Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India


Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)


Critic Consensus: Lagaan is lavish, rousing entertainment in the old-fashioned tradition of Hollywood musicals.


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Movie Info

Lagaan is the story of a battle without bloodshed fought by a group of unlikely heroes led by Bhuvan (Aamir Khan), an enigmatic young farmer with courage born of conviction and a dream in his heart. He is helped by Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley), the beautiful English girl who came to India and lost her heart, and Bhuvan's pillar of strength, Gauri (Gracy Singh), the young and perky village girl who dreams only of a home with the man she loves. A story of extraordinary circumstances thrust upon ordinary people. Adversity faced with fortitude and injustice with dignity. There is slowly awakening pride, the grit and determination of a people who have everything to lose. Faith and courage come face to face with arrogance and ruthlessness. And the human spirit triumphs.

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Critic Reviews for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (21)

An involving, easily digestible hunk of pure entertainment that could be the trigger for Bollywood's long-awaited crossover to non-ethnic markets.

Jul 24, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Few recent American musicals are this fluid or engaging.

Mar 26, 2007 | Full Review…

A great big Bollywood musical, complete with song and dance and doomed love triangles and elegantly photographed men playing cricket. And it's terrific fun, in a way that only great big musical fantasies can be.

Dec 31, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

After having seen this Cinemascope extravaganza in a theater, on DVD and video, I still think the big screen experience is worth it.

Jul 20, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

It works its magic with such exuberance and passion that the film's length becomes a part of its fun.

Jul 19, 2002

An enormously entertaining movie, like nothing we've ever seen before, and yet completely familiar.

Jun 7, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India


An entertaining movie about the importance of not accepting defeat when in face of the toughest obstacles and how we should do everything in our power to succeed, with faith and courage - and it even finds space to discuss matters like prejudice along the way.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

For a movie which is SOOO GOOOD and beautifuly made - it will make you ignore the length as you will be immersed in this Bollywood epic. Aamir Kahn is one of Bollywoods' favourite sons as he stars and produces this epic - which stands as one of the best Bollywood movies to date. Set in the 1800's, in the midst of British Rule, one province takes a gamble to defy their oppressors and the land taxes in a game of cricket. Simple... yet cleverly wound into a bollywood love triangle intertwined with the regular, but in this case fabulous musicals which have made this movie spectacular, and cinematography to make your heart melt. A distinctly unique film, you will see an age old India arise out of the dust, and Victorian Age British mixed in the wilderness of the sub continent, a real historic rewind so accurate it would make you believe you were there. Better watch this musical!

Khris N
Khris N

Super Reviewer

Moulin Rouge ripped this movie off. Wasn't bad, I suppose, but I admit I wasn't paying much attention to it.

Curtis Lilly
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

I'm not usually a fan of sports films, but mixed with interesting period detail, beautifully shot locations and a political spin, this works really rather well. And it deserves applause for doing the impossible and making a game of cricket interesting.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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