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Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India

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To avoid submitting to exorbitant taxes, a poor 19th-century Indian village must pull together and defeat its ruthless British rulers in, of all things, a cricket match. Set against the social commentary is a love triangle involving a farmer (a nuanced Khan), a village pixie (Singh), and a Brit (Rachel Shelley). And it’s a musical! Lagaan is an excellent way to sample the exotic lushness of Indian cinema — it is India’s Oscar entry for 2001 — and to avoid Bollywood’s usual worn-out plots and overspiced acting.

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