Friday, September 26, 2008

Welcome to Sajjanpur

Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 133 Minutes
Release Date : 19th September ‘2008
Director & Writer : Shyam Benegal; Music : Shantanu Moitra
Starring : Shreyas Talpade, Ila Arun, Amrita Arora, Divya Dutta, Yashpal Sharma

Without Shreyas Talpade I would probably have gone a notch lower. But as all people who’ve seen him in Dor or Iqbal would testify, he brings so much credibility to his role, such delight on his face that you tend to go with the flow and forget minor niggles like the slowish pace of the film, the too stereotypical characters etc

He is the letter-writer of the village. Having good writing skills since an childhood, laden with the burden of his teachers forecast that one day he will become a famous writer, he now sits under a banyan tree, has a ratecard (Rs2 for a postcard, whether you make him write only on one side or not etc) and uses his writing skills to spice up the message, infuse emotion in the letter to make sure the point hits home when the receiver gets the missive. His skills are now famous and people come from nearby villages as well to get him to write

Since all people come to get him to write – in one case a man comes to even get him to type an SMS – we pretty much get to know all that’s happening in the village.
 The elections, where Yashpal Sharma, ex-Sarpanch and strongman / toughie of the village (again ? he’s more talented and should get more variety in his roles) is making his wife stand for the elections (I never understood why he couldn’t stand himself again ?) and faces opposition from an unlikely quarter, a eunuch named Munni Bai
 The attraction between a compounder and the Subedar’s widowed daughter in law, including a ‘ticklish’ examination
 The ‘missing’ husband, where an old classmate (from the IInd standard), Kamla (Amrita Rao), gets Mahadev to write letters to her husband, who left shortly after marriage to work as a labourer in Mumbai and now has been gone for four years. Again, I never understood why they didn’t know of each other despite living so near each other or why she didn’t start writing to him earlier and waited four years.
 The manglik daughter, where a frantic Ila Arun is trying to get her daughter, a sassy Divya Dutta in pigtails who rides a scooterette, get married but obviously needs advice on what rituals to be performed prior to the wedding to get rid of the ‘manglik’ status

We meet all of them and some other zany characters. However, I found the whole thing a bit ‘forced’ – its like how just getting a person to speak in a rustic dialect (the humra’s and the bitwa’s etc) doesn’t make a true villager, the whole rural village thing came across as something too sweet, too syrupy, almost as if we were watching through rose tinted glasses. And again, it’s a slice of life with nothing major happening – just a steady stream of day to day incidents as described above.

This one is at best a one time watch. It makes you chuckle a few times but rarely laugh.


Anonymous said...

Agreed with the stereotyped characters. It was getting boring.
Ending was interesting, possibly the movie could have been paced better.

But I still loved the movie, its different from all the run-down comedies, and love stories, and copied ones which we are coming out in the bollywood nowadays.

rhythm fadia-maniar said...

hi....was looking forward to wat u write abt this initially i thought i would see this movie but after seeing the trailer couple of times i decided against it...

well goin by your score (which i agree on always) i guess i didnt miss much :)

btw are you going to watch drona...if i cud give u some advice DONT watch it...i have this inner voice telling its going to be a pathetic movie..

i would like to see KIDNAP and HELLO in the coming few weeks...

Unknown said...

I had an option of either to go for You dnt mess with Zohan or Sajjanpur. Honestly now i repent. I heard the movie is full of i guess I could have laughed more when i saw Gandhi ( in sme parts...esp watching the humourous smile of Ben Kinsley). Anywaz u learn from mistake...

Speaking of gandhi...i watched it today (nth time) and still as every 2nd october had ghoose bumps..wht an awesome work...ironically by smeone who is not Indian ..

Well i would love to hear from you about the movie...may be as a critics also looking forward to helloz...hope they do justice to Chetan`s great book...albeit the promos..arnt so encouraging..looks as if everyone was in hurry to finish it......cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Agreed this movie is not worth a second watch.Too slow, too many letter writings.It reminded me one of the old film of Rajesh khanna where he played a postman.. okey dokey film. Cheers, Bindu

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