are entitled to your views, sir, but Lagaan is not as great a movie as the Nandy bail is touting it. It indeed is a beautiful movie, but a GREAT movie, certainly not. I think Nandy may have some vested interests behind the excessive reverence of Lagaan. Remember he started his own production company or something last year? Or maybe he is just plain stupid. Who knows?


Whether there will be post and pre lagaan eras - only time will tell.

I don't even need to refute this. Has there been any movie in Bollywood history which has defined eras - as in pre-xxx & post-xxx? Even Sholay couldn't do that.

echarcha
July 2nd, 2001, 12:21 PM
I was feeling that I have seen this plot before. Shama and I enjoyed the movie quite a lot. The music was cool and the rain dance song was really lilting.

After seeing the movie, I still could nto recollect where I have seen the same plot before.

And then it flashed - the English movie was a 1999 film by the name Mystery, Alaska

The plot line was like this - When Mystery, Alaska's amateur hockey team accepts a challenge to play against the New York Rangers, the entire population must put their petty differences aside and pull together as their small town becomes the center of a nationally televised event.

The story was like this - Taking place in the small icy town of Mystery, the story concerns a commonwealth who's main concerns are knit caps and who will play in the community's weekly Saturday hockey game. A former resident, who has moved to New York and become a Sports Illustrated reporter, returns with news that the New York Rangers hockey team is coming to Mystery to play the local boys in a nationally broadcast event. Elated by the prospect of notoriety yet wary of the affect the publicity will have on the small community, the town sheriff - a former player himself, and the town judge join forces to whip the team into shape for the big game.


Offcourse Aamir Khan has added the proper period masala and usual Hindi film masala which makes this film quite good. Usually mahesh Bhatt lifts straight away from Hollywood and makes a screw up. Director Satish Gowarikar has surely taken many elements from this film and added a lot from his vivid imagination and story telling style.

Even if it is a copy, it still is really good and different. We did not realise when the 4 hours were up.

http://www.echarcha.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=2248