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Word Count: 547
The Man Who Would Be King and Lagaan are films that are set in the period of the Victorian Empire which was when the British Empire was expanding most rapidly due to the need to obtain resources for rapid commercial and industrial development The British therefore wielded great influence globally through expansion and was the biggest empire ever in history Hence the British had the image of great superiority with almost God-like presence power This is supported by Peachy and Danny who sets off for the distant land of Kafiristan where no white man has ever been since Alexander the Great to seek for wealth and power Also they want to become kings Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely Our two heroes similarly show a tendency to destroy every culture that gets in their way akin to the effects of British colonial endeavors However The Man Who Would Be King also deliberately contrasts with the prototypical heroes of the empire films as well The film demythicizes and undermines the loyalist and imperialist ideologies of the Victorian Empire through its ironic critique of imperialism by the showing of Peachy and Danny greedily lusting for power The natives in The Man Who Would Be King undermine the integrity of the British and the progress of civilization through polo a game of the English The hand of progress can already be seen in Kafiristan since polo was already in existence even before the arrival of Peachy and Danny However the game of polo is undermined when a human skull is replaced by a ball introducing a barbaric aspect to polo The image of superiority of the Britons was also undermined in Lagaan during the game when the Indians no longer needed to pay astronomical taxes to the Britons after they won By not paying taxes the Britons iron fist on the Indians was loosened giving the Indians a chance to
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