Directed by : Ashutosh Gowariker
Screenplay by : Ashutosh Gowariker, Kumar Dave, Sanjay Dayma
Story by : Ashutosh Gowariker
Dialogue by : K. P. Saxena (Hindi), Ashutosh Gowariker (English)
Produced by : Aamir Khan
Starring : Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley, Paul Blackthorne
Narrated by : Amitabh Bachchan
Cinematography : Anil Mehta
Edited by : Ballu Saluja
Music by : A. R. Rahman
Production company : Aamir Khan Productions
Distributed by : SET Pictures
Release date : 15 June 2001
Running time : 224 minutes
Country : India
Language : Hindi
In 1893, the villagers of Champaner await meeting their Raja outside the British cantonment grounds. They want to ask for an exemption from tax (lagaan) but the Raja is busy watching the British play a match of cricket. A young farmer named Bhuvan incites laughter by mocking the game. This is overheard by the sadistic company captain, Andrew Russell, who feels slighted. He challenges Bhuvan to a game of cricket in return for cancelling their tax for three years, a bet that Bhuvan accepts.
Despite protests from the village, Bhuvan gathers a few who support him, and together, they crouch outside the cantonment grounds trying to understand the game. Elizabeth, Captain Russell's visiting younger sister, approaches them, offering to help. She wants to teach them the game so that the match is played fairly. Bhuvan is delighted, and the group starts meeting Elizabeth at grounds outside the village to learn the game. Word spreads in the village and others are inspired to join Bhuvan's team.
When Captain Russell finds out, he is incensed at Elizabeth. She refuses to stop helping the villagers, hiding the fact that she is secretly falling in love with Bhuvan. Gauri, the daughter of the town physician, Ishwar, knows all this and is heartbroken because she is the one in love with Bhuvan. Bhuvan later proposes to Gauri. Meanwhile, Captain Russell is told by his senior officers to prepare to pay the province's taxes out of his own pocket should he lose the match. Back in the village, Bhuvan is struggling to find an eleventh player. At a practice game, he fields a ball that is returned to him by Kachra, a cripple who lives outside the village. As the ball bounces, the spin carries it in another direction. Bhuvan immediately sees value and adds Kachra to the team. He resists pressure again from the villagers, who are concerned over playing with an untouchable, and manages to convince them.
On the day of the match, the British bat first and score heftily, Captain Russell hitting a century. They are finally dismissed by Kachra's excellent spin bowling. When Bhuvan's team starts batting, they lose quick wickets and soon half the team is out. Facing defeat, Bhuvan bats steadily and is aided by others in closing the gap to their target. With five runs needed, he hits six runs off the last ball, in very dramatic fashion, and wins the match for the villagers. As the crowd erupts in celebration, Elizabeth seeks out Bhuvan but turns away when she sees him locked in an embrace with Gauri- the girl Bhuvan loved.
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