At the end of the jungle sequence in the movie Newton, a few people in the audience laughed. And I felt that laughter which came out of shear ignorance is the reason why a movie like Newton got made. Newton from director Amit V Masurkar is a fabulously made hard hitting black comedy that looks bravely and deeply into the flaws of the world’s biggest democracy. With a simple and strong screenplay getting powered by terrific performances from almost all the actors, Newton is one of the finest movies that have come out this year.
Newton is this government employee who was in reserve list for the officers assigned for the Loksabha elections. Newton is that rule book disciplined guy who wants to do everything according to the rules (A more sensible version of Ambi from Anniyan). So when a presiding officer refused to go to a polling booth in a naxal sensitive area in Jharkhand, Newton steps in and decided to take up the responsibility. What happens in this journey is what Amit V Masurkar showing us in this film.
We all are proud of the fact that we have been considered as the biggest democracy in the world as we have this Guinness book record holding procedure called the elections. Newton is a film that tries to sarcastically question us by showing how undeserving we are to be called as such. On the 70th Independence Day too we have a group of people in our country who are scared of the system and the rebels. We have a group of people who doesn’t know the fundamentals of democracy and we are unable to provide them their very basic demands. Newton is not deliberately giving us any lecture on all these things. But when in that scene where a foreign media reporter starts to boast about India’s democratic greatness and rest of the authorities act like all these are normal, we as an audience sit perplexed like Newton and that’s the success of this film.
Amit V Masurkar blurs the line between offbeat and commercial treatment here with his realistic approach towards the script. If you look at the script, it is never trying to go beyond its immediate situation. But what they have presented there in the movie is pretty much a bonsai version of the actual system. The irresistible hilarious moments in the movie feels like question when you back track the whole content. The irony of seeing army running after a disciplined man and him trying to save democracy from the system and many other partially metaphorical images stays with you. Even the humor in the film addresses the political situation very effectively. The pointlessness and fakeness of the process is depicted so powerfully. Cinematography that uses static frames beautifully is simply brilliant.
Rajkummar Rao is terrific as Newton. He never makes the character look like an unreal caricature figure. And from the body language and the way he renders the dialogues you can feel the ambiguity he faces in that situation. Another star is Pankaj Tripathi who portrays the role of Aatma Singh effortlessly. The small nuances of that character were picked smartly by the actor. Raghubir Yadav is there in a memorable role and Anjali Patil as Malko was also pretty effective.
Newton is one fabulous movie one should not miss. Even those who simply look for humor in movies can find hilarious entertaining moments in this film and if you are a little patient enough read the soul of the visuals and situations, Newton will be more of a heartening and eye opening experience.
If you are a little patient enough read the soul of the visuals and situations, Newton will be more of a heartening and eye opening experience.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended