'Biggest award for me is people loving the film': Aamir Khan on 'Lagaan' not winning an Oscar

It was 20 years ago on June 15 that Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh's Lagaan hit the screens. Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, the film swept the nation and even made it to the Oscars shortlist in the Foreign Language category.

The film as well as the actors won several accolades and 20 years later, the memories of one of the iconic movies of his career are still vivid in the actor's mind.

During his interaction with the media via video conferencing, Aamir talked about the film, its making and whether it has aged well. He also shared a few anecdotes.

Aamir said that for him, Lagaan has been a fantastic journey, full of joy and learning, according to ETimes. He said that every film cannot stand the test of time and some films may not age well. He added that he is not sure if Lagaan will be immortal but he is happy that it has lasted 20 years.

Talking about the making of the film, Aamir said that sometimes, things just happen and it all goes well and Lagaan was one such instance of things falling into place.

The actor mentioned that it’s the film that we look up to today, but when they were making it, they struggled to make a story that the makers believed in. He added that the makers were not sure if they even end up making a good film.

He said that every person involved in Lagaan was emotionally invested in it. However, he credits Ashutosh for making a wonderful film.

Ashutosh was the director and lead writer along with Kumar Dave and Sanjay Dayma (screenplay).

Interestingly, 20 years ago, Sunny Deol and Amisha Patel's Gadar: Ek Prem Katha also released on the same day and Aamir believes that two good films can release on the same day and do well as Dil and Ghayal also released on the same day and performed well.

He recalled telling Ashutosh that Gadar won’t go wrong. Also, they were prepared for it being a good film but weren’t prepared for it being a monstrous hit.

Aamir said that Gadar was at least three times bigger than Lagaan. He called Sunny's film a tsunami and said that they survived alongside, which itself was a big deal.

The 56-year-old actor said that he was disappointed for not winning the Oscar, however, he stated that the fact that Lagaan was nominated and was in the top five, says that the members loved it.

Aamir believes that it is not easy to be nominated and that cinema is subjective. He said Oscar widens the reach of the film globally, adding that the people who had no clue what Lagaan was all about also saw the film.

The actor said that for him, people loving the film was the biggest award.

Recalling the challenges they had to face while making Lagaan, Aamir said that the match between the villagers and the Britishers was supposed to be a spectacle and the climax of the film required the kind of crowd that would make it look extraordinary. The makers roped in 10,000 people from the neighbouring towns and villages and brought them to shoot the crowd scenes. Dressing them all and feeding them was a logistical challenge but the team somehow got through it.

Meanwhile, to celebrate 20 years of Lagaan, Aamir Khan Productions has invited fans to showcase their artwork and emotions for the film.

The lucky winner will be receiving original memorabilia from the sets of Lagaan. Aamir Khan Productions took to the official social media page to share the same and said, "Our love for 'Lagaan' is timeless. Come, join us in the celebrations of #20YearsOfLagaan and help us relive the beautiful memories of the film."

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Free Press Journal