“Newton” is a Bollywood movie in the most unlikely Bollywood terms.
It portrays an India that urbane Indians have never seen. It questions the meaninglessness of democracy and then answers the quest for meaningful democracy through a single honest electorate officer who is fighting against a world that doesn’t see the point of selfless honesty.
Newton, The Man.
Newton is like the errant child who doesn’t want to grow up in the big, bad world. He believes in rules, duty, fairness — he believes in a universe that runs on laws.
He reminds you of an innocent ‘You’ that used to believe in the world.
Remember a time in your life when you were angry at the corruptness of human systems and told yourself,
“I am going to change all of it. I am going to fight and be honest in all my stuff.”
But then sensible people around you scoffed, “You are a fool. You can’t pick the pickle out of life’s bottle with a straight finger.”
You grew up, got kicked around, and changed your philosophy a wee bit to,
“I can’t change it all. But I am going to stay true to my feelings and morality to the last breath.”
And then you grew up and the Newton in you died entirely, until you became the one advising other Newtons,
“Bhai, Nothing’s going to change. Grow up, just do as the system suits you.”
Newton in this movie is the incorrigible man that tires everyone out with his upright attitude. He exasperates everyone because he doesn’t give up, like ever! He fights tooth and nail to fight it as much as he can.
The most iconic dialogue comes from his election instructor:
Newton, The Movie.
Newton is a beautifully shot movie that is honest to the world it’s trying to portray. There are no gritty scenes trying to get you emotional about how poor or miserable the people in the Maoist affected villages are. It shows them in a beautiful, natural light. It shows sensible villagers who have lost hope in democracy, who question the point of voting for leaders they have never even heard of. It shows an educated, beautiful Adivasi girl who tries to tell Newton that he can’t change things in a day.
One of the lines that hit home are.
There are no great villains in Newton. There is the army that wants to do away with the nuisance of an electoral drama, there is the civil officer and media who want to make quick gains, and there is Newton who can’t stand anything that is not right.
adorable and admirable,
adamant and alien,
because he is an outlier in a world that takes the easy out.
He fights for the right way out.