The ArdhSatya for today’s Gen X this thought-provoking film by young-gun Amit Masurkar is a riveting expose on the fundamental question of voter freedom. A government clerk Newton Kumar (Rajkummarr Rao) on election duty (general election- with 9 million polling booths, more than 800 million voters, and costing nearly $5 billion) in the conflict-ridden jungle of Central India tries his best to conduct free and fair electoral franchise despite the apathy of security forces and the looming fear of guerrilla attacks by Marxist/Maoist rebels.
But what is free and fair in a country where State might be used to completely bludgeon the rights of the marginalised and fringe inhabitants of this so called vibrant and pluralistic democracy, is the question being raised here? As depicted here, Newton is an idealist who is unfazed by the challenge set before him.
Ignoring the realities of the situation he is concerned with following the rule book to a T and as the day ends, learns to his obvious surprise and disillusionment that conducting ‘free and fair’elections in a minefield like this is no child’s play. Masurkar and co-scriptwriter Mayank Tewari fashion a humorous satire that is at once hard-hitting and light enough to be deigned as subtly meaningful.
With life-like performances from the crafty chameleon Rajkumarr Rao, the luminous Anjali Patil, gritty Raghubir Yadav and supremely gifted Pankaj Tripathi, added to the guerrilla camerawork and coherent editing to aid the simple narration, this one sure packs a sucker punch way beyond its weight category!
Cast: Rajkummarr Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Anjali Patil. Raghubir Yadav, Mukesh Prajapati
Director: Amit Masurkar