Lagaan which means Tax is set during British rule in India is based on a story of a village called Champaner which depended on rain for good crop production . Villagers are facing hardships to pay the lagaan to the british Army and as the story moves forward, villagers find the bet with british army to play and win cricket with them will surely relieve them from giving the lagann for the next two years. Bhuvan(Amir Khan) not only accepts the bet but also trains the villagers to make his own army against the british army. Whereas Captain Russell is confident as villagers have no idea on how to play cricket. The villagers give their best to make a better life for them.
Director Ashutosh Gwarikor has portrayed Lagaan as a utopian fantasy of a perfect community, brought together in literal and figurative harmony. Bhuvan unites the entire farming community to confront the british . The film is shot beautifully with wide shots of the barren lands. The film is truly a drop of suspense till the last minute.
The film got widespread critical acclaim and awards at various International Film Festivals as in India. It went on to become the third film to be nominated for the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film from India after Mother India(1957) and Salaam Bombay(1988).