Anup Singh’s “The Song of Scorpions” has a rhythmic pacing which is synced with the undulating sands and the region of Thar Desert, Rajasthan. While the most mesmerizing aspect is its Cinematography by Pietro Zuercher and Carlotta Holy-Steinemann, it becomes so mesmeric in its cinematic atmosphere making the film as timeless tale.
Amol Palekar’s “Paheli” is one memorable film set beautifully in the desert of Rajasthan but Anup Singh’s film goes beyond it though with minor writing issues. Anup Singh’s previous film “Qissa: A Tale of a Lonely Ghost” was a successful venture due to its unique storytelling, here, he takes a simple route accompanied and uplifted by technically brilliant aspects of direction, production design and cinematography.
Nooran (Golshifteh Farahani) is learning the ancient art of healing from her grandmother (Waheeda Rehman), a scorpion-singer. Aadam (Irrfan Khan), a camel trader, falls in love when he hears her sing. But before long, Nooran is poisoned by a treachery and must undertake a journey to avenge herself and find her song. Following a path of folktale, the film divulges into the areas of love, humiliation, pain and forgiveness. The snail paced desert life adds a sense of melancholy throughout the reigns and ruins of structural Screenplay, hence it takes time to sync-in. But once it does, it immediately engulfs one into the reins. With many thoughtfully contrived visuals such as camels running parallel by a car, blurs the lines of being thoroughly modernistic world with chaotic city sounds; it flatters itself with high-end aspects of storytelling. It’s a story narratively inclined towards the Shakespearean-way.
Irrfan Khan has relished the character like Othello delivering an impeccable performance. With every film, he notches up the bar making the adjectives vanish or repetitive. Golshifteh Farahani plays Nooran with a soul-stirring performance, might make Indian Actresses (Nargis Fakhri and Katrina Kaif shall already start taking notes) run for their lives. Farahani is an Iranian Actress who plays a Rajasthani at ease; watch out for her intense close-ups.
“The Song of Scorpions” may not be considered among Anup Singh’s best works but a definite ravishing piece of cinema. It stands as resonating metaphor – for the wounds of real world and the poisonous happenings around like bomb blasts, lynching, etc. Madan Gopal Singh’s traditional songs soothe the wounds, heals the soul.
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