Lagaan is one of the biggest and most talked about films of not just filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker, but also Aamir Khan’s career. Today, on Gowariker’s birthday, here are some facts about Lagaan. The Delhi 6 helmer had originally planned to cast Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role, however, when the actor turned down the movie Aamir Khan stepped into Bhuvan’s shoes. Of course, SRK and Gowariker collaborated later on Swades, but the movie was not a blockbuster like Lagaan. In fact, Lagaan was nominated at the Oscars 2002 in the Best Foreign Language Film category but lost the Academy award to No Man’s Land. Ashutosh Gowariker’s movie has many memorable anecdotes like the entire cast and crew were put up in a building in Bhuj during the shoot as there were no hotels in the area.
Ashutosh was a tough taskmaster and to ensure discipline on the sets the filmmaker had his entire team bussed to the sets at 5 am. As a punishment, those who were late were left behind. And nobody was an exception to this rule, not even the star of the film Aamir Khan. Apparently, on one of the days Aamir got delayed by just 5 minutes, however, the rule was neither bent nor broken for the superstar. The bus left behind AK and took the rest of the team to the set. And that’s not all. The movie was not just a challenge in terms of production. During the filming, Ashutosh suffered massive back problems and was asked to take complete bed rest for a month. The filmmaker, however, instead of following the doctor’s instruction went ahead to direct the movie lying down on a bed. It was literally a back-breaking experience.
The movie went on to be a massive hit. Aamir Khan’s Lagaan had clashed with Sunny Deol-Ameesha Patel’s Gadar – Ek Prem Katha. While many expected Ashutosh Gowariker’s movie to fizzle, both Gadar and Lagaan went on to mint money at the box office and were declared hits. Lagaan’s success did surprise many as sports movies were not really considered as profitable projects then.
Another fun fact: Did you know that Aamir Khan’s team actually lost the match to the British team in the match that took place in real life? Well, you do know that now!
Wishing Ashutosh Gowariker a very happy birthday! The filmmaker’s next is titled Panipat: The Great Betrayal and is a period drama starring Sanjay Dutt, Arjun Kapoor and Kriti Sanon in lead roles.