20 years ago on June 15 Bollywood film Lagaan hit the theatres and brought global recognition for mainstream Indian cinema. The film not only gathered immense love from Indian audience and critiques but also made it to the Oscars shortlist in the Foreign Language category. It was third film from India, after Mother India and Salaam Bombay to be nominated at the Academy Awards.
Director Ashutosh Gowariker admits even though film didn’t win Oscar, there was a “renewed interest in song and dance” after Lagaan. “When I was making this film, I thought if people like it in all parts of India, it has crossed over within the country. I wasn’t thinking America at that time. The day we got to know that the film is being liked in Gaiety and Chandan (single screen theatres in Mumbai), and in Delhi… and then we started getting international news from France, South Africa and other countries… we knew the film is crossing over on its own, and that was a bigger joy,” he recalls, adding that Oscar nomination was an icing on the cake.
Recently Aamir Khan who played the lead character of Bhuvan in the film recalled his memories of making Lagaan. He recalls that it was a fantastic journey for him, which was full of joy and learning. He is not sure if Lagaan will be immortal but he is happy that it has lasted 20 years since very few films can pass the test of time.
He added that even though everyone was emotionally invested in the film no one was sure if they were doing it right. He credits Ashutosh for making a wonderful film. Talking about the Oscar nomination of the film, Aamir admits that he was a bit disappointed that film didn’t win however he also stated that the fact that Lagaan was nominated and was in the top five, means that the members loved it. Moreover Oscar widens the reach of the film globally, adding that the people who had no clue what Lagaan was all about also saw the film. The actor said that for him people loving the film was the biggest award.
Meanwhile, to celebrate 20 years of Lagaan, Aamir Khan Productions has invited fans to showcase their artwork and emotions for the film. The lucky winner will be receiving original memorabilia from the sets of Lagaan. Aamir Khan Productions took to the official social media page to share the same and said, “Our love for ‘Lagaan’ is timeless. Come, join us in the celebrations of #20YearsOfLagaan and help us relive the beautiful memories of the film.”