Welcome to Sajjanpur [2008]

Toughest job in movie making-put up an ensemble cast in such way that just no one can steal the show and even one is pulled off, its totally incomplete. That is the strength of Welcome to Sajjanpur. Directed by Shyam Benegal's simple and earthy tale of a village and its natives, is a noteworthy in terms of overall cast's performance and integration.

The movie revolves around Mahadev [Shreyas Talpade] who aspires to become a novel writer but ends up writing letters for villagers, where hardly any of the villagers are literate. How he gets into lives of people, how he influence it and how does he cope up with it, that the movie is all about.

Direction is flawless. Not a single moment is there, where i felt out of story, or any flaw in between. And thankfully the length of the movie is perfect. At 134 Minutes. Screenplay written by Benegal and Ashok Mishra, is like earlier Benegal movies. With social responsibility and fun mixed together.Like getting audience drink bitter medicine with sugar. Seamlessly weaved together are current issues in politics, daily life, Industrialization, widow and much more. Each point is bang on the target, making one start to think.

Each and every characters are so well written and performed that I can not go ga-ga over a selected one.

From ever fabulous Shreyas...

to lovely lady <3 <3 Amrita Rao......

another my favorite lady Rajeshwari Sachdeva Badola......

yet another my favorite....Divya Dutta...

Memorable performance by Ravi Jhankal who plays MunniBai-an Eunuch. One of his scene with Shreyas made me cry...

The Lagaanites.....

Sri Vallabh Vyas as Masterji, in a cute flashback :)

Yashpal Sharma as Lakha ....Ramsingh :D

and, the most funny of the entire movie : Dayashankar Pandey as Chidamiram Sapera [the snakecharmer !!]

Surprisingly, I loved Ravi Kishan's performance. He is just so natural and the chemistry between him and Rajeshwari, that made me love both 'over' Shreyas and Amrita !!!

Hilarious Subedar Singh [Lalit Mohan Tiwari] as a retired army personnel..

Ila Arun as 'Ramsakhi Pannawali' (!!!). Divya Dutta and Ila as daughter/mom pairing, made it memorable one.

Music took me at another surprise. Its a shame on me that I don't have the soundtrack at all :( Lovely songs by Shantanu Moitra and words by his regular Swanand Kirkire & Ashok Mishra. My most favorite track, Meetha Marz de de.... picturised so beautifully, dreamy dreamy sequence.

And Bheeni Bheeni Mehki Mehki si, features an interesting video. See..... [Shreyas reminds me of Amol Palekar when he moves his neck in such way and smile..]

And finally, in climax a surprise cameo !!!!

All in all, I really really liked the movie. Its a meaningful cinema as always by Benegal, and still its so endearing that one can easily rewatch it again. My rating is 4.5 out of 5.


  1. nice picts, i like your blog

  2. Awesome review. I've heard nothing but great things. Makes me want to watch it this weekend

  3. I liked this movie, and it's better than most of what's out there, but there were parts that left me wondering why I thought there were issues with the pacing. I kept thinking, 'let's move on already'. The songs are great, but a couple of them seemed forced. But all the performances, dialogue and comic timing made it worthwhile, nevertheless. Amrita Rao... =)

  4. bangrudy Oh, thats a complement. Thanks. And welcome to my blog :)

    Nicki Thanks a lot !! I'll be waiting for your take [loads of caps :)] on this beautiful little film.

    theBollywoodFan I know where you must have shouted...the track between Shreyas / Amrita was a little stretched out. That thing I twitted after watching the movie. That 'I didn't like Mahadev playing tricks on Kamla'. That could have been done little differently. But as an overall, the movie worth it. And yeah..Amritaaaaa...

  5. The performances are amazing in this movie..Amrita Rao and Illa Arun were perfectly cast. Also quite an underrated score, don't you think?

  6. Oh and Divya Dutta! She's always electrifying! I'm a big big fan of her, specially after Delhi6!

  7. Bhargav Yes, definitely Underrated. Even I didn't know this movie had fab duo- Swanand / Shantanu !! Love both love ballads and other situational songs.

    Ahh.. well Divya Dutta is like Chat Masala. Thoda sa chhidko aur taste gets doubled !!!

  8. Yes!I own this film and so excited that both you and Shweta have given it good reviews. Perhaps I'll pop it in tonight.

  9. This is a great film! Shyam Benegal never disappoints, and Shreyas Talpade is so underrated, it's a shame.

    Amrita Rao was a revelation, and the supporting cast awesome, too.

    Very nice blog, I have one too (http://sabrinakiran.blogspot.com) that you can check out regularly.


  10. Nida Glad that my post made you interested in this one. Lets see what are your thoughts about this.

    S.K.S. Thanks and Welcome to my blog. Definitely visit your blog. Thnks for the link.

    I need to see more of Benegal's work now. Only a few I've seen. And well, Shreyas is always a delight as well as Amrita.

  11. Anonymous03:50

    Wow Divya Dutta, Yashpal Sharma, and Shreyas! I love them all. I need to ay more attention since I didn't even know of this film until your post. I suppose it might help a bit if I lived in my mother Bharat. ;) Thanks for the nice review and pix, mitr. Look like I need to see this now.

    All the best,

  12. ....I didn't even know of this film until your post. OMG. I am completely honoured. Glad you considered it for watching. Lets see how do you like it. :-)

  13. I finally got a chance to see this last month. I wasn't sure where it was headed at first but i ended up really liking it by the time it ended.

  14. JJC Glad you liked it. By the end, it gets only better !

  15. Hmm, good review but I dunno. I liked this movie but it lacked the classic Benegal touch. He has put together ensemble casts before far more effectively. Esp in Sooraj Ka Satwa Ghoda. Here, I felt the pace lagged quite a lot and I don't get why the Rajeshwari-Ravi characters just kinda disappeared. Amrita was ok :-( and Shreyas was fine for the most part but ooooooooh Ila Arun was awesome and so was the guy who played the eunuch. An ok watch I guess. I was disappointed.

  16. Pitu Well, u are the second person complaining abt pace. I think movie is quite fit. Length and pace were appropriate.

    Ahh..I too was shouting, where are Ravi-Rajeshwari? I loved their chemistry and their story. the way it developed. And yeah, Ila Aun along with Divya was fabulous. Still wished there could be more of Divya. [Pannewali...:D what a name?]

    I have to watch Sooraj Ka saatwa Ghoda, yet. Grr...busy schedule [in recession???!!!!]

  17. I loved this movie and especially Shreyas and Amrita - she always struck me as something of the Indian version of dumb blonde before! And I love your description of Divya Dutta as chat masala - even in small roles she makes such a big impact.

  18. bollyviewer True. Amrita and Shreyas both were lovely. And talking abt chat masala - she really is. Even in boring VeerZaraa, she was the only saving grace who held me till the end. :)

  19. great review, btw. on the money. I've seen this flick at least 5 or 6 times and it never grows old. I looove the premise and the setting; would love to just live here for a few days and really soak in the village atmosphere. this movie is absolutely refreshing among all the other bollywood crap out there today - it is truly different and speaks to many poignant social issues. All the characters are absolutely fantastic; but esp. love mausi and divya dutta's characters. and of course Amrita Rao is just gorgeous beyond words. the only thing i didnt like in the end was what happens w/the compounder and shobha rani's characters...i think it could've done w/o that, but i guess maybe Shyam Benegal kept to bring us back to reality; that even w/ all the "progress" in the movie w/ the eunuch, some things still remain the same. It totally was a throwback to the Hrishikesh Mukherjee/Utpal Dutt/Amol Palekar days - no doubt, which are some of my fave movies (I just went thru the littany of Golmaal thru Choti Si baat to Shaukeen to Chashme baddoor a few months ago - brought life to a very dull 2 weeks in january!). keep up the good work w/ the reviews...ciao!

  20. Sai

    Hey, Sai, Thanks for such really interesting feedback. Agree with all your thoughts. The cast is just so perfect, that everyone performed their part seamlessly. And yes, Benegal showed his touch by that ravi kishan's bit. I too didn't liked it.

    All the movies you saw in January are really great. I also have posted abt some of Farooq Sheikh's movies including Chashme Baddoor. Have a look. I just love Choti Si baat. and its title song-Na jaane kyun...

    Thanks for your visit and kind words. Do visit again :)

  21. Dear bro,
    Im from S.India and i dono much hindi but still this fil interests me... A portrayal of indian villages. My fav character is Kamala. Since now i dono abt shyam , but this interests me to know much abt him.

    Thank you..

  22. hi FayezLekha.
    Welcome to blog. Shyam Benegal is among very much celebrated directors of India.
    Would like to hear your thoughts about the movie.


Related Posts with Thumbnails