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Lagaan: Once upon a Time in India (Widescreen)


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3 new from CDN$ 36.00 1 used from CDN$ 24.91

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Product Details

  • Actors: Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley, Paul Blackthorne, Suhasini Mulay
  • Directors: Ashutosh Gowariker
  • Writers: Ashutosh Gowariker, K.P. Saxena, Kumar Dave, Sanjay Dayma
  • Producers: Aamir Khan, Reena Dutta
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Hindi, English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : General Audience (G)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 224 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005U124
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,762 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
To be completely honest, I had no idea that I was in for an almost 4-hour Bollywood musical when I first began Lagaan. The second the movie began, I was in a mild state of culture shock. Lagaan was to be my first "Bollywood" film. Seeing 19th-century poor Indians in their full atire was very shocking to begin with, but when they began their song and dance, I was hypnotized by this unfamiliar territory. I did not know Lagaan was a musical. My husband looked at me in disbelief when the music began. As strange as it was to me at first, the movie began to grow on me as I became involved in the story and the dilemma the poor farmers faced as the ruling British forced a harsh tax on the Indians. Lagaan is the Indian word for land tax. The local British cantonment is controlled by a snobby arrogant Captain Russell, who passes on the news that there will now be double Lagaan. The farmers of course protest, as there has been a severe drought. Captain Russell offers the head of the protest, Bhuvan, a chance to waive the taxes for the next three years if they beat him and 10 other British soldiers at a game of Cricket. However, if they lose, the lagaan will be tripled. Captain Russell's sister, Elizabeth, sneaks behind the captain's back and teaches the Indians the rules of the game. What follows is a lengthy three-day match. Will they win or will they lose? Watch to find out!
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By Grady Harp TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 13 2002
Format: VHS Tape
LAGAAN was released in the video stores a few days before it was released in the theatres and probably this fluke will encourage more people to take advantage of this beautifully produced epic Indian film. Subtitled "Once Upon a Time in India" this luxuriously photographed movie presents the struggle between Indian vilages and the occupying British Colonialists at he turn of the last century. And while the message of supression by outside forces is dealt with in a strong manner, LAGAAN seems more interested in informing us about the magic of Indian living by means of dialogue in Hindi and English and in spectacularly staged musical and dancing numbers that are so integrated into this film that they never appear like superfluous add-ons. The actors are all excellent, the panorama of India is brilliant, and the messages about the caste system, British "superiority" as displayed in a game of cricket that takes the whole of the last half of the film, and village togetherness play well indeed. Actor/Producer Aamir Khan proves a handsome, vital, fine dancing presence that binds together this 3 and 3/4 hour epic and makes it all move fast! Now to visit the theatre and see it where it belongs - on a very large and panoramic screen! Highly recommended in informative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 13 2007
Format: DVD
I am still in the toe dipping stage when it comes to seeing Bollywood musicals. I would say that my first one was "Bride and Prejudice" except that it was made in England and not India, so the correct answer would be "Dil Se..," which I checked out because I was hooked on the song Chal Chaiyya Chaiyya," which Spike Lee used at the start of "Inside Man." I picked "Lagaan" as my next Bollyhood film because it appeared to be the highest rated one I could find, and had the reputation of being the most expensive and successful Bollywood film ever made when it came out. After having spent an entire afternoon watching it I can certainly understand why it has such a lofty reputation.

The full title of the film is "Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India," which I did not know at the time I watched it. That revelation is intriguing because it fosters an implicit comparison between this 2001 film from director Ashutosh Gowariker and the Sergio Leone movies "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "Once Upon a Time in America" (but not the Robert Rodriguez film "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"). The setting is a small village in the north of India in 1893, when the country is under the rule of Queen Victoria's British Empire. The land has been suffering from drought for over a year and the villagers and their Raja wants to be exempted from the crippling tax ("lagaan") that they owe the British government. The snobbish Captain Andrew Russell (Paul Blackthorne) makes a counter-offer: the village can play his cricket team. If the villagers win they will not have to pay the lagaan for three years, but if the English team wins they will have to pay three-times the lagaan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 31 2004
Format: DVD
I admit that I love films with Anglo-Indian themes. I also love period pieces. So, when I discovered Lagaan, I was intrigued, though somewhat skeptical about its being a musical and about its underlying story. Still, I thought it was worth a shot. I am delighted that I took a chance, as I was riveted for the nearly four hours the film was on the screen. It is little wonder that it was a 2001 Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film.
The film takes place in late nineteenth century India, during the time of the British Raj, in the small rural village of Champaner. It is a poor village against whom a tax, called a lagaan, is levied by the British. It appears that the lagaan goes to support the British cantonment that rules over the Central Indian province in which Champaner sits. The cantonment is commanded by an arrogant Captain Russell, who seems to care little for the customs, culture, and people of India. He typifies all that is bad about the reign of the British Raj.
Champaner has, unfortunately, had a long lasting drought and, as a farming community, the dry spell has been devastating, leaving the villagers on the brink of agricultural disaster. They have been awaiting the seasonal monsoon rains to no avail. When the villagers are told that Captain Russell has doubled the lagaan, as it had been cut in half the previous year due to the drought, they are angry. It is a now an issue of life and death for them.
This brings Bhuvan, a handsome, young, spirited farmer to the fore. Before he knows it, Bhuvan finds himself wagering the future of his village and province on a cricket game, as he has likened it to a local game played by the villagers.
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