write here...This critique of Lagaan is occasioned by the hype generated by its nomination for an Oscar. If it had walked away with an Academy Award, many more breathless encomiums would have inevitably followed. One should make no mistake that the Oscars are an entirely American affair and cannot be a barometer of world-wide artistic tastes and merit. The Oscar for foreign film category is a minor side-show, a grudging acknowledgment by Hollywood that cinema exists beyond America. Moreover, as Aamir Khan has so candidly said on television, winning the Oscar has got more to do with mundane matters like lobbying to get the Academy members to watch the film and vote for it. That we continue to look to the West for approbation is a poor reflection on the colonised mindset of the elite in India.
Good art always reflects the many aspects of life in all its fullness. But in the process of catering to our updated tastes in an "exotic" context, Lagaan fails to live up to the rich possibilities inherent in its basic premise. That it succeeds at all is more a reflection of the dismal quality of what is dished out by Bollywood as a routine affair