Then there is a remote village called Sajjanpur which is full of illiterates who can neither read nor write. Mahadev (Shreyas Talpade) is a graduate and wannabe writer who sees some business potential in writing letters for illiterate village men at a price. He starts his business by sitting under a tree and starts writing letters and reading letters at a price. He is like a God in the city as he gets to read/write all the letters. He knows the secrets of all the village men. The rest of the story is all about how he helps the village out with his knowledge and how he plays mischief with the life of an innocent married childhood lady friend.
Shreyas Talpade is excellent as the letter writer who drives the entire story. This is probably his best performance after Iqbal and 'Dor' films. He did the role of intelligent, mischievous yet good hearted youngster. Amrita Rao shows her acting prowess in the role of village belle who eagerly awaits the arrival of her husband from Mumbai. Yashpal Sharma is good as the evil guy who wants to make his wife a sarpanch. Ravi Jhankal steals the show as hizda who runs for sarpanch elections. Kunal Kapoor did the guest appearance as Bansi, but he did not suit the role.
Story - Screenplay - direction: Story of the film is nice. The characters in the film are well defined and the entire story is narrated from the letter writer point of view. The innocence of village is portrayed in a sensitive way. It is a different humor entertainer from Shyam Benegal who is generally known for serious art cinema. At the same time, he emphasized on humanity aspect towards the climax of the film. There are four drawbacks in the film – slowness in narration, unnecessary songs that obstruct the flow, hypothetical scenes and problematic language in the beginning of the film. The following scenes are worth a mention
1. When somebody asks Mahadev who Kamala is. He said 'behan' and after a brief gap he says 'kisi aur ka'.
2. The scene in which Hizda comes to the place of Mahadev and tells her/his problems.
3. The last letter from Kamala's husband in which he explains how he is going to raise 50k.
Other technical departments: The music of the film is pretty good. Songs are well picturized though they come as speed breakers for the narration. Cinematography of the film is superb. The village and lush green surroundings is beautifully captured on the celluloid. Dialogues are witty. Production values and packaging of the product is good by UTV Spotboy.
Analysis: UTV seem to be doing really well when it come to making small yet meaningful cinema like Aamir, Mumbai Meri Jaan, A Wednesday and Welcome to Sajjanpur. This film is a simple film with genuine comedy and some heart touching scenes. The plus points are the comedy and the village set-up. The negative points are slow-paced narration, unnecessary songs, and loose ends towards climax. On a whole, Welcome to Sajjanpur might not be a good entertainer, but certainly worth a watch if you want to see a different film with simple comedy.
reviews of previous films
Mumbai Meri Jaan
God Tussi Great Ho
Bachna Ae Haseeno
Singh is Kinng
Jaane Tu ya na jaane
Buddha Mar Gaya
Chak De India
Gandhi My Father
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Tara Rum Pum
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