Rajkummar Rao starrer Newton premiered at different global film festivals and won several accolades internationally before it released in India.
However, when the black comedy hit screens in India, immediately it started being criticized for being a copy of an Iranian movie titled Secret Ballot. But all that negative buzz didn’t stop Newton from becoming India’s official entry to the Oscars. But the controversy still hasn’t died down.
This forced director Amit V Masurkar to clarify less than a day ago that Newton isn’t copied or inspired by any other film. He said he hasn’t even watched Secret Ballot.
Well, the allegations are not without merit. Both the films are constructed around a similar plot.
They have an honest, earnest protagonist wanting to conduct free and fair election in a remote region.
Both the films show the story of one day, and are scathing commentaries on systemic corruption and the apathy of government officials.
Secret Ballot, directed by BabakPayami, released in 2001.
Director Amit Masurkar dismisses allegation, says Newton is original work
Newton’s director Amit Masurkar strongly defends claims of plagiarism. He says he found out about Secret Ballot only after he had finished writing Newton’s script.
“I watched (Secret Ballot) in bits and pieces. But it 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,” he told NDTV.
Anurag Kashyap defends Newton’s credibility
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, in a series of tweets, has rubbished any claims suggesting that Newton is inspired or copied.
“Newton is as much a copy of Secret Ballot as The Avengers is of WatanKeRakhwale,” he tweeted.
He also said the curators at international film festivals (where Newton has been felicitated) watch more films in a year than most do in a lifetime.Now, Anurag Kashyap who is happy about the movie’s success poured out his love and support for it on Twitter, shutting down all the negativity surrounding Newton’s success.
The 90th Academy awards will take place on March 18. The voting for the foreign language films will begin in October.