Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

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.
PG (for language and some violence)
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Aamir Khan
as Bhuvan
Gracy Singh
as Gauri
Rachel Shelley
as Elizabeth Russell
Paul Blackthorne
as Captain Andrew Russell
Kulbhushan Kharbanda
as Rajah Puran Singh
Suhasini Mulay
as Yashodamai
Rajendra Gupta
as Mukhiya
Javed Khan
as Ramsingh
Raj Zutshi
as Ismail
Amin Hajee
as Bagha
Aditya Lakhia
as Kachra
A.K. Hangal
as Shambukaka
John Rowe
as Col. Boyer
David Gant
as Maj. Warren
Jeremy Child
as Maj. Cotton
Ben Nealon
as Lt. Smith
Anupam Shyam
as Namdeo
Raja Awasthi
as Ramprasad
Pramatesh Mehta
as Harikaka
Amin Gazi
as Tipu
Anu Ansari
as Jigni
Parveen Bano
as Kesarya
Chris England
as Yardley
Howard Lee
as Burton
Simon Holmes
as Brooks
Ray Eves
as Willis
Jon House
as North
Jamie Whitby Coles
as ColesWesson
Barry Hart
as Benson
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (20)

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

Full Review… | July 24, 2008
Top Critic

Few recent American musicals are this fluid or engaging.

Full Review… | March 26, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 31, 2003
Seattle Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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

July 19, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 7, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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

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