Not only the best I've ever seen, but also the Indian film that'd be most accessible to a Western audience.
Stream Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
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Neither pure masala musical nor pure masala meller, Lagaan is an involving, easily digestible hunk of pure entertainment that could be the trigger for Bollywood's long-awaited crossover to non-ethnic markets.
Rippingly good, old-fashioned movie epic.
The sunny, funny, toe-tapping Lagaan is the answer to those who ask why they don't make movies like they used to: They do, but in India.
If you've never seen a "masala" musical, you may find Lagaan hilariously bad. Cartoony acting, dreadful dialogue, obvious dubbing, and meandering but ultrapredictable plots are simply part of the Bollywood package, along with six musical numbers and a bizarre mixture of romance, comedy and melodrama.
Gowariker's stunningly choreographed, four-hour spectacle (reportedly one of the most expensive films in the industry's history) is a fascinating mix of Hollywood genres and tropes.
Raises it to the level of an art film with fully drawn characters, a serious underlying theme, and a sophisticated style and point of view.
A movie that amply delivers on the epic promise of its title, entertaining, enlightening, and emboldening viewers with its deceptively simple premise and execution.
The unlikeliest enthralling movie to be released so far this year.
If you've never experienced a Bollywood musical before, seeing Lagaan will be like watching "Gone With the Wind" without ever having seen a Hollywood movie.