Bollywood films with IMDb 8.0+ Ratings

9: Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

Release date: 2001
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Duration: 3hr 44m
Genre: Sport/Musical
Cast: Aamir Khan, Raghubir Yadav, Gracy Singh

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“Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India” is a 2001 Indian epic sports drama film directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. Set in 1893 during the British colonial rule, the story takes place in a small village named Champaner. The villagers are burdened by high taxes (lagaan) imposed by the British. When the villagers request a tax reduction due to a severe drought, the arrogant British officer, Captain Russell, challenges them to a cricket match. If the villagers win, their taxes will be canceled for three years; if they lose, they will have to pay triple the amount. Despite having no knowledge of cricket, the villagers accept the challenge, seeing it as their only hope to avoid starvation.

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Led by Bhuvan, a determined young farmer, the villagers come together to learn and play cricket, a game completely foreign to them. With the help of a kind British woman, Elizabeth, who secretly teaches them the rules, they form a team. The villagers face numerous challenges, including internal conflicts and the overwhelming superiority of the British team. However, their determination, unity, and Bhuvan’s leadership drive them forward. The climactic cricket match becomes a gripping battle of skill and spirit. In the end, against all odds, the villagers win the match, securing their freedom from the oppressive tax, and becoming heroes in their village. The film is celebrated for its powerful storytelling, strong performances, and its portrayal of the triumph of the human spirit against adversity.

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