I am not equipped enough to pen a critique on the dance of democracy depicted in Amit Masurkar’s Newton. I agree that the sharpness and sarcasm is on point. The director has illustrated the truth with much ardour, albeit with a restraint that only veteran filmmakers showcase. The starkness of the plot, the realism is something that Masurkar should be lauded for. Absolutely riveting throughout, it’s not for nothing that this effort is being applauded. As my heart lets out a silent cry of joy for the entire team of Newton, I can only wish and pray that this director’s edge is never smudged. May he keep churning out such brilliance. For God knows, we need them.
But I do not want to deal with the politics in the film. The critics have done ample of that. I’ll focus on human portraiture in the story. It was a rare study of the ideals constructing personalities. These beliefs are nurtured under certain circumstances, but events influence change. The film is a beautiful study of this balance of virtues and ideals and how they slowly transform with time and tide.
Newton Kumar (Rajkummar Rao) takes immense pride in his honesty. Ridiculed on several occasions for his passion for integrity, Kumar is not the one to budge from his uprightness. No matter what happens he will never follow an untrue path, no matter how impractical that is. In a country crippled with corruption, this kind of rectitude appears nonsensical at times. Especially when it doesn’t get you anywhere. There comes a juncture when you gauge the despondency in Kumar. He is trying to do his duty correctly but circumstances will not let him. He is constantly fighting the adversaries and the authorities because he just wants to do his job, but the situation doesn’t allow him. His exasperation seeps out of his very pore. The dishonest world comes between him and his principles but he will not falter. He is like the strict martinet who will admonish everyone around to stay clean but he will not bend his rules to get work done. Perhaps it is his innocence that takes him through. Perhaps he is yet to realise the lofty wisdom is best kept in the books. When it comes down to brass stacks, you need to get cleverer than that. If you have to rectify the system, armtwist it by using their own rules. You cannot change things in one day. But Newton is in a hurry. A righteous man, it’s sad that Newtons like these don’t even get a chance in this country of ours. That’s a lot of great ideals wasted.