This Scene of Captain Russell and Elizabeth in Lagaan Did Not Make it to the Final Cut

·2-min read

One of India’s classic movies on British Raj and cricket, Lagaan completed its 20 years on Tuesday. Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, the movie starred Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley, Paul Blackthorne, among others. Lagaan was also nominated for an Academy Award in the Best International Feature Film category in 2002. Considering how the movie continues to be watched and remembered for its story and cinematic experience, one would not think there would be any changes required. However, in a recent interview, Ashutosh revealed the one correction he would like to make if he had to make the movie today.

Speaking to The Quint, Ashutosh said that he would definitely make the movie exactly the way he made it back then, however this time he would like to add something. The filmmaker said that when he made the film, it was four hours and five minutes long which was the first cut that they had. Considering its unusual length, the makers had to remove 18 or 20 minutes of an entire track. Ashutosh revealed that the track showed Captain Russell, played by Blackthorne, arresting the villagers and putting them behind bars, and framing them. The villagers were then rescued by Elizabeth who saw what was happening.

Ashutosh said that it was a very interesting track, with a lot of romance that was present among the three characters: Bhuvan, Gauri, and Elizabeth. However, due to limited time length, the makers had to let that part go. Ashutosh mentions that if he were to release the film today, he would somehow try to keep that track, so that audiences are able to enjoy that scene as well.

Lagaan depicted the story of eleven underdogs from a drought-struck Indian village who try to win tax relaxation from British rule in their area by winning a cricket match. The music for the movie was composed by Academy Award winning artist AR Rahman.

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