On Location, and more on Project Extraordinaire

The last in the Lagaan Week 2009 series. A big thank you to all guest writers and contributors, readers, and those who cared to add so much more to the discussions by commenting. I hope you had as much fun this week as I did bringing these posts to you. Assuming my blog and I live another year, see you again in Lagaan Week of 2010! Tonight, I'll light a cigar in honor of Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India...good film, this :)


We've seen the film and appreciated the fantastic artwork that defined it. We acknowledge Captain Russell (Paul Blackthorne) is one of the most effective villains in recent memory. Now, let's walk through his abode! Hindi film blogger Darshit Joshi visited the Vijay Vilas Palace in Mandvi, a remote area in Kutch in the Indian state of Gujarat. The site featured in the film as the quarters of the commanding officer of Champaner.

Darshit has a great picture essay at this link, in which he ties his beautiful photographs of the exterior and interior of the palace to specific instances in the film. Please visit and thank him for bringing us such a remarkable post, complete with an obvious connection to Lagaan from the gates to the palace! The palace is simply majestic; by definition, it's supposed to be, I guess, but music such as this sample from the background score adds much to its aura:

The complete album of Darshit's pictures is available at this link; here's a sample:

But wait, that's hardly all! He also visited Kunariya, the Gujarati village in which Lagaan was filmed in 2000. (Did you know Lagaan XI played there well after the film was released? Inspirational story.) He's taken some excellent photographs of the location, and even visited the theater which hosted the world premiere of Lagaan -- fittingly, showcased to the very villagers who were the life of the film. The post, which outlines a heck of an adventure, is available at this link. Remember this?

Of course, no film using synchronized sound and involving as many as 10,000 individuals on one set can be made without overcoming tremendous project management challenges. Sujoy Singha is a student of Management Science at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. A class project for Managing Resources and Operations inspired him to analyze the making of Lagaan. Complete with risk analyses and notes on the scope and stakeholders of the massive project (and at the time, the most expensive Hindi film ever made), you can find his paper, "Lagaan: A Project Management Case Study of the Making of the Film", at this link. Sample this from the post:

...Lagaan needed to be made. To quench the thirst of Bollywood lovers like me craving to see a cinematic magnum opus unveil its hues on the big screen and make my eyes gleam. Lagaan needed to be made to make me lift my hands in triumph every time Kachra took a wicket. ...Lagaan needed to be made because a silly sod like me could understand the principles of Project Management through it.

And finally...
Among the works cited in posts by Darshit and Sujoy, and as referred to in some of the other posts this week, is The Spirit of Lagaan by Satyajit Bhatkal. It is one of the best books I've read on cinema. (Here are some notes.) If you enjoyed the film, you'll most certainly love it!

Please note all Lagaan Week 2009 and 2008 posts will soon be archived in this intro post, which will always be retrievable by clicking the Lagaan badge in the sidebar to the right.


Anonymous said...

I really liked your Lagaan week entries. Writing that much on just one film is not easy. Please keep up the good work! :)

Darshit said...

Thanks again on being kind to include my posts. Its really a memorable experience of my lifetime. And such honour given by you makes it more special. Do visit sumtime. Now I can be ur guide. Everyone, ask me for any help if u wanna go the places. I'll be there,always.

Bhargav Saikia said...

I really need to get hold of the book asap. And Darshit, awesome photos!

theBollywoodFan said...

Anonymous: Thank you :)

Darshit: Mention not. And I promise to visit next time I'm in Gujarat. You are too kind in offering to be the guide!

Bhargav: I'm sure you'll enjoy it. And be sure to see Chale Chalo while you're at it. The pages coming to life is unreal.

lalsub said...

Hi. Bollywoodfan, I'd be happy if you said hi to me too. I'm eles from the aamirkhan blog.Though I have not been a contributor here this last 'Lagaan Week', I have read occasionally. Loved Joanna's write up and enjoyed her family pics. I have celebrated Lagaan week my own way--by re-reading for the umpteenth time that lovely book 'Spirit of Lagaan'. I have also lent the book to a friend--- and she cannot stop raving about this informative, entertaining and passionately written book. So, my big thanks to Satyajit Bhatkal the author as also to the whole Lagaan team---and of course, the Bollywoodfan.

Joanna said...

Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful photos Darshit!

Some of us would love to go to India and take you up on your offer! :-)

All the best,

Anu said...

Great photos Darshit! Simply marvellous! Thank you so much for taking us through this Lagaan tour!

Thanks to all of you for this glorious tribute to Lagaan. No words are enough... for this great movie and for the passion that fans share for it!

Krishna said...

Seriously Complete 5 stars to Darshit for this effort! :)
And Thanks to all of you belonging to this BFG(Bollywood Fans Gang ;-)), specially theBollywoodFan and Darshit for bringing up this glorious tribute to Lagaan! Quite ineffable and memorable!

theBollywoodFan said...

Eles: Thank you so! It's indeed a well-written book. I like that Bhatkal suspended, as he describes in the book/documentary, his legal practice to join the Lagaan cast and crew as a historian. It certainly paid dividends! Hope you're well, catch you at the AK blog :)

Krishna: Thank you, and you're absolutely correect! The thanks certainly go to Darshit for his wonderful posts and magnificent images!

Darshit said...

First of all, a big apology, for being so late.

Yes, tBF is one such crazy guy, 'only' who can show such affection to THE movie !! I too enjoyed this week thoroughly.

Ahh...well, that's me :P

Bhargav Saikia
Thank God, now I am relieved that I'm not left behind. I thought I made it 'ultra late' to complete the book. I completed on 11th June. Its one of the best I've read so far. And it sits next to LOTR, in my cupboard. Thanks, Glad you liked my pics.

Re-reading umpteenth time?!! Sounds you are so much 'into' it. I think I should start my second reading now :)

You are welcome anytime. I'm so glad everyone liked my amateur photography. I should take up photography more seriously, na? :O)
Do visit here It will surely be a memorable experience.

Thank youuuu. It was certainly my pleasure. You are being so kind, thanks again for such admiration.

OMG, 5 stars? ! Wow. Feeling in heaven :) And yeah, Bollywood Fans Gang. Jai Ho BFG

gina said...

Hi Bollywood fan! Hi Again rather! Great to have such a lovely Lagaan feast. A big thanks to Darshit for those lovely pictures.

I watched Lagaan at Bangalore in India and it was real good fun and the atmosphere was electric as I never tire of saying :-)

And interesting to note that Indian are pretty proud of where they come from, true too. There was an article about a survey on Times of India which said too that majority of people of Indian origin are proud of their country of origin whereas Chinese are not that gung ho about it as per the survey.

As for the diversity, sadly it can be a real obstacle...that is true..but it makes life in India more colorful and interesting..except for the occasional probs..which are sadly on the rise..

Great effort on the whole TBWF...loved the whole series of write-ups. Have to go through this particular write up in detail esp the photos

theBollywoodFan said...

Darshit: Thanks for your comments. You know you're a huge fan of the movie too! Koi kisi se bada/chhota nahin. :)

Gina! Thank you for stopping by, and glad you enjoyed the posts. I hope you get a chance for a detailed review :) With you on diversity -- I consider myself fortunate to have grown up in Bombay at a time of relative stability politically, to where I can say there's no other true cosmopolitan city I'd rather have been raised in, in the 1980s. It's interesting how views on patriotism shift, but each country is so different. Interesting survey, that...cheers!

Darshit said...


Thank you very much. Glad you liked the pics.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Darshit and Bollywood Fan. I will include these places in my list when I visit Gujarat for a holiday - hopefully soon to attend my gujju friends wedding in Baroda and then tour around.

Darshit - could u pls give ur email address to get some tips on places to see?


Darshit said...


Hi, You are welcome. Its little bit far from Baroda, but if you really wanna travel around, then just go for it. Mail me at darshjoshi@gmail.com I would love to give some tips. Also check out the locations on Wikimapia. Just type 'Lagaan' in search box and you would find results at Bhuj, Gujarat.

theBollywoodFan said...

You're very welcome, Anonymous. Have fun in Gujarat!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Darshit and Bollywood Fan. My friend's dad is currently posted near Kutch (although her family is still in Baroda) so I do intend to visit various places other than attending the wedding.

I will send you an email Darshit.