Friday, May 9, 2014

Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)

IMDb plot summary: The people of a small village in Victorian India stake their future on a game of cricket against their ruthless British rulers.
Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. Starring Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley, and Paul Blackthorne.

Well, I wasn't at all sure how this was going to go over, because it combines one of my least favorite genres (sports movies) with one of my favorite genres (musical). I ended up landing somewhere in the middle on this. It's a good story with likable characters, and the musical numbers are fun and interesting. I didn't even mind the sports aspect of it... until we got a cricket match that lasted an hour and a half of movie time. I clearly did not understand the rules as well as I thought I did, so when they actually started playing, I was just confused most of the time.

This movie is almost 4 hours long, and although I enjoyed the first couple hours, I was ready to go by about the 3-hour mark. There's only one song in the last hour, and not a lot of character stuff happening. The end is basically an hour and twenty minutes or so of people running around yelling, and while clearly this is the kind of thing that sports fans enjoy, that offered very little for me.

That being said, though, I DID enjoy the first three hours. So if I balance everything out, the movie as a whole lands somewhere in the middle.

3 stars.

Flickchart: #829 out of 2128, below Fanboys and above National Lampoon's Vacation.

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