Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Blast from the Past Movie Review: "Lagaan" (2001)

Highly recommended watch, if you can withstand 4 hours of hilarious acting and equally laughable dancing.  Starring Aamir Khan and a bunch of folks I've never heard of, 2001 hit Lagaan is described as an Indian epic sports-drama comedy, which basically sums it up.

Set in a small Indian village during the time of the British Raj, the first two hours shows the plight and daily lives of local villagers as the colonial officers impose high taxes ("lagaan" means tax, I think), even charging punitive rates when the villagers try to organize.  The head honcho challenges local leader Aamir Khan to a game of cricket, where if the villagers win there will be no taxes for a year, but if they lose they would have to pay more tax (double and triple lagaan!!)


The second half shows the villagers learning a game they've never seen before while singing and dancing.  They learn by peeking at the other team's practice -- kinda like the New England Patriots.  Funniest moment when the pitcher (bowler? quarterback? no idea what they're called) discovers top spin, everybody thinks it's the greatest thing in the world.  I'll not spoil the ending, but you're free to guess (or just watch the clip below).

In sum, 2 hours of fiscal policy discourse + 2 hours of singing, dancing, and cricket = box office smash hit!  (it literally earned two megazillion crores)

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