September 26th, 2011
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Lagaan enters all- time best sports film list

LagaanNew York: Aamir Khan starring  Lagaan, which won an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category, has made it to the all-time 25 best sports movies list compiled by Time magazine. The movie has clinched the 14th spot on the list.

“Even those who know none of cricket’s complicated rules will bounce in their seats to A R Rahman’s irrepressible tunes; here, one can immediately and fully accept the Bollywood music and dance as an expression of life’s deepest, most soaring emotions. As a sport film, social document or communal ecstasy, Lagaan is all-time all rounder,” Time said.

“From the thunderclap in the first torrential rainstorm a cue for riotous dancing to the climactic sunlight on the smiling faces of millions of viewers, this Bollywood epic is cause for joy of meteorological proportions,” the magazine says, calling the film “the longest and most enthralling underdog-sports movie ever”.

“Even those who know none of cricket’s complicated rules will bounce in their seats to AR Rahman’s irrepressible tunes; here, one can immediately and fully accept the Bollywood trope of music and dance as an expression of life’s deepest, most soaring emotions. As sports film, social document or communal ecstasy, Lagaan is the all-time all-rounder,” it added.

The 2001 film, set in the times of the British Raj in India was produced by Aamir and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. The film set in the Victorian period of the India’s colonial British Raj, revolves around the lives of the peasants from a barren village who are oppressed by high taxes imposed by their rulers. They attempt to persuade the British officers to reduce the taxes because of poor agricultural produce. Instead, a wager is offered. They strike a deal with the representatives of the Raj – if the locals defeat them in a game of cricket they get a break on their lagaan, or land tax. The movie is not merely a game of cricket, it represents breaking of caste lines, unity of a well divided society, the growing of confidence and a fight for the right to live with self respect.

Lagaan is the only Indian movie in the list, which is topped by The Big Lebowski, a film on bowling made in 1998. Body and Soul (1947), Breaking Away (1979), Bull Durham (1988) and Caddyshack(1980) rounded off the top five.

 



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