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Newton Deals with Ideological Differences on Democracy: Director

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Newton Actor Rajkummar Rao
Newton Actor Rajkummar Rao. IANS
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Mumbai, Sep 22, 2017: “Newton” director Amit V. Masurkar, whose movie has been selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars, says he always wanted to explore a story in a political space which is otherwise lesser known to urban India.

“Newton”, which deals with the ideological battle between the government and Maoists, has been selected by a 14-member jury constituted by the Film Federation of India and will represent the country at the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film category in 2018.

The story of the film revolves around a young government employee Newton Kumar — essayed by the critically acclaimed Rajkummar Rao — who is sent out to execute an election in a Maoist-prone area in Chhattisgarh.

“Newton” is Masurkar’s second film after “Suleimani Keeda”. What made him choose a political subject that’s quite complicated and not as popular in the cine space as the Kashmir issue or the political crisis of northeastern states?

Masurkar told IANS: “I wanted to tell a story in the political space. The reason for choosing Chhattisgarh is that the issue here is different from the two that you have mentioned. Naxals are not asking for a separate country or fighting for development or seeking an answer to any injustice.

“The battle is from the ideological differences on democracy. Naxals want to bring a change in democracy by establishing a communist rule.

“Therefore, the story of the film is quite clear – a government, an opposition to the government and then there is a man who represents the government, who is honestly trying to do his duty and struggling on his way.”

The movie, which released on Friday, has been raved about by critics and the film fraternity. It had premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.

Recounting his struggle to find a producer to the make the film, Masurkar said: “I showed the script to a couple of studios who said that ‘Oh, it’s politics… Youth have no interest in it’. The moment I narrated the story to Manish (Manish Mundra of Drishyam Films), he said ‘Yes’ in no time.

“He has got a great taste for stories and understands the pulse of the audience.”

It was later that producer Aanand L. Rai and a banner like Eros International Entertainment came on board.

“I showed Aanand sir the film and he liked the film and decided to be a part of its release. And of course, I am thankful for that. But what touched me is, how he remembered me. I once assisted him 14 years ago for one of his telefilms.

“He is such a gem of a person. He came out after watching the film, remembering me, saying, ‘I am so proud of you Amit, tu kitna bada ho gaya (You’ve grown up so much)! You made this film.”

Rajkummar plays the lead character in “Newton”, but according to the director, all the characters in the film have been written substantially to build the story.

“I made some small changes according to the talent of the actors. Like Pankaj Tripathi is such a brilliant actor who has a command over Hindi, so we wrote the dialogues for him accordingly.

“The character of Raghubir Yadav was also elaborated according to his calibre. And Rajkummar was the first choice because there are some of the strong similarities of personality between him and Newton. They are both quite sincere in their job and idealistic,” Masurkar said.

He hopes that in a scenario where the taste of the Indian audience is changing, they embrace a movie like “Newton”. (IANS)

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Rajkummar Rao will soon Be back in Action

Actor Rajkumar Rao will be seen on screen soon after recovering from his injury.

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Rajkummar Rao
Rajkummar Rao. ians
  •  Actor Rajkummar Rao, who injured his leg last month, says everything is on track now and he will soon be “back in action”.

Rajkummar Rao’s another film is set to release soon

“I’ve lost three days when I was in the hospital otherwise everything is on track. I have been dubbing and also promoting ‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’. The only unfortunate part is that we had to push the shooting of ‘Fanney Khan’. I feel bad for my team and producers Kriarj, ROMP and T-Series, but they have been so supportive and wonderful to me. I’ll be back in action…four to five weeks max,” he said.

The “Trapped” actor considers 2017 to be “certainly one of the best years of my career but I never planned it like this”.

“I was just shooting for all these films last year and this year and they all released. It was just a coincidence. But no complains. I feel very blessed that I’m part of all these wonderful films. I know not every year is going to be the same but I’ll try and keep doing different films and push myself with every film,” said the “Newton” star.

His another film is set to release soon.

“Yes, ‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’ is a very sweet romantic drama. It’s a first for me in this genre, but I had a really good time shooting for it. We had a great team and a really wonderful script. It gave me a lot of scope to perform as an actor because there are two different personality traits of my character in it,” said Rajkummar Rao.

It looks like another small town romance-comedy like “Bareilly Ki Barfi”. Isn’t that becoming a bit of a problem?

“‘Shaadi…’ is set in a small town, but it’s not our usual small town rom-coms. As an actor, I try to keep it as versatile as possible…I feel the small town rom-com has a charm and you can find so many characters in them that it’s fun to explore. Even if it’s a formula also, it’s a sweet formula to experiment with,” he said.

His other film “Omerta” has been received well at film festivals.

“‘Omerta’ is a very powerful film I feel. As an actor, it took a toll on my mental health. It wasn’t an easy character to portray, but Hansal (Mehta) sir pushed me to my limits.

“We made this film with a lot of honesty and passion, and it’s an antagonist story so that way it was a first for us. It feels great when audiences like our effort and can see the honesty in our films. Toronto, MAMI and Busan are all major festivals and I am really happy that we had such an overwhelming response,” he said.

How does he manage to be so effective in spite of doing so much work?

“I wish I knew if am effective or not. I always feel very nervous before starting any new film and probably it’s this fear only that pushes me to work harder every time. I try and live all my characters sincerely and try and make them believable,” he said.(IANS)