Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010

Lagaan - 2001

Cast: Paul Blackthorne, Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley

In a small village under the British Raj, the cruel provincial ruler, captain Andrew Russell (Blackthorne) has imposed a high tax, or lagaan, on all who serve him. As villagers fret over their ability to pay due to a draught, a young local, Bhuvan (Khan) gets into a scuffle with British officers after he mocks them as they play a game of cricket. Russell challenges Bhuvan to a match: If the villagers win, he promises, they are exempt from paying the tax for three years. If they lose, the entire province has to pay three times as much. Bhuvan agrees, even though neither he nor the villagers know how to play. It's a classic underdog tale with a Bollywood-standard love triangle between Bhuvan, the local lovely Ghauri (Singh) and Russel's comely sister Elizabeth (Shelley). But with a powerful script and a superlative A.R. Rahman score, the film won an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.