"Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India"
Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker
polished "Bollywood" musical (reportedly the most expensive Indian film to
date) is loads of fun. It's a deliberately old-fashioned crowd-pleaser, set
in British-controlled India of the late 19th century. The beleaguered
residents of a small village must contend with a severe drought and an
increasingly high lagaan (tax) demanded by their oppressive rulers.
One heroic villager challenges the lagaan and earns the chance to free his
people from the burden, but only if his team can win a cricket match against
the Brits. Severely overmatched in a game they do not know, they try to
achieve a seemingly impossible victory. Indian box-office idol Aamir Khan
stars and also produced. A fast-paced entertainment that seems far shorter
than its epic running time. Hindi and English with English subtitles. 224