Samira Nadkarni (Independent Scholar), "Chhattisgarh as India’s Frontier: Reading Masurkar’s Newton (2017) as Postcolonial Western"

Réalisation : 16 novembre 2018 Mise en ligne : 16 novembre 2018
  • document 1 document 2 document 3
  • niveau 1 niveau 2 niveau 3
  • audio 1 audio 2 audio 3

Amit V. Masurkar’s2017 film, Newton is simultaneously asatire and reconfirmation of the myths of democratic nationhood, exploring apostcolonial narrative of internal colonisation in the creation of nationalhegemony and law-making. The plot follows a young government clerk, NewtonKumar (Rajkummar Rao), whose attempts to honestly run a voting booth in thejungles of Chhattisgarh is hindered by the Indian army’s morally-ambiguous protocols,the constant threat of attack by Naxals (the soldiers of India’sMaoist-revolution), as well as his own rigid preconceptions of the democraticprocess and its best practice. As such, Newtonfunctions as an evocation of the traditional Hollywood Western repurposed toIndian cinema and its local concerns; exploration of the Frontier is shifted tothe seemingly lawless jungles of Chhattisgarh where the morally ambiguous andpotentially corrupt Indian army attempts to combat the threat of Naxal uprisings.We see that (1) Chhattisgarh stands in for the wide expanse of seeminglylawless land to be explored and eventually mastered; (2) Newton’s as theoutsider, particularly through his subtly indicated Dalit status (Wankhede2017), whose perception of existing norms precipitates upheaval; (3) his challengeto the corrupt existing system of law and order (in this case, the Indian armyas well as the Naxals) due to his role as male individual and outsider,representative of the nation, democracy, and the (false) promise ofegalitarianism; (4) the film culminating in a standoff and violent altercationbetween him as an individual and a larger group of lawful outlaws (represented inthis instance by the Indian army); and, most notably, (5) the indigenous peopleof the region (Adivasis) are reduced to largely voiceless caricatures (Minj2017).


Lieu de réalisation
Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, Site Saint Charles
Langue :
Conditions d'utilisation
Droit commun de la propriété intellectuelle
Citer cette ressource:
EMMA. (2018, 16 novembre). Samira Nadkarni (Independent Scholar), "Chhattisgarh as India’s Frontier: Reading Masurkar’s Newton (2017) as Postcolonial Western". [Vidéo]. Canal-U. (Consultée le 19 août 2022)

Dans la même collection

Sur le même thème