In a remarkable display of the first sensible thing I've witnessed from this company in...oh, ten years or so, the local outlet of a big national movie rental chain actually had three Indian films. I snapped up Lagaan for my parents' introduction to Bollywood. They thoroughly enjoyed it, and let me tell you, they're a tough crowd for movies, particularly when it comes to period pieces. There ain't a lot of history they don't have at least a cursory knowledge of, but I think my warning of "this is fictional!" helped, and they had lots of questions about whether the instruments, buildings, etc. were realistic. Even in regular movies, they dismiss a lot of plots, characters, and settings as "silly" and seldom get into the spirit of whatever the story is. Except British mysteries on PBS, which they love. Hmmm.
I think Lagaan was a good introduction not just because it's such a good masala and has strong performances (except Captain Russel, who is way overdone), but becasue it's nearly impossible to resist the tide of hope in the movie. My mom in particular enjoys trouncing the English whenever possible, and my dad likes sports, so I figured that was a good bet. I was also pleased with how much they liked the music, which on my second viewing I would have to say is the strongest suit of this movie.
Followed very closely by that inexplicably wildly sexy dance move Aamir does, with his hands clasped behind his head, sort of skipping in a sideways line. I think it's in "Mitwa," which even withouth its picturization is one of my top favorite Bollywood songs.
Did everyone else already know that Amitabh Bachchan does the voiceover in this movie? As soon as we put in the DVD, I thought, hang on, I know that voice! I was even more surprised that, after confirming it was indeed him, that I hadn't read about it somewhere.
Aside to big national movie rental chain: Australian movies are interfiled with American ones under "drama," "comedy," etc., but French, Indian, and Mexican are "international"? I didn't notice where you had put British movies. You prove your irksomeness once more. Long live That's Rentertainment and all its kind.