Aamir Khan Spoke to the media on his film Lagaan that completed of 20 years sharing few anecdotes as well – Lipika Varma
Lagaan completes 20 years . Lagaan 2001 Indian Hindi-language epic musical sports film written and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, and produced by and starring Aamir Khan, along with debutant Gracy Singh and British actors Rachel Shelley and Paul Blackthorne in supporting roles.
Lagaan received widespread critical acclaim and awards at international film festivals, as well as many Indian film awards.
It became the third Indian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film after Mother India (1957) and Salaam Bombay.
Actor Aamir Khan going down the memory lane shares about the conceptualisation of lagan, initially he had apprehensions but finally turned producer and actor, “My first meeting for Lagaan with director Ashutosh was just for 2 minutes and he told me the story in two lines.
He said there is a village where rains have not poured in and the farmers have to pay tax to the Britishers.
For the exception of this tax they have to play cricket forming their own team. I didn’t understand it.
Ashutosh disappeared for three months and then called me again to hear his narration. I was not very keen to hear if it is the same story.
But he requested me to lend him my ears as he had wasted so much time writing the script.
Hearing this detailed script I liked it and cried, laughed as the story was going ahead. My reaction was similar like the audiences have while watching film on the celluloid.
Since our Jodi [Aamir-Ashutosh] had failed at the box office earlier so I told him to get a producer first who would agree to give us the resources needed, so that we can make the film exactly penned in the script.
I also told him not to reveal that I will be playing the lead. After every six months I would call him up and ask him to narrate this story.
Finally, One day I decided to invite my Ammi and Abbu and also requested my ex -wife Reena to join us. This was the fourth time Ashutosh was narrating the story.
My Abbujaan was in the profession for almost 3 years his advice was when stories are good ,they need to be told.
You don’t get good stories easily. While my ex-wife said I liked the story. One night I decided to act and produce the story myself .This took me 2 years to take up the risk.
Talking about his film Lagaan which is considered as a bench work if he could be associated with a film which could be above Lagaan at this juncture of his life he reveals,” My Chachajaan Naseer Saab used to say that brilliant films are made, you don’t make them. And such films can’t be made Lagaan.
However, we attempt to make good films and worthwhile films which have good quality of work and people will like to watch them always.
Why do we call, “Mother India, Mughal E Azam Ganaga Jamna classic films? Just because they have stood the test of time, even after 50 years people will like to watch it.
Highlighting the problems that Lagaan cast and crew faced technically then he reveals, “Yes, undoubtedly, today technically we have progressed way ahead of those times.
While at that time if we wanted to show the crowd of 10, 000 people it took a lot of time to cane that scene.
But today technically we can multiply the crowd and show it technically in a shorter time.
It would have been easier to make a film Lagaan of this scale now. We did face problems on a daily basis but we successfully made this film finally.
Aamir also shares how they decided to overcome the difficulty of lip syncing the song where villagers are calling upon the rains to fall in that song,”Ghan Ghan,” We were a huge crowd and everyone was not affluent with lip syncing the lines of songs as they were doing it for the first time.
Therefore the first day we could not achieve what we were set to do. After the pack, Director Ashutosh decided to rehearse the song continuously together.
Everyone was given their lines and were all told to first sing the song loudly and learn the lines. This rehearsal for a long period of time enabled everyone to give their perfect shot.”
Sharing an anecdote about Reena [Ex-wife] he shares, “I have loads of memories of lagaan special memories that I would like to share with you all about my ex-wife.
I asked Reena to join our shooting, but she was not prepared as she felt that she did not know about shooting business, she was learning computer science.
However, after being convinced she then set out as producer of this film Lagaan. She was a strict producer.
She would indeed make all of us stand in a queue and point out our mistakes. She also pointed out the number of days of shooting which was exceeding what was put on the papers.
[Teen din ki jagah tum logon ne 5 din ke liye hai] But when the film completed she wrote an emotional heart touching letter to the entire team.
It was an emotional letter wherein she thanked all of us .My tears had rolled down reading it.
It is remarkable doing this filmy business she excelled in it and enabled us to finally successfully complete Lagaan.