Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Anjali Patil, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghuvir Yadav
Director: Amit Masurkar
Rating: 3.5 stars
Well, before starting this review I would like to pose a question to our readers that, Why does out of the box cine ideas struggle to fetch a great foot-fall or rake in huge moolah in this part of the world. Although ever since the beginning of my reviewing career I always had this question in my mind, but after seeing Newton, don't know why I am feeling compelled to put this question in the public domain. Maybe it's that "made for masses" or "made for classes" tag, which prevents good cine subjects from getting the recognition which their commercial counterparts get.
Anyhow, with title appearing on the top it becomes quite conspicuous that I am talking about Amit Masurkar's, Rajkumar Rao starrer "Newton", which after completing its voyage to 40 plus international film fests and receiving accolades from Berlin and Hong Kong film fests, finally released in its homeland.
Before getting into the detailing of the movie I would like to apprise you that “Newton” is certainly amusing at many places, but at the same time it’s thought-provoking too, and by the time it reaches its consummation it leaves you with many questions stuck in your cerebral cortex.
Based in the Naxalism ridden state of Chattisgarh, Newton is a dark comedy which revolves around a young and upright election officer Nutan Kumar aka Newton, who’s packed off to the jungles of the Naxalite region to conduct polls for the 76 eligible voters in the troubled region. The major responsibility which is saddled on Newton's back is to ensure that the residents there are able to vote despite the odds stacked against them. And the man who is entrusted with the security of Newton and his team is Aatma Singh (Pankaj Tripathi) an egoistic and scheming para-military commander, who understands the difficulties of the region, and has his own way of dealing with things. But that's not all, “Newton” starts taking interesting twists when hemispheric differences (for those who doesn’t know much about human brain it’s about cognitive perspective) between Newton and Aatma starts creating ruction between the two.
Besides, two more interesting companions accompany Newton, Loknath (Raghuvir Yadav) a government employee on the verge of retirement and has his thoughts glued to farcical zombie stories, and Malko Netam (Anjali Patil), who has no sentients attached to the biggest fest of democracy. So, what happens next? To know you must watch this thought-provoking cine diegesis of Amit Masurkar.
There is no denying the fact that with Newton Amit Masurkar along with co-scriptwriter Mayank Tewari has taken the dark comedy genre to the next level. Although he seems to be suggesting something, which may challenge the notions of the right wing of people, factually plot of “Newton” has supreme conviction in it. Undoubtedly, it be will wrong to compare “Newton” with cult classics like “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron”, but believe me despite having a somewhat antithetical (for those who believe that in reality, electoral proceedings are as soothing as they appear in metropolitans) premise it manages to stir your thoughts. “Newton” is undoubtedly the film which brings critical issues to the central stage, that too along with the multiple viewpoints operating at the same time.
Rhetorics used in “Newton” may lack the commercial ornamentation, but undoubtedly they are indeed excellent and witty. With in-tune background score of Naren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor's Newton has everything contributing rightly to its engrossing value. Angelica Monica Bhowmik's production design leaves no space for deviation and is straight out of life. Screenplay of Amit Masurkar and Mayank Tewari again adds to the intensity.
At last but not the least the performances, as usual with his impeccable potential and terrific performance, Rajkumar has once again proved that he may not be a commercial money spinner of Bollywood, but he is capable of doing that heavy lifting, which any of the Bollywood superstars can do. As he always does, this time again Rajkumar once again fits into the robe of his character with utmost comfort.
Well, it would be wrong to call Pankaj Tripathi the second lead of the movie, because undeniably it’s his performance that takes the film to the next level. Although in the film, the sheer dichotomy between the thoughts of Newton and Aatma is quite visible, in fact, it’s this inverse camaraderie which adds to the essence of the film. Raghuvir Yadav, as about to retire government employee looks at his best. After making her mark in Chakravyuh, Anjali Patil this time again manages to make her presence feel on the big screen.
To sum up, despite having an out of the box premise and some terrific performances, “Newton” may not emerge as big money spinner at the BO, or may not even get noticed by the die-hard fans of commercial cinema, but believe me, it stirs your thoughts. So, I am going ahead with 3.5 out of five for this thought-provoking diegesis.