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Newton is more science than satire, however impactful

 

 

Newton! When we tend to hear the term, or the name, the first thing that comes to our mind is the laws of motion and the falling apple of ultimate exploration (gravitational force). Well, here, I am analyzing a film of the same name which has lots in common; all the points will be analyzed and henceforth, a descriptive piece will be laid where one also relates scientist Newton with communism.

 

Nutan Kumar, the protagonist of the film answers very casually to his mentor, as why he had transformed his name from ‘Nutan’ to ‘Newton’ and that was a very innocent beginning to the plot of this film. This tells the story of a well-educated person who hails from a town and has high ideals of his own. Belonging to the reserved genre of electoral officers, Newton is eager to perform his duties where he need not sacrifice his ethics; however, his innocence possessed by him makes him ignorant of the practicalities of the outer world that he faces as the plot unfolds. Accidentally, (when the supposed officer denies to preside) he is chosen to be the presiding officer to a Naxal stricken polling station in Chattisgarh. He is accompanied by three more officers, including a lady played by Anjali Patil (local booth level officer), an aged official played by Raghubir Yadav (Loknath). However, the noteworthy confrontations with inspector Atma Singh (Pankaj Tripathi) turns out to be the revelation in Newton’s character and the film.

 

 

The block Newton is to preside has no more than 76 voters and there is even the slightest chance of gaining even 10 percent of the total attendance. Adding to this, Atma Singh with his fellow officers are in every mood to discourage Newton and the other officials to initiate the proceedings; however, Newton is both, naive and honest and hence is hard to be persuaded.


Newton is Naive!

 

 

The first sign of this is portrayed when he asks about what might happen next if polling is cancelled once, then twice. The answer is known, even to him, however, he finds it an honor to be boasting his honesty, his dutiful approach. The next instances were actually quite a bit to approve Newton being naive when after reaching a camp, he has an encounter with Atma Singh. The instances seemed as if someone is deliberately putting the sunny side up over a partly burnt toast. It is all about revelations, and the character of Atma Singh is all there to make the other characters reveal themselves. The inclusion of Malko played by Anjali Patil is a suspicious note since she is from the locale, however, Newton did not take it into account. For him, his duty is more important than safety! Beside this, there are numerous attempts from Atma Singh in bringing in voters from the locale, however, Newton warns him no one should be brought by force; things should be mutual. How can one expect all in none? This is a place where voting means to be sandwiched between the naxal forces and military brutality and even then, Newton is all there to satisfy his earnestness.

 

The dialogues are worked at times!

 The film runs well, but at times the dialogues seem to be cliched or worked upon. Now, here, we are supposed to watch a realistic piece where no police officer is being blended with the writer’s pen. It would have been much better when the dialogues that comes from Atma’s mouth would have come from Loknath’s character, as he mentioned to be belonging from the literary background (would have been more appropriate). For example, when Atma says, “Hold this rifle! Can you bear the weight? This is the weight of the nation and our shoulders are meant to bear it.” Now this dialogue has less, or no coherence with the scene; moreover, the character is not suited to such polished lines.


Science in the film

The film revolves around the application of theoretic sets into practical surroundings. And Newton struggles to apply the instructions in practical circumstances. The whole film is like a laboratory when Newton is going through all the preliminary tests available and then reaching to different conclusions about what actually differs from the estimated happenings.

This is lightly blemished in the end when the lead states, “I have faced the reactions of my actions in the end.”

 

A political satire

The film is a political satire prior to being everything else. A place where people do not even understand Hindi properly; here, they are not exposed to the political agendas, they are mere victims of the rift between the Maoists and the military forces. The film has a strong scenic start when a candidate is speaking to his public with the message, “if you vote for me, your right hand will be occupied with a laptop and your left hand will be occupied with mobile phones.” People have crowded with mobiles in their hands, but in their right ones. This strongly claims that here people are mere victims of the agenda but do not possess the virtue to direct their own will and hence, fall scattered everywhere.

An impactful comment made by the character played by Sanjay Mishra points out the importance of the term ‘Newton’; he says that he was the one who actually revealed that both, the sky and the land can be brought to peace at the same time. This is more relevant when one talks about communism i.e. the upper class of the society makes peace or is levelled to the stratum of the lower class people. Newton is a social scientist who is innocent, but does not fail to experiment and put his knowledge to the practical events around him.

 

The film is good, but brilliant is not the term

The turmoil in a Maoist stricken place is missing! That is one of the areas where the filmmaker could have invested a bit more time. The film looks more as if one is showing you a cold background of buried wounds that do not exist anymore. The heat that is still an ongoing happening is somehow far from what is being portrayed.

As already mentioned, the film does not appear to be effortless due to the dialogues, although the script is quite tight. This could have been made – a human documentary piece!

Performances from Raghubir Yadav and Anjali Patel are good, however, Sanjay Mishra could have been utilized better. Rajkummar Rao as Newton is more enlightened by the presence of Atma Singh’s grey approach in the film. The performances are extremely coordinated overall.

Despite all, Newton is one of the best Hindi films this year and one of the most impactful political satires in recent times.

 

 

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About Aneek Chaudhari

Aneek Chaudhari
Aneek Chaudhari is an Indie Film Maker from Kolkata. His last film ‘Streer Potro’ (Wife’s Letter) was screened in Cannes in May 2017 and he is currently shooting for his next film ‘White’. Aneek is driven by topics which are relevant in the current social context.

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