Director: Amit Masurkar
"Newton" | Newton wins the vote
Newton is a simple and wittingly honest take on the prickly issues which have been quietly buried away by our democracy and Mumbai movie industry alike. The film touches on some severe problems that no one talks about without giving you a lengthy lecture about it; still clearing out the whole problem and how a person should ideally deal with it.
Newton Kumar, changed from Nutan Kumar, is a disciplined, dutiful, sincere government clerk who is given the assignment of conducting ‘free and fair elections’ in the naxalite inflicted area of Chatissgarh when the officer on duty makes an excuse and is unwilling to head towards the troubled region. Like many of us, Newton also wants to see the much needed change in the society and heads out for getting votes from 76 people in an obsolete village. Accompanied by an experienced polling official Loknath (RaghubirYadav), the local liaison Malko (Anjali Patil) and his nemesis Aatma Singh (PankajTripathi), Newton’s struggle begins right at the beginning of the day till the scheduled end time of voting – 3 pm.
This film by Amit Masurkar is for the people, by the people and of the people as it breaks away from the status-quo cinema which mostly focuses on the upper-middle class and elite people. This is one film that will make you laugh and while you laugh, it will have you brooding over how even after all these years, we have not come very far.
There are several instance in this context. When Newton says no to marry a girl who is not even 18, rejects a dowry of Rs 10 lakh and a motor bike, is what a literate sensible person should do. Another one was when he literally had his face rubbed in the mud and even then he refused to let go of his duty to get votes from just four people; staking his life for the right thing.
Even though the film came to a standstill in the first half, Amit Masurkar and MayankTewari have done an impeccable job in presenting the obliterated facts of our country: the idea of child marriage, how no one cares about the tribal people, farce presentation of the situation in our country in front of international media or for that matter any high level dignitary.
Taking about the performance, this film is nothing without the odd couple i.e. Rajkummar Rao and PankajTripathi. Rao was flawless with his blinking innocence and Pankajwas terrific with his strong persona as a police officer assigned the task of protecting the election team.
Anjali Patil is a promising actor and Newton is a testimony to that. It was when Loknath asks her: Aap Nirashavadi hai kya? And she replies back with: Hum Adivasi hai, Anjali marks her undisputable territory of being a strong actor, just like her character.
Sanjay Mishra at the beginning was the one brilliantly who carved out the crux of the whole story and Raghubir
Yadav, with his timing and poetry added comic relief.
All said and done, Newton is a metaphoric mockery of democracy powered by outstanding performances and a rock solid, witty and dark concept that should be watched by all the quality hungry people.