The Bollywood film chosen for analysis in this essay is Lagaan, released in 2001. The film, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker stars Amir Khan and Gracy Singh in lead roles. The movie combines popular formulaic elements within the time-tested format of sports movies, making it a analytical essay on lagaan production to have come out of Bollywood in many years.
Before getting the detailed analysis of the film, a brief summary of the story is called for. Lagaan is a fictional story set in nineteenth century India, when the country was still under the rule of British Empire. The fact that the villagers have never played cricket and do not know the first thing about the game establishes the foundation of the film’s narrative and dramatic structure. The British officer’s sister takes pity on the villagers and secretly teaches them the game so that they have a fighting chance.
The cricket match takes up the final hour of this nearly four-hour long film and is marked by moments of comedy, drama, and suspense. Lagaan has proven to be a watershed event in mainstream Indian film industry. This view is supported by the fact that in the years since its release, no other movie had attained such overwhelming popular and critical acclaim. At the time when Lagaan was released, Bollywood was going through a crisis of sorts. Art House film industry in India. While Lagaan, without doubt, is a mainstream Bollywood production, it stands out for its artistic merit as well, as will be illustrated below.