New Delhi: In the year 2001, on this very day the third Indian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language, ‘Lagaan’ hit the theatres.
The Aamir Khan starrer, Lagaan is based on cricket and is set in the pre-independence era where a bunch of villagers defeated the British in a game that was totally unknown to them.
Lagaan is directed and written by Ashutosh Gowarikar. The film reflects patriotism for modern India. This movie was Aamir Khan’s maiden production which created history in Indian cinema.
Here are some interesting facts about the movie:
1. Shah Rukh Khan was the first choice for the role of Bhuwan in Lagaan, but it was rejected by SRK and Aamir Khan played the role of Bhuwan.
2. While making the movie Lagaan, director Ashutosh Gowariker had to face a lot of challenges. Though Aamir Khan gave his nod to act in the movie, it was quite tough for Gowariker to find a producer for the movie and at last Aamir Khan himself produced the movie.
3. During the filming of Lagaan, Ashutosh suffered from a slipped disc and had to rest for 30 days. The director, however, continued working by having his bed next to the monitor. He would direct lying on his bed.
4. Actress like Sonali Bendre, Nandita Das, Rani Mukerji and Ameesha Patel were shortlisted for the lead female role in the movie, but Gowarikar selected Gracy Singh.
5. Lagaan was the first Indian film to use sync sound (synchronised sound recording).
6. Lagaan was shot in Bhuj which was destructed by the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and that devastated most of the regions in Bhuj. The crew, including the English, contributed to the earthquake affected area by donating a huge sum. Aamir adopted a village in Bhuj and sent tents for the homeless and also collected funds for relief operations.
7. The film won eight National Film Awards and nine Filmfare Awards.
8. Lagaan proved to be a turning point in the career of Yashpal Sharma (Lakha), Raghivir Yadav (Bhura), Rajesh Vivek (Gurang), Akhilendra Mishra (Archan), Daya Shankar Pandey (Goli), Prithvi Zutsi (Ismail). Most of these actors bagged many films after the success of Lagaan.
9. Before the worldwide release of the film, Aamir Khan screened the film especially for the villagers of Bhuj, where the film had been shot.
10. The first cut of the film was 7 hours and 30 minutes long. Eventually, the film that was screened in the theatres was 3 hours 44 minutes long.