A day after Rajkummar Rao starrer ‘Newton’ was announced as India’s official nomination to the Oscars 2018, there is a buzz that the movie bears resemblance with 2001 Iranian movie titled ‘Secret Ballot’.
Directed by Babak Payami, the storyline of ‘Secret Ballot’ revolves around the life of ballot officer who visits a desolate place to convince the voters in that area to vote and take part in the election. Similarly, in ‘Newton’, Rajkummar, who plays the role of an election officer, goes to a Naxal-controlled area in Chhattisgarh and requests people in the area to vote.
With many claiming that ‘Newton’ is an Indian version of the Iranian film, there could be a possibility of the movie not being selected for the finale of the Academy Awards.
When NDTV approached the director of the movie, Amit Masurkar, regarding the resemblance in plot with the Iranian movie, he said that he was aware of the Iranian movie having a similar kind of plot. He was quoted as saying, “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.”
Earlier, movies like Anurag Basu’s ‘Barfi’ and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Black’, when selected for Oscars, were accused of being copied and being inspired from Hollywood movies.