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Newton is a stickler for principles – whether with respect to his unusual name or the not entirely orthodox way in which his arranged marriage has been handled. But because he doesn’t immediately come across as a nit-picker, he’s given the job of volunteer election worker and entrusted with a mission that demands the utmost flexibility if it’s to succeed. Newton is flown by helicopter into the jungle. The village where he’s to make sure that the election is carried out properly turns out to be a democratic stress-centre, where he must keep devious military personnel and oddball bureaucrats in check – even as the voters, the very people the whole thing is about, remain strangely absent. The Adivasi – as the indigenous people of India are called – are wise to keep their distance from this staged spectacle of democracy and put up resistance with a cunning game of hide-and-seek. Newton remains true to his principles. When a foreign election monitor arrives, the tide turns in his favour – but only temporarily.
With a feel for the special, multifaceted humour of his compatriots, Amit Masurkar succeeds in making Newton into a black comedy about the pale spectre of democracy in dark times. (Dorothee Wenner)
Production: Drishyam Films, Mumbai
Screenplay: Mayank Tewari, Amit V Masurkar
Camera: Swapnil S Sonawane
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Anjali Patil, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghubir Yadav
Running time: 106 min
Languages: Hindi, Gondi
Photo: © Courtesy Drishyam Films