Complete review of ‘Newton’
Star Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Sanjai Mishra
Director: Amit Masurkar
Producer: Manish Mundra
Music Director: Naren Chandavarkar & Benedict Taylor (musician)
Newton is a plain film, yet crisp and entertaining to the extent it raises important questions without sounding preachy or being too melodramatic. The backdrop might be election voting, but the film doesn’t confine itself to it and pans through various other elements of the current political and social scenario of the country – dowry, child marriage, and corruption among other things.
Story of the movie:
Newton Kumar (Rajkummar Rao), a self-named government officer, is sent to the conflict-ridden jungles of Chhattisgarh, to conduct a free and fair voting process. Just that he’s a word stickler who religiously follows the textbook instructions so much so that he’ll not give up the task at his hand even two minutes prior to the official end time. He’s righteous and honest, but like his senior officer (Pankaj Tripathi) points out in the beginning, he’s also arrogant about it and doesn’t see the greys amid the black and whites.
Newton’s principles and patience are put to test when he runs into Aatma Singh (Pankaj Tripathi), the armed officer responsible for providing security to Newton and his three colleagues which includes Gondi-speaking Malko (Anjali Patil). Singh’s mission is to deny and dissuade our dear hero in his noble endeavour at every juncture.
Atma helps Newton to reach till the voting booth but what happens next is everything the movie is about. The movie is carried forward showing the point of view of military, villagers & Newton. How everyone is right at their place still how they are trapped in situations no one has control on.
With Newton, director Amit V Masurkar and co-scriptwriter Mayank Tewari has done something extraordinary, he has achieved a feat which isn’t achieved by many even after staying in the industry for years. Using symbolism, covering child marriage, dowry, election’s malfunctions in the duration of 106 minutes is not something we see regularly in Bollywood. Newton is a day’s story trying to explain something which takes years to execute.
Direction of the film:
It’s a short, straightforward and simple film but far from simplistic. Director Amit Masurkar uses humour to make his point than get all moralistic, being quietly effective rather than shrill. Film’s editing is Sharp, which does not have any jerk. Dialogue and specially the screenplay is very strong, for which writer Mayank Tiwari should be appreciated. Because of explaining the situation of villagers so clearly, the second half of the film catapults to another level.
Star Cast Performance:
Rajkummar Rao is convincing and despite the righteousness and the principal-driven character, he manages to irk those with him. He nails even the minutest details of Newton’s character – whether it’s his blinking or the restrained dialogue delivery. Each dialogue he says, each stare he gives, each smile he smiles has only one thing written on it – honesty. We must say he is the perfect choice for the film.
Pankaj Tripathi on the other hand, gets the unpredictability of his character so accurately that you begin to understand the motives behind his actions. Such fine actors and it’s only a shame that Bollywood took this long to take notice of them.
Rao and Tripathi provide terrific performances, especially when pouncing on one another – even literally. They are well complemented by Raghubir Yadav in an entertainingly loquacious role.
Anjali Patil who plays the role of the Booth Level Officer with the team is the sweetest part of the film. Playing the role of a local, speaking Gondi language, Anjali manages to shine in a film which is full of talent.
Music is fine and background score is even better. Amazingly written by Varun Grover, the only song of the film becomes the highlight of it. Music by Naren Chandavarkar, Benedict Taylor, and Rachita Arora has not much role to play in the first half but is well used in second.
Watch Or Not:
Newton is a winner and celebration in more ways than one. The dark comedy asks questions that Bollywood usually shies away from, it takes to its own stride the social-political scenario and holds a mirror to the times we live in. Newton makes you want to be a more diligent Indian. It’s a film that tells you that cynicism won’t take us anywhere. It’s a film that makes you want to not give up on incredible India.