Mumbai, The Aamir Khan-starrer “Lagaan” was released two decades ago on June 15. The actor-filmmaker says the film shaped him in many ways.
“Lagaan was, is, and continues to be an amazing journey for me. It has been a journey in which I have met exciting new people, made new friends, started relationships that have lasted over two decades, shared so much with these wonderful people, learnt so much, experienced so many emotions, experienced so much. This journey has shaped me in so many ways,” he said.
Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, the film is set in 1893, during the late Victorian period of India’s colonial British Raj. The story revolves around a small village in Central India, whose inhabitants, burdened by high taxes, accept a challenge to play a cricket match against a team of British officers. It they win the match, their taxes would be excused, but failing to win would mean having to pay triple taxes.
“In this journey, I want to thank, Ashu, the entire team of Lagaan, all the different teams that took it to the various audiences across the world, and all of you who have seen the film. We have all come together in this journey, some early, some later as we went along, but all of us are fellow travellers,” he added.
Talking about “Lagaan”, Gowariker said: “The box office response to my first two films jolted me. It also enlightened me to come back with a story that I believed in, a story that would all encompass a cinema-loving audience. The outcome was the script of Lagaan.”
He said he was fortunate to have Aamir back him on the film despite their previous films not setting the box-office on fire.
“It is extremely difficult to convince Aamir to do a film, but once he commits that is the greatest moment for the director,”said Gowariker, whose directorial “Lagaan” airs on Zee Bollywood on June 15 to mark 20 years of the film’s release.