Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on Sunday spoke out in defence of "Newton" -- India's official entry for Oscars' foreign language film category -- amidst claims that the movie is inspired by a 2001 Iranian movie titled "Secret Ballot".
"Newton" is getting a raving response at the box office. Apart from word-of-mouth, the fact that the news that it will represent India at the Oscars came out on the day of its release itself, has given it a much-needed spurt in footfalls. According to trade experts, the movie registered "remarkable" and "unprecedented" growth just a day after its opening day.
Kashyap tweeted: "That day when you wake up to the news that a deserving film makes a deserving box office... 'Newton' shines. Super happy."
On news that the film is copied, he quipped: "'Newton' is as much a copy of 'Secret Ballot' as 'The Avengers' is of 'Watan Ke Rakhwale'."
The movie, produced by Manish Mundra of Drishyam Films, had its world premiere at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival, where it even won an award.
Standing up for its genuinity, Kashyap said: "'Newton' is an award winner from Berlin fest and I can promise you those curators watch more films in a year than rest of us do in a lifetime."
While "Newton", which stars National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao, revolves around a government employee who struggles to supervise voting in a forest area of Chhattisgarh, controlled by Maoists, "Secret Ballot" is described as a movie which focuses on the life of a lady ballot officer who visits a barren and desolate place to plead with voters to cast their votes and take part in the elections.
"Newton" director Amit V Masurkar has already given his take on the controversy, saying: "The story was born from my heart. I had no idea about 'Secret Ballot'."
Meanwhile, meeting the film team's expectations, the film is attracting audiences to theatres.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted on Sunday: "'Newton' shows remarkable 162.5 per cent growth on Saturday. Friday Rs 96 lakh, Saturday Rs 2.52 crore. Total: Rs 3.48 crore India biz."
Komal Nahta, another trade expert, wrote: "A 200 per cent jump on Saturday over Friday collections of 'Newton'. Almost unprecedented!"