“Welcome to Sajjanpur”: A Shyam Bengal movie produced by UTV is definitely commercial but with a characteristic subtle social message of Shyam Benegal’s movies.
The story is that of an immensely talented infamous writer, who, nevertheless, makes big differences in the lives of people. Story is set up in a small Indian village dominated by goonda politics. The protagonist of the movie is a letter writer, who puts in emotions in the letters; no doubts, letters do wonder. This writer intriguily helps people without being conscious about it: the help is often accompanied by a strict initial resistance and a loud abandonment thereafter. The most important difference he makes is in the life of his childhood beloved, who had unfortunately married some one else. The transition from the initial attempts to cajole the lady out of her marriage to actually helping her sustain one is perfect and natural: The desire to help is not forced, and the events unfold at a natural pace in sync with the changing moods of the protagonist in response to the adjustment between the environment and his terminal values. Also, the protagonist plays a small but significant role in changing the socio-political system of the village, which he could do because of his real subconscious desire to bring a positive change without any desire for power. His no-nonsense practical approach towards life makes him achieve the desired without bringing him in conflict with the powerful. The story per se is excellent; the acting is natural, and the songs are added embellishment. The movie is a must watch.
©2008 Ankur Mutreja