6.9/10
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Welcome to Sajjanpur (2008)

An educated man spends his days writing letters for the varied inhabitants of his small, poor, and illiterate village, in this political and social satire.

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mahadev
...
...
Ramkumar
...
Ramsakhi Pannawali
...
Shobharani (as Rajeshwari Sachdev Badola)
...
Vindhya
...
Ramsingh
Ravi Jhankal ...
Munnibai Mukhanni
...
Subedar Singh
Shri Vallabh Vyas ...
Ramavtar (as Vallabh Vyas)
Masood Akhtar ...
Postman
...
Chidamiram Sapera (as Dayasankar Paandey)
Satish Sharma ...
Publisher
Mangala Kenkre ...
Mahadev's mother (as Mangal Kenkre)
Vineeta Malik ...
Kamala's mother-in-law
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Storyline

It was Jawaharlal Nehru who changed the name of a small town, Durjanpur, to Sajjanpur, and that was about all the change that had occurred there since then. The town still lacks adequate infrastructure, no safe drinking water; in a 24 hour period, electricity is out for almost 23 hours, and most people, even though they own mobile phones, cannot speak or write English. One of the residents, who does speak and write English fluently, Mahadev Kuswah, lives with his mother, and both run a small fresh vegetable store after his dad abandoned them when he was very young. He has since obtained a degree from Satna University, and assists residents with written correspondence for a fee. Amongst his clients are Man Singh - who wants his homicidal wife to stand for the Municipal elections; a eunuch, Munnibai Mukhrani, who also to stands for elections; a snake charmer who is trying to make a living with fake snakes and is trying to locate his father; Ram Kumar, who is in love with a widow, Shobha... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

election | eunuch | dog | widow | village | See All (25) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 September 2008 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Mahadev Ka Sajjanpur  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

INR 55,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Original title of the film was "Mahadev Ka Sajjanpur". See more »

Goofs

At the very beginning, Mahadev is seen as brushing his teeth. Yet he was clean-shaven, a bit too clean-shaven for the time of the day and the village locale. He appears so, during most of the movie. See more »

Connections

Features Saajan (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Dildara Dildara Sine Mein
Written by Ashok Mishra
Composed by Shantanu Moitra
Performed by Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan
Courtesy of Super Cassettes Industries Limited (T-Series)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is not a Comedy! Watch it if you enjoy fine storytelling!
24 September 2008 | by (Mumbai, India) – See all my reviews

For a movie maker of the caliber of Shayam Benegal is, it goes without saying with his invite to Sajjanpur comes along a bouquet of expectations. The only other movie of his that I’ve seen is Zubaidaa and I was amazed at his story telling quality! This time, the setting is rustic with characters from a usual random village. The film is presented as a slice of life from the perspective of the protagonist than a story with a beginning and end.

Mahadev, the only degree holder in Sajjanpur nurses ambitions to be a novel writer someday, but fate has sealed him to writing letters for the illiterate village folk who come to him not just for his knowledge of the letter but also for his ability to write with that extra zing and passion that makes the letters work. Playing the protagonist, Shreyas Talpade gets the largest of movie pie that he executes with brilliance without going overboard.

Our writer’s clientèle takes us through the minds of the varied village folk. It ranges from his childhood crush Kamla (Amrita Rao) who writes to her far away husband, a mother (Ila Arun) worried about her vibrant daughter’s (Divya Dutta) horoscope, a compounder (Ravi Kishan) who is deeply in love with the young widow Shobharani (Rajeshwari Sachdev), the villainous ex-Sarpanch Ramlal (Yashpal Sharma) and a Eunuch too.

The next couple of hours, which at times feels somewhat stretched, give us a glimpse of their lives. Mahadev is good at heart and does well to others, but he secretly tries to misread letters to Kamla thinking that he may have a chance if her husband went away. Ramlal tries his best to connive against the Eunuch Munnibai to ensure it doesn’t win the local elections. As is life, in the end, it’s happy for some sad for others.

Throughout the movie, its poignant moments are interspersed so delicately that you don’t feel any character being out of place. The best in my opinion is when Mahadev learns the truth about Kamala’s husband’s life, where Shreyas’ flowing emotions are so well portrayed. Then there is the scene of Munnibai getting a letter written seeking protection. For one, the music is not memorable and the seeming length may bother.

The characters of Sajjanpur are both simpletons at times and wise in the ways of the world when necessary. The movie makes a point on various serious social issues including land acquisitions for industrialization, struggle of the poor and fall into organ trade, widow remarriage, superstitions, job worry for the educated and many more. If you don’t mind the lack of typical stories and climaxes, this story is surely worth watching.


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