Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Anjali Patil, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghuvir Yadav
Director: Amit Masurkar
Producers: Manish Mundra
Writers: Amit Masurkar, Mayank Tewari
What's Yay: Rock-solid performances
What's Nay: Sluggish pace of the film may not appeal to all
Popcorn Refill: Interval
Iconic Moment: The scenes featuring exchange of words between Rajkummar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi keep you delighted.
A young, idealistic Newton aka Nutan Kumar (Rajkummar Rao) believes in doing things by the book. So much so that he is quick enough to turn down a marriage proposal for himself after discovering that the girl is yet to turn 18.
When his rookie government job lands him as a presiding officer in a remote election booth in the conflict-torn region of Chhattisgarh, he seems unperturbed by the Maoists who are determined to dent the elections at any cost.
Instead, his cause of concern is the registration of votes of 76 locals living in that village. His team includes a local obesrver/teacher Malko (Anjali Patil) and clerk Loknath (Raghuvir Yadav). Meanwhile, Newton constantly finds himself at loggerhands with Atma Singh (Pankaj Tripathi), the head of the security team who is entrusted with the task pf protecting Newton & Co.
But, will it be all easy for them?
Amit Masurkar weaves a compelling plot around the absurdity of vote casting when you are alienated from democracy in every way. Newton narrates a story minus any frills, that has so much relevance in today's times.
There is a strong undercurrent of social commentary as the main protagonist slowly realizes the ridiculousness of his task. Reality hits you but this time, in the subtlest way possible. It gives you plenty of laughs along with some food for your grey cells.
Rajkummar Rao wears the role of Newton like a second skin. One just can't miss the blinking innocence in his eyes! Pankaj Tripathi aka Aatma Singh's dripping sarcasm is engaging. Raghuvir Yadav is at his funny best. Anjali Patil is a natural charmer on screen.
The use of authentic locations add value to Swapnil Sonawane. Unfortunately, the sluggish pace of the film might not appeal to everyone.
The background score gels well with the narrative. 'Chal Tu Apna Kaam Kar Le' which plays during the end credits has beautiful lyrics and soul-stirring music.
This is not your cup of tea if you are looking out for some escapist cinema. Ignorance may be bliss but Rajkummar Rao's Newton dares to venture into an unfamiliar territory and highlight how a ballot is always stronger than a bullet. It will make you realize that democracy isn't just booth and buttons!