Vital Stats:

Title: Welcome To Sajjanpur

Starring: Shreyas Talpade, Amrita Rao, Illa Arun, Divya Dutta, Ravi Jhankal, Kunal Kapoor, Rajeshwri Sachdev, Yashpal Sharma

Length: 133 minutes (approx)

The movie is about the lives of people living in a village called Sajjanpur. Mahadev (Shreyas) is a (and the only) graduate in the village who finds no use for his "knowledge" until he opens up a letter reading and writing shop (read a bench under neem ka ped). He charges anywhere from 50p to Rs2 for reading or writing letters, pamphlets etc. One fine day Kamla (Amrita Rao) comes to him to write a letter to her husband who moved to Mumbai soon after their marriage. Mahadev realizes that Kamla is in fact his child hood sweetheart who left school at a very early age. He tries his best to systematically daalo his taang in her already dwindling marriage by writing hillarious letters to her husband. There are a bunch of other characters in the movie who all have their own small interlinked stories and who interact with Mahadev during the course of the movie. Welcome To Sajjanpur is a story of all such characters and their simple lives.

My Psychobabble:
It is very rare that a movie comes along that wins your heart by its sheer simplicity and brilliance. Welcome To Sajjanpur (WTS from now on) is a prime example of such a movie. This one ladies and gentlemen is directorial excellence at its crescendo. The movie is so well made, so well made that I am literally struggling to find words here. All the characters have not only been meticulously and perfectly scripted but have been equally well played by the actors. It appears as if Mr. Benegal made the actors realize the presence of a secret pool of talent within them that every human possesses and once the actors found it, they let themselves completely submerge into its depths. I know what you are thinking. Amrita Rao bhi?

Haan bhai haan Amrita Rao bhi! Gosh how stupid she really is and how well she has played her part in this one! Kamaal kar diya yaar bandi ne. Shreyas Talpade ko to I praise aise hi. Mere college se hai bhai wo apna to Junior hua na. So Kudos to Talpade as usual! All the other characters and I mean all of them have done very well.

The movie never loses its humor and its grasp over its audience. It just goes to prove that you don't have to spend millions and millions on ostentatious, pretentious, extravagant sets to have your audience awed. You don't need a star cast of A+++ actors to make a brilliant movie. If the director has the vision, the sight he can do wonders with whatever resources he might have. It is like turning a pumpkin into a chariot! Every small detail has been taken care of. Be it the set up of the village, the dispensary in the village or the language used by the characters.

The situations in the movie are simple. Very simple. They are what you can expect to find in a small village within India. What you don't expect to find is such classic, decent humor in them. The class of humor used within the entire length of movie is not crass or vulgar. You will not find any sexual innuendos or suggestions to the effect and yet you will laugh out loud. Funny eh? Try and think now of the last joke you heard in a movie that was not the least vulgar in its nature and you laughed. Socho socho, daalo dimaag pe jor!

I have been amazingly impressed by the movie and I salute Mr. Benegal on making this one.

Verdict: If it is not showing near you then find a cinema showing it somewhere else. Get a DVD from somewhere. If all fails, leave me a message here and I shall find a way to get the movie to you but don't, I repeat DON'T let this one go. I wish I had seen it on the big screen. I SO WISH!!