A government clerk on election duty in the conflict ridden jungle of Central India tries his best to conduct free and fair voting despite the apathy of security forces and the looming fear of guerrilla attacks by communist rebels.
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As India, the world's largest democracy, braces itself for another general election- with 9 million polling booths, more than 800 million voters, and costing nearly $5 billion -- Newton Kumar, a rookie government clerk finds himself entrusted with a task that appears deceptively simple: conducting elections in a remote village in the jungles of central India. The bushes teem with Communist guerrillas, who have been waging a decades old war against the state, even as the indigenous tribals live without any access to mainland amenities. Conducting 'free and fair' elections in a minefield like this is no child's play, as Newton learns over the course of this eventful day. Unfazed with the cynicism and danger all around him, Newton is determined to do his duty. But, as they say in the jungle, 'The more things change, the worse they will get'. Written by
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Newton is simply the most relevant film to have come out this year. India is the world largest democracy but what actually it takes to make a democracy? A subtle and fervent exploration of the aforementioned question...
It raises some very serious questions about the working of our system. There are various themes running under the surface like discrimination of minorities, paranoia, prejudice, power abuse etc.
What does it take to do your duty sincerely? The film contains some very dark facts about our system. How ironical is the fact that nobody is working anything in the right manner but when somebody tries to do it right they start to oppose him/her? The fact that the whole film is a despair against our flawed system is a brilliance to revere.
The inner and outer conflicts of the characters are portrayed brilliantly. The main character of the film is in constant conflict with his morality and the working of officialdom. The election is the most important thing in a democracy and election officers who are trying to conduct a fair election are no less than army officers.
The film is full of dark humour and glum sarcasm. Dialogues are extremely hard-hitting. An excellent screenplay is complemented by a great direction. The use of milieu and colloquialism is a masterstroke and intensifies the raw and real atmosphere of the film. The cinematography is splendid. The camera captures the mood of the film in a blazing manner.
While the notion of democracy sounds pretty simple it becomes fairly intricate and complex when our lead character tries to explain it to the native people. It is ironical that the army which is there for the natives are the one who terrorises them. The film is full of such beautiful and intense scenes.
Rajkumar Rao is stunning in the role of an honest election clerk and gives another ravishing performance. Pankaj Tripathi is excellent in the role of an army officer who continually tries to persuade Newton to abandon his duty for the sake of safety. Anjali Patil and Raghubhir Yadav are superlative in their respective roles.
Newton is a rare film in Indian cinema. It's a must watch for everybody who loves to think cinema as a powerful medium. The movie addresses the issue which has rarely been covered in our industry. A brilliant depiction of tribulations faced by an honest individual. A sharp and witty political satire....
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