It was an emotional, as well as celebrating moment for all the Indians when the news of Rajkummar Rao’s latest movie ‘Newton’ making an official entry to the Oscars 2018 went viral on the internet. Amit Masurkar’s ‘Newton’ starring Rajkummar Rao, and Pankaj Tripathi has been in the news for all the good reasons. The announcement of its official entry in Oscars 2018 forced more and more people to watch the film. However, with fame come controversies and something similar is happening with the film now.
While the film is being praised by critics for its dark-satirical plot, there are people who have started accusing the director of coping the script. It is being said that ‘Newton’ has a lot of similarities with an Iranian film. It seems as if ‘Newton’ is inspired by Babak Payami’s Iranian movie ‘Secret Ballot’.
This news has started a debate on Bollywood’s history of recycling scripts and winning hearts. The film actually has a lot of resemblances in the plot. The only difference in ‘Newton’ and ‘Secret Ballot’ (2001) is that ‘Newton’ has a male protagonist whereas the Iranian film’s protagonist is female. The plot of the film, the traits of the character and even the storyline revolving around an honest polling officer and the voting day in a remote place are similar and raising many eyebrows.
People who have seen the ‘Secret Ballot’ will surely have a déjà vu moment while watching ‘Newton’ because of the uncanny similarities.
As soon as news of the copied script of ‘Newton’ went viral, the eyes of the media started searching for answers from the Director’s side. Amit Masurkar, while speaking to the media, said that the rumors are false and both ‘Newton’ and ‘Secret Ballot’ are two different films. ‘Newton’ is neither inspired nor a remake of the Iranian film.
Here’s what the director said,
I remember after I wrote the script just before I was going to shoot, a friend told me about Secret Ballot. Since the film was on YouTube I watched bits and pieces but that was very different I felt. A lady polling officer goes door to door. Also, there is some kind of romantic track which is not in Newton. I knew someday people will draw similarities but what can one do? When you write a story there is a possibility that someone else must have written a similar story somewhere in the world.
Talking how his film is going to represent India on an International platform, the director said,
The film has traveled to all international film festivals and has been awarded, if it were a copy do you think this would have happened? All these allegations have begun when it landed in India. I don’t even know about the film or the story of Secret Ballot. I have just watched a little bit of it after people starting talking about the similarities in the two films.
Making his point sound more valid, Amit tried comparing the storylines of all the gangster films.
In gangster films, there is always someone’s death in family that has led to the story of the gangster and there are honest officers everywhere. As for my film, it is an original story and is rooted in Chattisgarh. I didn’t even know that there was a film like Secret Ballot when we worked on our film.
Let’s see if the news will affect Newton’s entry to the Oscars 2018. There are also chances that the news might discourage people from watching the film in theatres and can affect the movie’s earnings.
Have you seen ‘Secret Ballot’? Do you think Amit Masurkar has copied the script? Do share your views in the comments below!