It has happened after a long time, but the history is a pointer that whenever the actors and filmmakers have returned to the native in a sincere manner it has become a new turning point in their career. WELCOME TO SAJJANPUR shows this sincerity and all the characters in the film have tired to bring the rural sensitivity back into the Hindi films without overdoing it. Shyam Benegal has once again demonstrated that he has the control over his craft as far as portraying the rural India is concerned, though he has visited rural India after a long time through the lens of his camera, before bringing out the problems in the country side through MANTHAN, ANKUR and NISHANT.
As a matter of fact before the advent of urban stars being rural was the gateway to success. Right from the times when Dilip Kumar did it in NAYA DAUR this saga has continued with élan. Dilip Kumar could expand his mass following on pan India basis owing to the series of roles that he enacted which had rural India as the background. So did Jeetendra, and when he was having his sojourn with South Indian films most of the films had the rural milieu, so even at times being absurd they were a hit with the masses. It had given a new lease of life to many careers, prominent being Kader Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Amjad Khan apart from Jeetendra and scores of heroines who acted with him and in this list top slot was occupied by Sree Devi. While this rural portrayal was criticized in some quarters, what critics tended to forget that these films were depicting the developments that were taking place in rural areas in south of the Vindhyas?
Amitabh Bachchan's performance as a person from rural India in ADALAT, GANGA KI SAUGANDH and KAALIA underlined the fact that portrayal of characters from rural India gives an actor an ample opportunity to display his acting prowess.
In the current generation Govinda had this honeymoon with the audience primarily owing to his ability to enact various characters set in rural India, and it could be one of the reasons why if he was playing an urban character he also had a double role as a rural folk as well AANKHEIN being the prime example. Abhishek Bachchan as a matter of fact had begun his journey through rural India in REFUGEE.
We may have become urbanesque in our approach and have forgotten the rural, and we cannot take the rural out of the Hindi cinema. WELCOME TO SAJJANPUR should start a new initiative of projecting rural India in a new manner. After all, lot has changed in rural India as well.