Among the biggest strengths of Lagaan was its music, which ensured the film's completeness. A. R. Rahman did the honors. The lyrics were provided by Javed Akhtar (who is going to spend some time at Buckingham Palace with Shabana Azmi, per this piece). Add vocals by some of Bollywood's best ever. The result was a soundtrack and background score that were not only complementary but essential to the plot. Below is an overview. Which is your favorite song?
There was a song in anticipation of rain. Ghanan Ghanan was important in setting the tone for the film. For us cricket fans, it is still a mantra when India are in trouble on the pitch, and there is nothing to look forward to save the rain. A bunch of us sang "Kaale megha, paani to barsaao!" during the final of the 2003 World Cup :) On a more serious note, I remember undergoing a shift in mindset after this song, as I tried to stay cheerful during the rainy summer afternoons in Miami.
Then there was a motivational song. Mitwa is my favorite song from the film (sung by Udit Narayan, Sukhwinder Singh, and Alka Yagnik), for it tackles an issue that is inherent in being human. If there is one lesson to take away from Lagaan, it is a renewed belief in this: 'Sach aur saahas hai jis ke mann mein, ant mein jeet usi ki rahe' (translated as: 'the one who has truth and courage in the heart, is the one who ultimately wins'). It spoke to the earth belonging to us...
...and the sky belonging to us too. Why, then, would one be afraid?
A daandiyaa song, Raadha Kaise Na Jale, by Asha Bhosle and Udit Narayan, strengthened the foundations of the love triangle. It was a fun-filled and colorful spectacle, a treat for the senses. (Watch the song in this post.)
It started off at the temple, where Gauri was not too pleased with this discussion:
Gracy Singh as Gauri put in a spectacular performance in what was one of her strongest moments in the film. The dance was also why she was chosen ahead of Rani Mukherjee for the role.
A love song in O Rey Chhori (sung by Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, and Vasundhara Das) revealed where Bhuvan's heart lay. Bhuvan and Gauri gave us a memorable scene right before the song atop the hill...
...and Elizabeth looked divine.
But Bhuvan and Gauri sealed the deal, of course:
A Waltz for Romance was well done too...
...with Lakha, the traitor who was later forgiven, stealing the moment.
A song expressing a can-do attitude. Chale Chalo (sung by A. R. Rahman) doubled as a prayer and a fight song:
Ah, the Champaner dawn:
And finally, a devotional song -- O Paalanhaare -- by Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan that has to be one of the best ever in Indian cinema. The timing, nature and extent of its use were perfect.
So there you have it. One of the best soundtracks for one of the best films. Which song was your favorite?
My music rating: 5/5 (of course!)