Biblioteca JB

Lagaan

Lagaan (English: Land Tax) is a 2001 Indian epic sports drama film written and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. Aamir Khan, who was also the producer, stars with Gracy Singh in the lead roles; British actors Rachel Shelley and Paul Blackthorne play the supporting roles. Made on a then-unprecedented budget of ₹250 million (equivalent to ₹540 million or US$8.6 million in 2015), the film was shot in an ancient village near Bhuj, India.
 
The film is set in the Victorian period of India's colonial British Raj. The story revolves around a small village whose inhabitants, oppressed by high taxes, find themselves in an extraordinary situation as an arrogant officer challenges them to a game of cricket as a wager to avoid the taxes. The narrative spins around this situation as the villagers face the arduous task of learning the alien game and playing for a result that will change their village's destiny.
 
In the small village of Champaner, (in the State of Gujarat, in western India) during the height of the British Empire in India in 1893, Captain Andrew Russell (Paul Blackthorne), the commanding officer of the Champaner cantonment, has imposed high taxes ("lagaan") on people from the local villages which they are unable to pay due to a prolonged drought. Led by Bhuvan (Aamir Khan), the villagers beg Raja Puran Singh (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) to help them. He tells them that much to his regret, he is also bound by British law.
 
It is after their visit to the Raja that the people of the village first witness a cricket match. Bhuvan mocks the game and gets into a fight with one of the British officers. Taking an instant dislike to Bhuvan, Russell offers to cancel the taxes of the whole province for three years if the villagers can beat his men in a game of cricket. If the villagers lose, however, they will have to pay three times the amount of their normal taxes. Bhuvan accepts this wager on behalf of all the villages in the province, without their consent. When the other villagers find out about the bet, they are furious with Bhuvan. He argues that it is important for everyone to fight against British rule.
 
Bhuvan thus begins to prepare the villagers for the match. He initially finds only five people willing to join the team. He is aided in his efforts by Russell's sister Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley) who feels that her brother has mistreated the people in the villages. As she teaches them the rules of the game, she falls in love with Bhuvan, much to the anguish of Gauri (Gracy Singh) who is also in love with him. After Bhuvan reassures Gauri of his feelings for her, the woodcutter Lakha (Yashpal Sharma) becomes enraged as he is also in love with Gauri. In an attempt to discredit Bhuvan, Lakha offers himself as a spy for Russell and joins the villagers' team to destroy it. Eventually, as the villagers realise that winning equals freedom, and as a few of them are insulted by the British, they soon join the team. Still short one player, Bhuvan invites an untouchable, Kachra (Aditya Lakhia), who can bowl spinners. The villagers, conditioned by long term prejudice against untouchables, refuse to play if Kachra joins the team. Bhuvan chastises the villagers, shaming them into accepting Kachra.
 
Clasificación [ CM DVD 00629] Disponible en DVD, 4 Piso BJB)