Aamir Khan on 20 years of Lagaan: The fact that it works today after 20 years is something I’m very happy about Aamir Khan (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, Lagaan (2001) completes 20 years of its theatrical release on June 15. The Oscar-nominated film features Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh in principal roles, and has attained cult status over the years.
During a media interaction, Aamir Khan said that Lagaan still stays relevant because it has that human spirit and leadership skills which will be relevant in the future too. When asked whether this factor will make the film immortal, he replied, “No, that’s not why I would say it will be immortal and I am not quite sure it will be immortal also. But the fact that is that it lasted for 20 years and it works today after 20 years is something that I am very happy about. For any film to stand the test of time – every film cannot stand the test of time. There are films that you see and you love them at that time. When you see them 10 years later, you are like, ‘Hmm… did I like this film? Gadbad hai!’ But at that time, you had liked it and so it was a good film for that time. Maybe it does not work anymore for you, so there are a lot of films like that.”
The superstar went on to add, “There are some films like Mughal-e-Azam (1960), Mother India (1957), and Ganga Jamuna (1961), you know these are classics. Why are they classic? Because they stand the test of time. Sholay (1975), it stands the test of time. You will watch it 100 years later. Like Mughal-e-Azam, the pace is slow, the dialogue is so high-flown Urdu, it still binds you in, and it still binds you! And it has been made what – I don’t know – 70 years ago? So, films have their quality, they stand the test of time. Which are those films? Can you plan them? I doubt it. They just get made. I don’t think even when Mughal-e-Azam was being made, K. Asif thought that people would watch my film even after 70 years and say what a film it was! At that time K. Asif probably wouldn’t have known.”
Explaining further, Khan added, “So I am saying as creative people, we all are trying our best. Some of them become films that stand the test of time. As far as Lagaan is concerned, we know that it has stood the test of time for 20 years. Will it stand the test of time of 30 years? We will see in 30 years if people are still interested. But I am glad to know that it has connected so deeply with people.”
“I always say Lagaan is a journey for me. It has started as a journey and it remains a journey. In this journey, some people have joined in the beginning stages, some people have joined later on, but it is a journey. It began with Ashutosh, I joined in, AR Rahman joined in, the actors joined in, and the technicians joined in – so all joined in this journey. In the making of the film, it is not just the actors and the crew, it is also the people who bring the film to the audience, it is the exhibitors, it is the theatre owners, it is the whole system, it has got so many aspects to it. So, when this all happens then you finally watch the film.”
Aamir Khan is presently busy wrapping up his upcoming film Laal Singh Chaddha, which is set for a Christmas 2021 release. Also starring Kareena Kapoor Khan, the period drama is the official adaptation of the Hollywood classic Forrest Gump (1994). Advait Chandan is directing the ambitious project.
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