Gender and Sexuality

While gender roles was not one of the key elements of the movie “Lagaan” I believe the role that Elizabeth played was a very interesting but key role of the movie.  While she did somewhat play the stereotypical “damsel in distress” role it wasn’t nearly like the role played by the woman in Indiana Jones.  While at first she was hesitant on speaking her mind, you were still able to tell how uncomfortable she felt with how the villagers were being treated.  Then one very interesting scene occurred where Elizabeth went to talk to the villagers and one of the villagers came out swinging his stick and screaming.  If this would have been the Indiana Jones movie and the woman was meeting the villagers for the first time she would have run away screaming.  But, while Elizabeth was a little startled, she has a general knowledge of who the villagers are and her intentions are only on helping them.  Then there are multiple times throughout the movie, where despite possible consequences, she defied her brothers orders and continued to help the villagers.  My main question is why is it that out of all the English people living next to and seeing all of these injustices being subjected on the villagers, Elizabeth is the only one to step up and fight for what she believes in?  Without Elizabeth the villagers would not have stood a chance against the English and I believe her role is a very important and powerful role in the movie.

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