ICYMI, Rajkummar Rao’s Newton just released and blew the audience away with its honest portrayal of Indian democracy and Rajkummar Rao’s brilliant acting.
And soon controversy followed.
People soon began comparing it to an Iranian film, Secret Ballot and accused it of plagiarism.
Yes, we found striking similarities in the basic premise of both the films.
1. Both films follow a day in the life of a young, idealistic polling officer performing their duty of upholding democracy in a remote area.
2. Both lead characters go to great lengths to educate the public about the power of the electorate.
3. Both characters are accompanied by a security personnel to help navigate the troubled region (a Naxal-dominated area vs an island filled with crooks and smugglers).
4. Both films use humour while tackling the socio-political challenges in their country.
Barring these thematic influences, both films grow in different directions by the climax.
The Iranian film shows a spirited polling officer discovering the futility of law in the faraway lands where women like her, are second-class citizens.
Newton paints an ambitious-yet-accurate portrait of the Indian bureaucracy through its dutiful protagonist.
While Secret Ballot implies a romance between its female lead and the soldier by the end, Newton sticks to only and only to its protagonist’s values. No romantic angle there.
Final word? *drumroll*
While we understand that the basic premise in both the films is similar in how two polling officers fight to uphold democracy in a remote area, the scenes and how the film grows in different settings make for two very different films.
Can two people have the same idea? Most definitely. Two people stressing on the idea of voting in a democracy, not a new idea, right?
“Newton” is as much a copy of “Secret Ballot” as The Avengers is of Watan Ke Rakhwale— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) September 24, 2017
The Secret Ballot producer Marco Muller saw the film himself and felt there was no hint of plagiarising. So that settles the debate, right? Go watch the films and decide for yourself.
Honestly, they are both fucking brilliant.