Rajkumar Rao starrer Newton is different from other Bollywood love story. This movie is having a very good social message. This movie also features actor in key roles, has been garnering positive reviews ever since its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February.
The timing of the announcement that Amit V Masurkar-directed Newton is India’s official entry in the Foreign Language Film category at the 2018 Oscars couldn’t have been better for the filmmakers. On Friday, the day the movie released in theatres across India, actor Rajkummar Rao who plays the titular character of Newton, tweeted about its selection. “Very happy to share this news that #NEWTON is India’s official entry to the #OSCARS this year. Congratulations team.”
The movie, which also features actor Pankaj Tripathi, Raghubir Yadav and Anjali Patil in key roles, has been garnering positive reviews ever since its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February. Elated over the movie’s selection, Masurkar says: “It’s a great honour for us to represent India at the Oscars. We hope this film will bring attention to the need to strengthen democracy in our country.”
The film, a satire and dark comedy, showcases the travails of Newton, an honest government clerk who struggles to conduct a free-and-fair election at a polling booth in the heart of Chhattisgarh. The previous Lok Sabha elections in this forest area, affected by the Maoist movement, had witnessed 19 deaths. This time, there are 76 voters registered under the booth.
In an interview, Masurkar, 35, had mentioned that the idea for Newton takes root in the word “democracy”, which popped up while he was randomly searching “constitution” on the internet. “Today, when the core concept of ‘democracy’ is getting diluted across the world, it is an interesting subject to explore. Chhattisgarh makes for an apt backdrop — where democracy exists in theory but not in practice,” he stated. He brought on board former journalist and actor Mayank Tewari as the co-writer for Newton, apart from consulting Mangal Kunjam, a local stringer. The film was shot in Chhattisgarh’s mining town of Dalli Rajhara in 37 days.
The FFI has, in the past, faced criticism over the selection of India’s Oscar entry. This time, however, several prominent personalities from the film industry lauded the choice.