NEWTON by Amit V Masurkar
(106 min, India, color, English subtitles)
Newton is a stickler for principles – whether with respect to his unusual name or the not entirely orthodox way in which his arranged marriage has been handled. But because he doesn’t immediately come across as a nit-picker, he’s given the job of volunteer election worker and entrusted with a mission that demands the utmost flexibility if it’s to succeed. Newton is flown by helicopter into the jungle. The village where he’s to make sure that the election is carried out properly turns out to be a democratic stress-centre, where he must keep devious military personnel and oddball bureaucrats in check – even as the voters, the very people the whole thing is about, remain strangely absent. The Adivasi – as the indigenous people of India are called – are wise to keep their distance from this staged spectacle of democracy and put up resistance with a cunning game of hide-and-seek. Newton remains true to his principles. When a foreign election monitor arrives, the tide turns in his favour – but only temporarily.
With a feel for the special, multifaceted humour of his compatriots, Amit Masurkar succeeds in making Newton into a black comedy about the pale spectre of democracy in dark times.
Thur April 20 @ 9:15am at Cinepolis Chelsea 5 (CIN) 260 West 23rd Street
Mon April 24 @ 8:00pm, at CIN 6
Tue April 25 @ 9:15pm at CIN 5
Wed April 26 @ 3:45pm at CIN 2
Thur April 27 @ 9:45pm at Regal Battery Park Stadium 11, 102 North End Ave