20 Years Of Lagaan: Maybe if I had seen 'Gadar', I’d have gotten frightened and said that we won’t clash with it - Aamir Khan

20 years ago, Aamir Khan's masterpiece Lagaan released and made it to the Oscars. The Ashutosh Gowariker directorial created wave and received critical acclaim back in 2001 as soon as it released. However, it did face a huge challenge in terms of a box office clash with another humongous film - Sunny Deol's Gadar. While both the films were appreciated by fans and critics, it was Gadar that earned more at the box office. But that definitely did not make Lagaan any less of a film. Now, as both the film completes 20 years today, Aamir Khan has opened up about the famous clash between Lagaan and Gadar

Talking about the clash, Aamir started off by saying, "The fact is that earlier when the film was about to release and I got to know that Gadar was coming with Lagaan, obviously, Anil Sharma is a successful director and Sunny Deal is a very huge star, one does get concerned. However, I always believed that when two films are good and they release on the same day, they both do well. Dil and Ghayal had the same release day, in fact, Sunny and I have coincidentally come together many times and fortunately, both our films have done well. I had once met the producer of Gadar and he had told me the outline of the story and I had liked it a lot so I told Ashutosh (Gowariker) that the story is very strong and its emotional quotient is so good in the film that it can’t go wrong."

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He then added by saying that if Lagaan did even 1% lesser business than what it actually did, it would not have survived. He said, "So I said be prepared for a very good film.  So, this much, I was prepared for. What I was not prepared for was what a monster of a film Gadar was. Baap re, people used to fill up tractors to go and watch the film. People used to travel in tractors and busses from villages to watch Gadar. Gadar was at least 3 times bigger than Lagaan. If not, 4 times bigger than Lagaan. A massive hit, a monster hit it was. So in front of it, I wonder today how we survived. Gadar was a tsunami, we don’t realize it today. But the kind of business Gadar was doing, if Lagaan was doing 1% less than it was, we wouldn’t have survived. Gadar was a bigger hit than Lagaan. It’s remarkable that these both films released on the same day and Gadar has done great business and Lagaan may not have done much business but it received a lot of love. So, both have done really well. Gadar was a monster hit."

The actor concluded by saying, "I had not seen Gadar, maybe if I had, I’d have gotten frightened and said that we won’t clash with it. Why should my rival film not be a good film? Why would we want a film to not do well? If someone had told me it’s going to be this big a film, then I’d have thought twice that we shouldn’t be clashing with such a big film. But we didn’t know this at that time. I don’t think even Sunny or Anil Sharma knew. But no one ever told us to not come on the same day."

For the unversed, Ashutosh Gowariker's Lagaan starring Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh releasing on June 15, 2001, and clashed with Anil Sharma's Gadar starring Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel. 

(Transcribed By: Tanmayi Savadi)