South Asia

Lagaan makes Time magazine list of top 25 sports films

Aamir Khan with Lagaan poster
Image caption Lagaan was one of the biggest Bollywood hits of all the time

Bollywood film Lagaan (Land Tax), which won an Oscar nomination, has been included in a list of the 25 best sports movies by Time magazine.

Starring Aamir Khan, Lagaan tells the story of peasants who challenge their British rulers to a game of cricket in order to escape a punitive tax.

Time magazine said it was the "longest and the most enthralling underdog sports movie ever".

The film is one of the biggest Bollywood hits of all time.

Lagaan's music was composed by Indian composer AR Rahman, who also won Oscars for his soundtrack to 2009's multi-award-winning Slumdog Millionaire.

"From the thunderclap in the first torrential rainstorm - a cue for riotous dancing - to the climactic sunlight on the smiling faces of millions of viewers, this Bollywood epic is cause for joy of meteorological proportions," Time magazine said of the 224-minute film.

The magazine said that Lagaan, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, has the "capability to win over Bollywood newcomers - to turn snickers into smiles, indulgence to rapture".

Time praised the the film's "masala mix of melodrama and character comedy" and its music.

"As sports film, social document or communal ecstasy, Lagaan is the all-time all-rounder," the magazine said.

Lagaan is the only Indian movie in the list which is led by Coen Brothers' The Big Lebowski.

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