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Welcome To Sajjanpur - Movie Review

Date: 09/20/2008

Welcome to sajjanpurThe film revolves around Mahadev, one of the few educated young men from Sajjanpur, and who makes his living by writing letters. His ability to write persuasive letters makes him extremely popular with largely the illiterate population of his town. The film is a delightful satirical take on a contemporary Indian village. The film was originally titled Mahadev ka Sajjanpur

For the most part, the film is a laugh out loud comedy. I loved the chain-letter-with-death-threat scene wherein a villager is willing to spend 200 rupees on forwarding those letters, like the threatening emails and messages we forward. I also liked the street play scene, Ila Arun’s woes about her daughter’s wedding, the chase between the Subedar and Ramkumar, the letter reading between Kamala and Mahadev, the mobile chitti and Munnibai’s entry. The scene where she begs him to write a letter to the Collector for her protection is very touching and sensitive.

This is the central story of WELCOME TO SAJJANPUR. There are other characters that come to him for help in letter writing. There's Illa Arun who is worried about her daughter Divya Dutta's marriage; there's Ravi Kishen the compounder who has fallen in love with the fauji's widowed daughter Rajeshwari Sachdev; there's Yashpal Sharma the local goon and there's the eunuch who contests and wins the Panchayat elections. All these assortment of characters make an interesting story, told with dollops of humor that connects the viewer with the character.

The sets, clothes and language lend authenticity to the film. The language is slightly hard to understand; you get the gist of the dialogue but not every line. There are plenty of jokes on politicians. On the whole Indian village life has been realistically portrayed, including politics, illiteracy, discrimination and superstition.

Every other supporting cast throws their weight behind this movie to make it special for the director. Right from Illa Arun to Ravi Kishhen to Yashpal Sharma to Divya Dutta to Kunal Kapoor who has a cameo towards the end, to the Eunuch.

Ravi Kissen and Rajeshwari make a mark in their cameo. Divya Dutta is extremely believable as the independent, scooter driving Vindhya. Yashpal Sharma adds another feather to his cap; you hate him as he commits crimes and walks away freely. Amrita Rao is sensitive and expresses through her eyes. She looks very pretty too. Shreyas Talpade is clearly the star of the show. He is adorable as the clever, fun loving, sometimes selfish yet caring Mahadev.


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