Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

Lagaan is takes place during a dry year when the British commanding officer doubles the tax (lagaan) on the Indian villagers in the province he rules. The villagers resist, and the officer challenges them to a game of cricket. If the villagers win, the lagaan is canceled for three years, but if they lose, the tax is tripled. A Bollywood classic. (Note: Originally filmed in Hindi, depending on which version you buy, you might only be able to have English subtitles).


Release Year: 2001
Rating: PG
Length: 224m (yes, it's that long - not a typo)


For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.



  • Cultural Differences: Each team has different "playing" styles, different dress, different values, etc. all of which are obvious; the commanding officer's sister helps the villagers and learns about their traditions; the players must also deal with an "Untouchable" who wants to join the team
  • Focus: During the match, a couple players become too amped up and lose their concentration, causing them to get out
  • Leadership: Bhuvan (the protagonist) must convince his fellow villagers the cricket match is a good idea and recruit people to play; Bhuvan is also looked to as the team captain and keeps everyone on track
  • Sportsmanship: During the cricket game, the British team engages in acts of unsportsmanlike conduct, such as deliberately throwing the cricket ball at the batters to injure them
  • Teamwork: All the villagers must work together to defeat the British team; each person has a role, but sometimes they must step up in order to succeed


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