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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Review of Movie Lagaan Durable Link to this BLOG
Notes from the Lagaan (Hindi) Movie

When I bitched about Indian movies (see Why I hate Bollywood) in this space, I received a lot of angry pushback from movie fans. "Just watch Lagaan, and then talk" they wrote, as if one movie can undo the damage caused by thousands of bad movies. And as promised, I did watch Lagaan this week with my wife (who doesn't understand Hindi) and my mother (who doesn't understand the game of Cricket). My notes, in the form of questions and answers, as they happened.

Q: Does Lagaan mean "Once upon a time in India" ?
A: No, and I don't understand why the byline appears only in English.

Q: Do people really dance for the rains in India?
A: In some states of India they sing and celebrate the arrival of the monsoons. But they never dance in temples as shown in the movie.

Q: The movie shows such unreal things as the hero fighting injustices of  untouchability, trying to protect wildlife by disturbing the hunting etc. Why then does it try to be real by showing the hero's widowed mother clothed only in white?
A: It is only a movie darling. Don't read too much into it.

Q: What does this Wicket  mean?
A:  Wicket has multiple meanings in Cricket. The Wicket sometimes means "the pitch" (as in "The wicket is slow"), it indicates the number people who have gotten out ( as in "India lost three wickets"), or has gotten out ( as in Kapil Dev has 434 wickets). In addition, the wooden stumps on either sides of the pitch are also called wickets (hence the name Wicket-keeper).

Q: Why is this movie so long ? (the movie is four hours long)
A: Perhaps because poor people in India want a long-entertainment for their buck  Perhaps the makers of the movie thought they were producing an epic.

Q: Were all the Indian kings as weak as the movie portrays?
A: More or less, at the time the movie is set in (1893), the Indian kings had become weak due to infighting, and lack of leadership. At the time of India becoming free, there were 700 such good-for-nothing princes.

Q: Did you like the movie?
A: No.

Honestly, I didn't like the movie. But I enjoyed explaining  the game of Cricket to the ladies.

Laggan perhaps captures the imagination of the Indian movie goers very well, but didn't do it for me.Sorry.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, September 27, 2002
Last Modified: 1/23/2003
Tags: bollywood, review

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