Sixteen years back, this day marked the memorable release of Aamir Khan’s legendary sports epic Lagaan, the movie that shook Bollywood out of its accustomed feel-good family dramas and love stories. Not only did the film win numerous accolades in home ground, but it also went on to be nominated for the prestigious Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film category. Looking back at its success, it seems like Dangal is not the first Aamir film which is breaking and setting new records. Here’s a list of some unknown record-breaking facts about this 2001 superhit:
1. Aamir Khan Productions is known to give some incredible hits to Bollywood like Taare Zameen Par, Talaash and Dangal. But little do people know that Lagaan was the first film made under the banner. Even though Khan had promised himself that he would never produce a film, he obliged director Ashutosh Gowariker who was unable to find a producer for the film.
2. Lagaan is the first Indian film to have a nationwide release in China and it was also released in the United States, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Africa and the Middle East with specific subtitles, breaking all geographical barriers.
3. Lagaan became the first Hindi film to be shot using sync sound which means that dialogues and sounds were recorded live during the shoot itself. Most Indian films of the time were actually dubbed in the studios.
4. Lagaan also happens to be the first hit sports epic of Bollywood paving the way for Chak De India, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal and Sultan. Intertwining cricket, the Independence struggle and Bollywood in the legendary classic was definitely one of the factors that made this Ashutosh Gowariker film a genius project.
5. Lagaan became the third Bollywood film to make it to the short list of Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Earlier Mother India (1957) and Salaam Bombay! (1988) made it to the elite club.
Well, it seems like what makes Lagaan a ‘hatke’ movie in Bollywood is not just its unique rural setting and theme, but the iconic vision that the makers had while filming this movie.