Rajkummar rao's Newton Is Copy Of A Popular Iranian Film Called Secret Ballot
This is not the first time an acclaimed Hindi film is facing plagiarism allegations. Much after Udta Punjab became a hit, it was alleged that the story was lifted from Ben Elton's novel High Society.
Just a day after Rajkummar Rao's Newton was announced as India's official entry into the Oscars; The Typical Indian has Found uncanny resemblances between director Amit Masurkar's Picture and a popular Iranian film called Secret Ballot.
The notion and the idea of these two movies are alike. Both narrate the story of a voting day at a distant location. The protagonist is an honest polling officer, who are given the task to guarantee voting happens in the region against all the odds and both the films also have the identical character, a soldier who is in charge of election safety and who demotivates that the polling officer at each step.
In Amit Masurkar's Newton, Rajkummar Rao is your polling agent who is given the demanding task of conducting graduate in a Naxal-affected area of Chhattisgarh. He's taken to the location on a chopper where he is introduced into Aatma Singh (Pankaj Tripathi), the soldier who tells Newton that he knows the area better and he should be the sole deciding if voting ought to happen or not. Newton informs him that he's in charge and he will make certain voting occurs anyhow. The soldier who is responsible for security isn't interested and nor is he willing to assist, She informs him, "I'm in charge here, mister. I have ordered. You must obey, or I'll see to it you stay a soldier indefinitely." This dialog is extremely similar to the one Newton has with Aatma Singh in Amit Masurkar's picture. The setting from this voting booth is comparable; the young girl opens a chart and begins planning, very similar to what Rajkummar Rao's character does after attaining the dilapidated school. In both the films, the safety officer is loath but accept orders grudgingly. The young woman in Secret Ballots observed taking the ballot box in several scenes. Also, Rajkummar Rao's character too holds the voting system close to his heart. Both films are satires.
The crux of this story is the same, but a couple of things are very different. Back in Newton, the polling officer is a man and is accompanied by two additional officers to assist him, and the safety officer has an army with him. Back in Secret Ballot, the polling officer is a young woman who goes door to door to ensure sailors throw their vote - she is all by herself, and that's the soldier.
The Typical Indian spoke to Amit Masurkar, author, and manager of Newton, and asked him about the congruence of these two topics; he affirmed that the movie isn't motivated by or is a remake of Secret Ballot and refused that there are similarities. He explained, "I remember after I wrote that the script just before I was going to take, a buddy told me on Secret Ballot. Since the film was on YouTube, I watched bits and pieces, but that has been different I felt. Additionally, there is some romantic track which is not in Newton." When asked about the similarities between the lead roles, Masurkar stated, "I understood folks would draw similarities but what can you do? When you write a story, there is a chance that somebody else has to have composed a similar story someplace else in the world."
In 2001, Secret Ballot toured film festivals Throughout the world. The film won the FIPRESCI Prize - a Special Mention at the London Film Festival, Special Jury Award at Sao Paulo International Film Festival and Several other awards.
What's surprising is that Newton had its world premiere at the 67th Berlin Film Festival and it won the International Federation of Art Cinemas (CICAE) award in its Forum segment, and no one spotted the similarities with another popular movie at the festivals. It's likely to cause any embarrassment to not only the group of this movie but also those who honored it on different prestigious programs.
This isn't the first time that an acclaimed Hindi film is confronting plagiarism allegations. Shortly after Udta Punjab turned into a hit, and it had been alleged that the story was lifted from Ben Elton's novel High Society.