What a Climax ! : LAGAAN

As LAGAAN is celebrating its 9th Anniversary, here is my post for LAGAAN week, going on at blog-world of Bolly Bloggers. Initiated by theBollywoodFan.
Yes, I'm a proud -
Warning: Do not read this post, if you [STILL] hasn't seen this movie, coz the post is total spoiler.

10 Thousand Actors ! Camels, Bullock carts, Elephants, Horses, and a crew that dedicated six months of their lives for the start to finish schedule in a desert - get all these together and you will get the greatest climax in History of India Cinema : LAGAAN

I always get confused when I need to write something about great movies like this. [Can not find proper words to describe, and there the pictures come as help.So, the post is naturally picture heavy. ] If you have read book - The Spirit of LAGAAN, you must have known how tough the shoot of this climax was. [Chapter 10 : Ten Thousand Actors]. Aamir / Ashutosh could have gone for VFX, but No, this is Aamir's movie. So it has got to be perfect in every way. Must read the book how all this became possible with efforts of each and every crew members.

Edge of the seat climax starts at 313 runs....
last over and 10 runs to get. Even for non-lovers of Cricket, things get so exciting like ever before. Add A R Rahman's minimalistic background score, one can feel their heartbeats pumping up along with the music.

And... this camera angle - Wow ! It moves in circular motion, making awesome shot of our hero-Bhuvan.

And very next moment, he makes eye to eye contact with his Mai, mother. Glimpse of just a second, but it tells much more. The scene in very beginning, when Bhuvan wakes up against Lagaan, Mai tells him how he speaks just like his father. Same scene comes to mind at this point. See the determination in Mai's eyes, below.
One easily assume that now he will handle all things well. And he does too. With one boundary shot. But brilliant screenplay gets it more thrilling, with downers for Hero. very next ball, getting him injured, and audience goes like 'whoaa..........' in actual, like a real match is going on.

And that, was a real shot ! Aamir actually shot that with getting hit by real ball, again and again, untill he got the perfect shot. Here's link to the video about the same. Worries of the villagers gets deepened, When in next shot Kachra gets on strike, knowing his disability, its almost impossible to win this match.
Here, Bhuvan-the Leader comes in picture, motivating by words and emotions. Last ball, its life to them. So he must shot a boundry - sixer. Again, I would praise the writing dept. how brilliantly the sequence is handled, it tricks viewer like now its going to get huge. Now Kachra-who could never hit the ball properly, will shot sixer and match will be won. [Seriously, I thought that when I first saw the movie. Untouchable Kachra can save village from Lagaan, could have been a great climax, but we din't know what Ashu had in his mind ! ] But a shocker comes when he can not hit the ball at all. And match gets completed. Rahman's score makes it more effective.

Surprise comes all the way from Umpire, when he declares it a 'No Ball'. Why cricket 'was' called Gentleman's game, we can see it here. Even though being a Britisher, umpire do not deviated to save Captain Russel. And the sensational sound of Nagara fills up the screen. And the cheers and cries from audience in the ground, the villagers - enough to give u goosebumps, gets adrenalin rush. Here's the music :

Bhuvan's moment to die for - and the silence falls. Moment to recall everything. Mai, Gauri, Captain Russel, the villagers.... life of them all is in his hands. Emotional quotient of audience gets higher than anything else.

And there.... the shot of his lifetime. Bhuvan shots sixer, but life is not easy for our hero, as villain is about to catch him. The edge of the set heart stopping moment, and for a moment it breaks hearts, but so soon, it turns out totally contrasting.

And here comes the victory ! Moment to cry. Moment of joy. Moment when the mother land gets her due from Bhuvan. Immortal shot [below], perhaps the finest expressions ever caught in a shot. Add [i'm repeating this again] Rahman's magic, and here I go crying at each viewing. Bhuvan breaks down to the ground, holding sand in his hands, letting it go free in the air....

No wonder, this brilliant shot was captured as cover page of the Spirit Of LAGAAN.
The joy, not of only villagers. Many more. The 'we have won' by Javed Khan, The British officer, who sat next to Rajaji, The king, and tears of joy, of Elizabeth. Each has been caputred so beutifully, that it gets you moved. I just can't get enough of this moment, the Mitwa theme with drums and dance of all villagers, AAH... THE MOMENT. On a very short note, this is a rare climax where for a logest duration [7 minutes] 'the hero' does not speak even a single line !!! and why should he, when he has such fantastic expressions by actors he had got for the movie.

Just note everyone in above frame. Ram Singh-who served Britishers, but now he's free from their slavery, he's overwhelmed. The tears of joy are there. Elizabeth is so happy, she can not hide it despite trying to do so, fearing she would be only one to show such happiness among British camp. Joy of villagers naturally comes in mixed feeling. Some are happy, some are so happy they starts crying. Zoom the pic, you can see a lady just behind Gauri. Perfect expressions I say. And lastly, the King, for whom this is a little but important victory against Britishers - his teeth are stuck as he's happy.

And the crowd !! How tougher it can get when you're making a period film, handling everything, even the costumes that should look the way it should be.

And brilliant wrapping up the chapters one by one. In one shot, Captain Russel is shown breaking glasses in his tent, symbolizing his broken ego. Love between Bhuvan and Gauri, which now comes out without any hesitation, and end of Elizabeth's lovestory
... to top it all, the Rain !! Nothing can better than that. It still continues to make you feel tears of joy when everyone enjoys the rain. Music changes dramatically by each moment. At entry of Elizabeth, it goes 'o rey chhori' and when rain arrives, it starts Ghanan Ghanan.. Aah, Rahman - without you, this movie is incomplete.

Another interesting shot here - after defeat, everyone is enjoying rain expect the Britishers. They are rushing back to their camp - symbolism or anything else? See below pic, see that policeman smiling and looking up with pride??
And how fantastic it can get to end the scene with aerial shot of Mai, happy with son's victory for village, happy with rains finally touching her feet....
So, that's why I call it - What a Climax !!

What a Climax ! is a new series of blog posts, which I am planning to write for some movies I love. So, everytime I would be giving out huge spoilers, so please stay away from this kind of posts, if you haven't seen the movie. [Hope, I can continue this series, btw]. Suggestions are welcome.


  1. What a great idea for a post! And the play by play is brilliantly done, especially with all the pics.

    This is, by far, one of the most incredible climaxes in a movie I have ever seen. So passionate and emotional and beautifully directed and acted at every turn. I'd never thought actually about the fact that no one is talking for so long at the end. What you can do with expressions is so true! Wah Wah Darshit!

  2. As you point out, I really liked that they picked a mix of cricketers who can act and actors who can play cricket, it added so much more realism to the cricket bits. Even the kits are from the late 19th century (are you kidding me?!), it was all much fun, and added so much more credibility to the film.

    Love this post, Darshit, thanks so much! There's so much going on throughout the climax that we need to see it multiple times to appreciate the attention to detail throughout.

    And I remember the first time I saw the film, I was manipulated by it enough to believe that Russell taking that catch had ended it, even after believing the game was over right before the no ball was called. I wouldn't believe Aamir would pull off a happy ending until I saw the very last frame. :)

  3. Bahut badhiya post sir jee..I remember this very vividly...the climax was like India vs Australia - Sharjah -1998 - jab sachin ne pelke dhoya tha...

    And for the first time, I could see a cinema hall getting converted into a stadium

  4. Anonymous11:52

    First off, I love the .gif image, great idea! I completely agree with this statement: “I always get confused when I need to write something about great movies like this.” Me too! I would never even think of writing up anything on this great film since it’s just too vast to tackle, but like you, I took up the cause for theBollywoodFan. In my post I also focused on the motivating moment between Bhuvan and Kachra, what a great moment! I like you pointing out that the game is a gentleman’s game, I never thought of it that way, but of course it’s quite obvious now that you state it so clearly. Thanks for capturing the moving stills at the precise times for full effect. And again, you point out even more I didn’t realize here “On a very short note, this is a rare climax where for a logest duration [7 minutes] 'the hero' does not speak even a single line !!!” What a great way to end with the aerial shot of Mai. Well done. Shabash! Here’s my contribution to Lagaan Week: http://bit.ly/d8PaZr
    All the best!

  5. Hi, and Thanks all for your valuable inputs on this post.

    Indeed shell, not even a single person we can find who acts in average manner. Everyone is so geared up to give their best, it shows on screen. Rarely that happens in our cinema.

    Yes, theBollywoodFan I remember that part from book, how Reena and Aamir roamed tirelessly in London to find that correct set of cricket kit. How far can one go in terms of dedication?!! Agree, there is so much more going on in climax, that we miss out from every single detail. There's one point I've noted, will tell you later :)

    Ah, you know how much I 'love' cricket, ;P but I too was so excited to find out how it turns out. As I wrote here, I thought this is surely going to Kachra, and in final shot, i was confused and shocked [by catch] too, I never had an idea that it could be a No Ball !! And know what? I watched this in 'very first' row in theatre, which was housefull. All in audience got happy, they stood up and came in front of screen to rejoice ! As Sujoy has put it- cinema hall getting converted into a stadium. Never have I seen such great audience response, unless of course Ghajini and 3 idiots to some extent. Aah, Aamir !

    Sahi hai naa Sita Ji, its really tough to describe such movies in words. See, I haven't wrote about Rang De Basanti too.

    oh, my ! You have chosen one of my most fav moments of the movie. Must read your post right now. Thanks a lot for 'Shabashi' :)

  6. sita ji oh, and you can create Gif using simple software called Photoscape. http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/index.php

  7. That was very astute observation- the Indians enjoying the rain while the Brits take cover. Nice! Thats a cery powerful psychological moment there. Great post Dunk draft.

  8. Thanks Shwetaji,


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