Newton : (2017) Indian Movie Review
Newton (Directed by: Amit Masurkar) is a rare Bollywood black comedy easily categorised in the strereotypical Offbeat Cinema genre. Again, this movie is like an authentic dish that needs an acquired taste!
Nutan Kumar aka Newton(Rajkumar Rao) is a probationary officer in the ‘reserved’ category and gets deputed at a remote location during an election polling, the location which is in the middle of a jungle is notorious for its naxalite attacks ( the opening sequence itself shows the gruesome murder of a paunchy politician by the dreadful ruthless naxals). The polling day turns out to be one hell of a roller coaster ride for Newton who is accompanied by two assistants and a security officer with his team. The difficult task of arranging the 76 voters from the nearly isolated village and convincing them to vote with the modern polling technique leads to humorous as well as eye opening situations.
Director Masurkar has kept the running time to a delightful 106 minutes making it quick, crisp and to the point. The humour is dark and not exactly in your face, for viewers looking out for slapstick Varun Dhawan comedy this movie is best avoided. Masurkar is successful in sketching out a near perfect character of Newton who conventionally follows the book, is neither intuitive nor risqué but he can go that extra mile to stick to his ideology and principles. Newton’s self driven principles are visible when he refuses to marry a 16 year old minor girl chosen by his conservative parents( altercations between Newton and his father are evident). Even in a near death like situation in the jungle Newton doesn’t compromise on his idealist values inspite of being pushed to the wall on multiple occasions. The director has proven his mettle by conceptualising a strikingly complicated yet transparent lead character, and that’s totally off-beat.
Rajkumar is excellent in the titular role, right from the beginning till the abrupt climax he showcases his brilliant acting skills to the fullest. Pankaj Tripathi in a secondary role as the commanding security officer shines bright and performs with confidence and layers his act with dollops of comedy & villainy. Sanjay Mishra & Raghubir Yadav have smaller roles and the performances look dated considering they’ve played similar characters earlier and the director seems to have worked half heartedly on them. Anjali Patil exudes brilliance as the Tribal local who assists Newton, she’s got that conveying emotions through expressive eyes quality about her.
Over all it’s a welcome change nowadays to view Off-beat movies apparently made on shoestring budgets ( helmed mostly by actors like Rajkmar and Aayushman Khurana) which have a distinct impressive appeal. ‘Newton’ may be ‘Boring’ for viewers who can’t comprehend black comedies but it’s a delight for Art Cinema Lovers.