After his debut indie film Sulemani Keeda, director Amit V. Masurkar returned last year with Newton – a dark, biting comedy and the heart-breaking portrait of a man who just wants to do an honest day’s work. Writers Amit V. Masurkar and Mayank Tewari take us into the Maoist-influenced forest region of Dandakaranya in Chhattisgarh during elections. There are only 76 eligible voters in this conflict-zone who have never seen an electronic voting machine.
What we get is a layered critique of the Indian democracy through the eyes of an upright election office Nutan Kumar or Newton played brilliantly by Rajkummar Rao. Newton is determined to conduct a free and fair election at all costs. The area’s CRPF officer Atma Singh is played to perfection by Pankaj Tripathi. Other members of the cast like Raghubir Yadav and Anjali Patil as the local booth officer too imbue the story with heft.
Newton had its world premiere in the Forum section of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival before releasing in India in September. The film, produced by Drishyam Films, also became India’s official entry to the Oscars in 2017.