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|June 1, 2001||
Lagaan marks the debut of the versatile Aamir Khan as producer.
It is a period drama set in the 19th century British-ruled India. It claims to show a completely different face of the oppressed peasant. What's more, it's all about a cricket match!
Hype and hoopla apart, here are a few things you should know about Lagaan:
Initially, director Ashutosh Gowarikar's idea for Lagaan did not appeal to Aamir.
However, a few months later, when the actor heard a complete narration, he was very impressed and decided to produce the film himself so that he could do full justice to it.
Television artiste Gracie Singh (of Amanat, ZEE TV) was chosen over established stars like Nandita Das, Rani Mukherji and Sonali Bendre for the female lead.
For authenticity's sake, Aamir Khan, who is known to be a perfectionist, got his ears pierced so he could wear earrings.
The workforce of Lagaan consists of about 150 villagers who actually built the village. Some others from the local theatres of Bhuj, Gujarat, also pitched in.
After the disastrous Gujarat earthquake, Aamir decided to adopt the village (Kunwaria) to provide some relief to the poverty-stricken inhabitants of Bhuj.
During the filming of Lagaan, a film about drought-stricken village Champaner, it didn't rain even once during the entire shoot. However a week after the shoot finished it rained heavily bringing relief to Bhuj, which had a lean monsoon in the previous year.
Nearly 10,000 villagers from Bhuj its adjoining areas were invited to participate in the climax scene. They were all villagers invited to participate in the shooting from adjoining villages.
The use of synchronised sound is a unique feature in the technical aspect of Lagaan.
All the female members of the crew and cast were presented with beautiful pieces of Kutchi embroidery made by the womenfolk of Bhuj.
Dress designer Bhanu Athaiya, known as a stickler for perfection and Oscar award-winner of Richard Attenborough's Gandhi, spent a lot of time researching to lend authenticity to the characters of Lagaan.
Zoya and Farhan Akhtar (Javed Akhtar's children), have also contributed to the English lyrics of a song in the film.
The dialogues -- a combination of three different dialects: Avadhi, Bhojpuri and Brijbhasha -- have been penned by noted Hindi writer, K P Saxena.
Love blossomed between two British artistes, Katkin and Jamie, whilst shooting for Lagaan. The duo decided to get married in the traditional Indian style with Aamir doing the kanyadaan.
The woes of farmers have formed the theme of other films in the past. Some of them are: Do Bigha Zameen, Ganga Jamuna, Mother India.
Other films to be shot in Bhuj are J P Dutta's Refugee and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
Lagaan has been granted a tax-free status by the government. The film hits the marquee on June 15.
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