While there are umpteen masala movies which are churned out by our film industry, there are a few filmmakers who travel the path less traveled & strive towards making movies based on topics which wake us up from our slumber & introduce us to people, situations we are hitherto unaware of. But not all are successful in their pursuit of making a hard hitting, realistic movie based on ordinary people who end up becoming heroes simply by carrying out their duties with utmost dedication.
The film is set in the jungles of Chattisgarh & thanks to this movie we get a peek into the lives & situation in naxal infested areas of the country. Rajkummar Rao has become the go to guy for filmmakers of independent cinema. Post starring in several indie hits like Citylights, Shahid, Aligarh & the more recent Trapped, Rajkummar is perfectly cast in the titular role of Newton – an honest, upright election officer belonging to a lower caste & eager to make a difference. He is likely to win several awards & accolades for this role. The movie is a dark comedy, with several comic scenes & a stark look at ground realities of areas affected by Maoists insurgents .
Pankaj Tripathi as Aatma Singh is superb & gets into the skin of his character of a cynical army commander. He owns his character. Raghubir Yadav as Loknath is hilarious & diffuses the tension during tense situations. The background score is decent. There are no songs in the movie, as is the case with most indie films. The writer-director Amit Masurkar needs to be lauded for throwing light on the noble work done by election officers – the unsung heroes of the country, who carry out their job under trying circumstances & uphold the constitution of the country. The movie does in ways condone the violent actions of naxals, which wont sit well with a wide array of audiences.
But the movie does manage to educate & entertain at the same time. It does not get preachy & that is where the beauty of the film lies. The Oscar entry is truly well deserved. You will vote in every election post watching this movie!