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06 Aug 2014
"Lagaan" – A Comedy Script

By Shanay Sushil Jhaveri

The movie Lagaan, set in 1893, opens with the typical Amitabh Bachhan (notice its not actually him) narration with the camera doing a wide angle on barren land in a remote village in British India, obviously named Champaner. [Notice the Bihari accent in the movie while the village is actually in Gujarat, the director should be thankful they don’t have Shiv Sena in Gujarat.] It’s sad that slumdog millionaire puts India in a poor light but when an Indian movie does it, it’s like giving yourself a wedgie and feeling good about it. The movie is about this overly patriotic Bhuvan (Aamir Khan) who thinks he can take on the entire England cricket team (which frankly would be much easier in today's day) while basically cheating on his childhood babe Gauri (Gracey Singh) with a British woman Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley). Elizabeth falls in love with him while teaching him the game, which is basically as futile as watching Rahul Gandhi make a speech in Hindi (as though if I said English it would have been any less funny).

The movie revolves around a bet that Bhuvan makes with a random (obviously cruel) British officer who gets angry with him for touching the ball; I guess the phrase 'chhoone se nahi phelta' wasn't as popular back then. The bet being a cricket match (like the IPL isn't enough betting cricket for the Indian eyes) goes on for 5 days before Bhuvan hits the winning 6, which gives them a glimpse of their future in cricket. By the end of the movie the viewer feels both happy and sad, happy because you know when a man named Khachra can do something useful it’s not too late for yourself and sad because we did not know a cricket match could seem more fixed than they already are.


Shanay is the son of Falguni and Sushil Jhaveri and grandson of Manubhai Jhaveri. He wrote this script in response to a Facebook post from AIB, one of India’s premeiere comedy collectives, inviting applications from comedy scriptwriters. The writers had to submit a 300 word sarcastic and humorous review of Lagaan or K3G. Over 2100 applications were received, and Shanay was one of those selected for working with AIB after auditions at Comedy Store in Mumbai. However, since the 18-year old will be leaving for the USA to pursue his undergraduate engineering studies, he declined the offer.



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