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If producer, director don't think it's a copy, it's not: Rajkummar Rao on Newton

The Newton actor responded to the accusations that Amit Masurkar's film was ripped off from Iranian filmmaker Babak Payami's Secret Ballot.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

Director Amit Masurkar's Newton has been selected as India's official entry to the Oscars. There was no dispute over the choice, but the celebration was rained over by reports that the film was allegedly inspired by Irani filmmaker Babak Payami's Secret Ballot.

In an email communication with Cinestaan.com, Payami had said there were no structural similarities between the two films. The filmmaker ruled out that the Indian film was a copy of Secret Ballot. Actor Rajkummar Rao, who played Newton, has defended his film strongly.

At the promotion of his next, Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, Cinestaan.com asked Rajkummar about the plagiarism row over Masurkar's film.

"When the producer, the director of Secret Ballot themselves say that Newton is not at all a copy, then I'm trying to understand who are these people who, for some news or controversies, tend to create such stories? I'd request such people to watch the films and then write what they feel!" Rajkummar said. "There are many films that get made on cops, gangsters, law. You can't be saying that they're are all same," he added.

Both the films, save for the polling plot theme, are vastly different in their treatment, setting. In an email conversation with Cinestaan.com, the director of Secret Ballot, Babak Payami, had said, "Any similarities between the two films are broad and I don’t see any specific stylistic or structural similarities. These are two different films on a common theme."

On being asked if the negativity around Newton will scupper its chances at the Oscars, Rajkummar merely said, "No, I don't think so".

The actor, who broke his leg on a TV show, regretted that he won't be able to travel with the Newton team to America.

"I feel proud that Newton has been selected as India's official entry to the Oscars. I have to go to the US, but I will not be able to do so (looks to his fractured leg). I'm glad to be part of, and to have played Newton. It's important for films like Newton to do well. The audiences' acceptance will help us make ten more Newtons," said Rajkummar.

He will next be seen in Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana that is set to be released on 10 November.