Rajkummar Rao: “I’ll Do My Best To See We Win The Oscar”

Amit Mansur’s  Newton has been selected as  India’s entry to the Oscars. And its leading man Rajkummar Rao is over the moon.

“I can feel good things happening to my career one after another. First there was so much appreciation for Bareilly Ki Barfi.Then  I was inundated with praise in Toronto for Hansal Mehta’s Omerta.Barely  days later I get the most amazing reviews for Newton. As though that weren’t enough, on the day that Newton releases comes the news that our film is going to the Oscars. I feel blessed,” exults Rajkummar.

The actor-extraordinaire admits the Oscar nod has taken him by surprise. “It’s all so sudden. And Newton  is not an easy film to categorize.We all worked on conviction and  little else.”

The threadbare budget to make Newton  would now have to make way for a hefty marketing strategy that will give  this quirky film about a determined  idealistic polling clerk’s fight to hold election in the jungles  of  Chattisgarh, a fair chance to take home the Oscar.

Says Rajkummar, “It’s too early for  us to understand how we will position Newton for the Oscars . The fact that it has been selected for the Oscars has barely registered. Now we would need to sit down and work out a  marketing strategy.”

The  actor who also plays Subhas Chandra Bose in a  forthcoming web series,expresses an  unconditional willingness too be the face Newton at the Oscars. “Of course I will do everything possible to ensure we stand a good chance of  bringing home the Oscar. But Newton is not just about me.All of us –director Amit Mansur and my co-actors Pankaj Tripathi, Anjali Patil and RaghubirYadav –worked towards making Newton a statement  on the electoral  process and  the widening lacuna between city life and rural existence .”

Rajkummar Rao hopes that the Oscar-worthiness of  Newton would help it get a wide audience in India. “I am aware that the film doesn’t have  the ingredients for an instant  success. But we’re hoping that  the terrific reviews, word of mouth and the Oscar nod would get the audience interested.”

He hopes Newton would  get the audience it deserves,  “Cinema in  our country is changing rapidly. Newton is proof  of that change. It is important that we take its message  of electoral  obligations  to the Oscars.”

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