On the 20th anniversary of ‘Lagaan,’ Aamir Khan took over the production reins. Thanks to its storey, nostalgia, and rustic plot, the iconic film continues to captivate audiences.
With its lavish budget, six elaborate songs, and a romantic subplot, ‘Lagaan’ defined lavish cinema, while the larger picture focused on British oppression of India.
“Actually, it is not just one thing; almost everything about ‘Lagaan’ has stayed with me, in our memories,” Aamir says when asked which part of the film has stayed with him two decades later.
It is extremely difficult for me to choose just one thing.” After much deliberation, the actor dedicates the film to his ex-wife Reena Dutta’s efforts. “One thing that has stayed with me is the way Reena, my ex-wife, handled the film,” Aamir Khan says.
She was the producer of ‘Lagaan,’ and she had no prior knowledge of the film industry. Despite the fact that she had been married to me for a long time, she had no interest in movies.
She had no prior experience with filmmaking.” “When I requested her one night, ‘I am producing a film, I need your help,’ she said, ‘I don’t know anything about films, what can I help you with?’” Aamir explains how he got Reena to take over the production reins for ‘Lagaan.’
But I wanted her to make an effort to learn because she is someone I completely trust and rely on. Reena Dutta was an enthusiastic producer who studied the filmmaking process closely. She said, ‘I’ll learn,’ and armed herself with a lot of knowledge.”
“She met two lab owners, Subhash Ghai and Manmohan Shetty. She learned what a negative is, how to process it, and how to print it. She met with producers, directors, and technicians to gain a better understanding of the filmmaking process.
‘I’m not going to tell you anything, you learn on your own,’ I told her. So she figured it out and made a film as if she’d done it before.” “That is something I will never forget in my life.”
The rest of us, like Ashutosh and me, came from the film industry, but she didn’t. Her entry into the project and subsequent command of the situation was truly remarkable. S
o that’s one of my favourite memories from the movie “Lagaan”! “I’m still baffled as to how she managed to do that,” Aamir Khan concludes. ‘Lagaan,’ directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, was India’s official Oscar entry in 2002.
The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but lost out to Bosnian film ‘No Man’s Land,’ which won the award. Aamir believes they may have just missed out on the global award by a hair.