Lagaan included in Time magazine list of top 25 sports films

Time magazine stated that Lagaan was the longest and the most enthralling underdog sports movie ever

By CricketCountry Staff

London: Sep 26, 2011

Cricket-based Bollywood film Lagaan in which people of a small village in Victorian India stake their future on a game of cricket against their ruthless British rulers, has been included in a list of the 25 best sports movies by Time magazine.

Time magazine, said it was the “longest and the most enthralling underdog sports movie ever”.

The Aamir Khan-starrer, which was nominated for the Oscars, was a huge success not only amongst movie lovers but also amongst cricket fanatics.

Produced by Aamir and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, ‘Lagaan’ tells the story of a group of villagers who strike a deal with the representatives of the Raj – if the locals defeat them in a game of cricket they get a break on their ‘lagaan’, or land tax.

Aamir Khan (Bhuvan) leads the villagers in a game they have never played before, and do not even know a bat from a piece of wood.

The villagers manage to defeat the Englishmen in their own game, but not before some drama.

“Even those who know none of cricket’s complicated rules will bounce in their seats to AR Rahman’s irrepressible tunes; here, one can immediately and fully accept the Bollywood trope of music and dance as an expression of life’s deepest, most soaring emotions.” the magazine said.

“As sports film, social document or communal ecstasy, Lagaan is the all-time all-rounder,” the magazine added.

‘Lagaan’ is the only Indian movie in the list, which is topped by ‘The Big Lebowski’, a film on bowling made in 1998. ‘Body and Soul’ (1947), ‘Breaking Away’ (1979), ‘Bull Durham’ (1988) and ‘Caddyshack’ (1980) rounded off the top five.