Verdict: Rao steals the show in this black comedy.
Starring Rajkummar Rao in the lead role, Newton premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in February, earlier this year. The film received rave reviews and now we know why. Newton doesn't get too heavy or boring and instead of overdramatizing the script, director Amit Masurkar uses humor to make his point.
Newton (Rao) is a rookie clerk who is assigned to conduct an election in the jungles of Chhattisgarh. The area is filled with Naxalites so the villagers are scared to head out to vote. The honest government officer now has to deal with the illiterate people as well as the armed forces which are headed by Aatma Singh (Pankaj Tripathi). Thankfully, he finds some support from his colleagues, Lokanath (Raghuvir Yadav) and Shambhoo (Mukesh Prajapati), and a local teacher Malko (Anjali Patil) who translates whatever he says in Hindi. The group sets up a booth and the rest of the film shows how they try hard to carry out a trouble-free, transparent election.
It is tough to find new adjectives to describe Rajkummar Rao’s acting skills. This year itself he has put up a great show in Trapped, Behen Hogi Teri and Bareilly Ki Barfi. The actor can elevate even a weak script and here he gets to play a superbly fleshed out character. Rao sinks his teeth into the part and gives a commendable performance. Pankaj Tripathi, who was also seen in Bareilly Ki Barfi and Gurgaon, is soon going to be one of the most bankable supporting actors in Bollywood. He never goes over the top in the role of a tough police officer. The rest of the cast is fabulous too and give their best even though they have smaller parts to play.
Though slow, Newton benefits from its dialogues, which are witty and sharp. There's nothing amusing about being stuck in a deserted area with your life in danger but nevertheless, the characters don't fail to crack jokes. Masurkar deserves a pat on the back to make a film like this after the critically-acclaimed Sulemani Keeda.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Newton isn’t a typical Bollywood movie – it is something you’d see at a MAMI, maybe. The movie has little commercial element but that shouldn't stop you from watching it. Films like these do not release every day, so make the most of it and book your tickets now. Also, watch Newton to find out why he a public servant in a small town is named after a renowned scientist.