I am fairly new to Indian movies. I started watching them in 2007, and almost got into the habit of devouring them. Today, I watch fewer movies but only because I have seen all the movies of my favourite actors. So now, I wait until something new comes up with the actors I like, or with a topic that interests me. Besides Bollywood, I very much enjoy watching American TV shows. I’m especially addicted to Supernatural and the new Hawaii 5-0. But now to the main subject of this post.
When I first heard about Lagaan I did not know anything about the movie. Only that Aamir Khan was playing the lead. Up until then I only knew him from Fanaa (2006) and Rang De Basanti (2006). Actually, I bought Fanaa because of Kajol, as it was her comeback film. I stumbled into a forum where my attention was called to Aamir Khan and then I remembered that I had Fanaa in my DVD rack. I put the DVD in and when this guy was shown the first time I thought to myself that he looked weird and was absolutely not my type. But the more scenes I saw with him, the better I liked him and at the end of the movie I was keen to know what other movies he did.
I remembered that I had Rang De Basanti, too. I watched RDB a few days after Fanaa. And after seeing Aamir only a few minutes in it, I was totally impressed. The characters of Rehan and DJ were so very different from each other and he did both really good. Okay, so he did not pass as a student because he looked older (which was different in 3 Idiots (2009)). But this is another topic. When Rang De Basanti was over I was interested more in the actor behind these characters. In the forum, where my attention to Aamir was called, they recommended Lagaan to me.
I tried to buy it but it was sold out in Germany. One could only get a hold of it on eBay. I tried my luck at a video rental shop and taraaaaaaa I was lucky! They even gifted me the DVD which had subtitles in German. Without any more information I played the DVD one quiet evening and started to watch the movie with full concentration and with extreme tension. At the end, I sat there with my nerves wracked, an open mouth, and all because I was totally thrilled.
When the movie starts and the story begins, I feel like transfered into another world. When I hear Amitabh Bachchan's voice I listen very closely because he radiates quiet and calm like none else. You get the feeling that you are in the middle of those ancient times and take part in the life of the farmers. At least I felt that way. It is fascinating how amazingly good the actors do their parts and literally become the people they portray. It was sort of strange to see for instance a Raj Zutshi, a Raghuvir Yadav or an Aditya Lakhia in regular clothes. And when I heard Amin Hajee speak, that was interesting, too. The sounds he makes in the movie were so very simple!
I like the complete cast but Rachel Shelley. I simply don’t like her and I guess this will never change. To me, she is the only minus point of the movie, which I can get over with a sort of selective viewing.
By now I have seen Lagaan almost 200 times and this, every time with tension and lots of fun. Lagaan is the most timeless movie I know. Who needs Avatar, Star Wars or any other new movie? Of course I watch them but no other movie comes even close to the qualities, Lagaan has. Everything fits so well – other than the British uniforms and Rachel Shelley. I thank God, that Ashutosh Gowariker could win Aamir Khan for this project. All the work they put into the making of the movie has paid off. Each time I watch Lagaan, I feel transferred into a different world from which I come back to my everyday life at the end. It usually does not take very long before I feel the need to go back to that special world and enjoy every minute.
I was asked about my most favourite scene. You will not be surprised to hear that the entire movie is my most favorite scene. It is very difficult for me to name special moments. But there are two that give me goosebumps every time.
The first one is the first time you see Aamir on the screen. When he looks direct into the camera you have the feeling that he is really looking directly at you. When I saw this scene in a movie theatre on the big screen for the first time, I sat there with big eyes and couldn’t close my mouth anymore!
My second very special moment is when Bhuvan sinks down at the end of the match, takes some soil in his hands and the sand trickles through his fingers. This is the moment I, like almost everyone else watching it, feel very relieved and satisfied.
I’d like to say a word or two about the music. I love every single note, A.R. Rahman composed. For me, he is the best composer in the Indian movie paradise. Especially with "Mitwa", he captured my heart. Javed Akhtar did the rest with his lyrics. The choreographer have done amazing work and made the actors dance really wonderful. Even Aamir showed great swiveling hips even though he is not really a good dancer.
Lagaan is a movie that gets under the skin and is absolutely exciting. I envy everybody who sees Lagaan for the first time and I envy everybody for the feeling they have after watching it for the very first time.