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17 years of Lagaan: The Unknown Facts About The Movie

Published On: 15 June 2018 | Bollywood | By:

The movie which was not going to be a hit turned out to be one of the best movies till date. Owing to the success, the movie went on to be featured as a subject in most of the management schools in India to the TIME magazine’s list of best sports movies.

17 years of Lagaan: The Unknown Facts About The Movie
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Have you ever thought how much hard work went while making this movie, well check it out right below:

1. Bhuvan’s Role 

The role of Bhuvan (played by Aamir Khan) was offered to other actors before Mr. Perfectionist took over. Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Bobby Deol rejected the role and Abhishek Bachchan was not able to give in the dates for the movie too. The role finally landed in Aamir’s lap.


2. Gauri’s role 

Rani Mukherjee, Nandita Das and Sonali Bendre were screen tested for the role of Aamir Khan’s love interest. None of them impressed the makers and finally Gracy Singh walked in and the role became one of her iconic roles till date before Munnabhai MBBS.


3. Auditions for British Actors 

The movie had a large number of British actors featured in it which was approximately 450 of them. During the auditions in London, Paul Blackthorne, who played the role of Captain Russell had to spend 6 months in learning Hindi. Rachel Shelley, who plays the role of Russell's sister Elizabeth had to grasp difficult words in Hindi.

Captain Russell and Elizabeth

4. Choosing the village 

The director Ashutosh Gowariker spent weeks on a road trip journeying all over India in the search of his Champaner. He toured all over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and chose Kutch area in Gujarat for his movie.


5. The final cut before the actual one 

The movie was considered to be one of the most longest of them all. The original duration of the movie was seven hours and thirty minutes. The final cut was three hours and thirty minutes after editing.

Lagaan: Official Cut

6. Sachin’s reaction while watching 

The master blaster Sachin Tendulkar loved this film a lot and had a tensed expression when he watched the final match scene in the theatre. This is the same expression we have when Sachin is batting on the field.

Sachin Tendulkar and Aamir Khan

7. Inspiration For Ashutosh Gowariker 

The story was inspired from Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu’s cult romantic classic Naya Daur which had a similar plot of a bullock cart race and the setting during the industrial period in India.

Lagaan Similar To Naya Daur

8. Slipped Disc During Shoot 

While shooting the movie, director Ashutosh Gowariker had suffered a slipped disc while shooting and was immediately rushed to the hospital which caused inconvenience to the cast. Ashutosh decided to rest on the cot at the set and direct the further scenes.

Ashutosh Gowariker Slipped Disc

9. Most actors worked with Aamir 

Most of the cast were associated with Aamir Khan for many years before Lagaan and they happen to be good friends with Aamir like Arjan aka Akhilendra Mishra, Deva aka Pradeep Rawat in Sarfarosh, Ram Singh aka Javed Khan in Andaz Apna Apna, Ishwar Kaka aka Shallab Vyas in Sarfarosh and Kachra aka Aditya Lakhia in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar.

Star Cast Of Lagaan

10. Choosing A R Rahman 

A R Rahman was once known to be a late lateef in the film industry and Aamir rejected him. But after much convincing, A R Rahman was onboard the film for composing the music.

AR Rahman

11. Training in Cricket 

Before the actors who were selected in London by the British casting director, Ashutosh suggested the actors to learn the game of cricket so that it looks natural on the screen rather than overacting in the film. This was mandatory for the Indian cast as well.

British Cricket Team

Cricket Part

12. Shooting in Gujarat 

Even though the movie was shot in Bhuj, Gujarat, there were no basic amenities like 5-star hotels and other amenities. The cast were made to stay in residential buildings which were located over there and were properly taken care of by the producers.

Residential Building in Gujarat

13. The mind behind the songs of the movie 

The renowned lyricist Javed Akhtar was roped in for writing the songs, the lyrics of the songs like Chale Chalo, Ghanan Ghanan, O Re Chori, Radha kaise na jale and O Mitwa are still hummable even now.

14. Obstacles During Shooting 

The most important scenes of the movie which were shot in the Kutch region was close to the Indian Air Force Base and the repeated take-offs of the planes and choppers obstructed the shootings and even sandstorms caused much of chaos while filming. During the cricket match sequence, the british actors started falling sick because of the extreme heat and the indian cast started suffering worst when they were playing barefoot the whole time in the scorching heat.

Sandstorm during shooting

15. The cast was called one week before shooting 

The entire cast of Lagaan was called to Bhuj just a week before the shooting began and the director wanted the actors to live in the village houses just to get the authenticity of their characters and asked them to even practice various village activities like pottery and playing the dholak based on their character description.

Lagaan Star Cast

16. Aamir’s moustache test 

Not many of them knew that the iconic look of Aamir Khan was actually planned with a moustache, which Mr Perfectionist wanted it with the dialogues and costume. After rejecting his moustache, the director loved his look without moustache and that became his official look.

Aamir Khan's Look

17. Shooting Ghanan Ghanan 

The most iconic song of the movie involved a lot of retakes as most of the actors except Aamir Khan were not used to lip-syncing in movies. The director requested them to sing it once as a practice so that the actors who were not used to lip-syncing could able to do it comfortably.

18. Using the extras 

Most of the extras we have been seeing in the movie were actually the villagers who were living there. Aamir actually decided to make them look natural by singing Aati Kya Khandala song before the cricket match scene was shot.

Extras During The Match

19. The climax scene 

The most important scene, which was the most nail biting scene for the audience was this one. This scene had a lot of retakes and was shot for at least one and a half month. The ball scene where Aamir gets injured in the ear was shot with multiple retakes which caused a swollen ear to the actor because of the force of the ball.

Lagaan Climax Scene

20. Charity for Earthquake 

Six months after the completion of the film, the village was destroyed due to the earthquake and the cast decided to give 40% of the box office earnings to the charity to those who were affected by the earthquake. A premier was also conducted for the village residents during the fundraiser.

Lagaan Premier

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