The Song Of Scorpions, Irrfan Khan’s last film, has finally hit the Indian screens. The Swiss-French-Singaporean Rajasthani language drama follows a tribal woman who struggles to get past a brutal betrayal and find her unique voice. The Song Of Scorpions stars Iranian and French actress Golshifteh Farahani and Indian powerhouses Waheeda Rehman, Tillotama Shome, and Shashank Arora. And of course, the legend Irrfan Khan. Here’s our review of The Song Of Scorpions.
The Song Of Scorpions is a visual beauty
The Song Of Scorpions is hauntingly beautiful. Set in the Thar desert of Rajasthan, the movie is picturesque, to say the least. According to an ancient myth, the sting of a scorpion can cause death within 24 hours. The only remedy is the song sung by a scorpion singer that freezes the poison. Nooran (Golshifteh Farahani) is one such healer. A tribal woman who is a student to her grandmother (Waheeda Rehman), Nooran dances to her own tunes. Aadam (Irrfan Khan), a camel trader, is smitten by her and pursues her arduously. Though she refuses his advances, Aadam is persistent.
All Nooran wants is to be a better scorpion singer and healer. She is a woman of her own making – practical yet passionate. When a tragedy strikes, Nooran is left all alone, with only a friend to support her. Aadam walks in to marry her, which she agrees to because she has no other choice. The deserts of Rajasthan fully capture the languid despair Nooran faces. Her life, after a sexual assault, feels just as arid as the desert. The symbolism of setting this story in the deserts of Rajasthan is not lost.
Performances that blow your mind
With an actor of the calibre of Irrfan Khan, a power-packed performance is guaranteed. And he doesn’t disappoint. His emotions reflect in his eyes and he performs with every aspect of his being. His ardour for Nooran, the disappointment of being rejected, and the happiness of being accepted, everything is portrayed so well. Golshifteh Farahani is fabulous as the defiantly independent Nooran. The Iranian and French actor puts up a strong front with her Hindi, but it’s not perfect. There is a certain stiffness to the language, but her effort is commendable. Farahani embodies Nooran in her entirety. She is hauntingly beautiful in the scenes when she finds out she has been betrayed. The poison in the film is not just the one by the scorpion, but also by the characters.
If you are looking for a high-octane Bollywood movie, The Song Of Scorpions is not for you. This movie is a slow-burn, non-commercial movie. But if you are willing to show some patience, The Song Of Scorpions might just surprise you.
Can you watch The Song Of Scorpions with your family?: It features mild intimacy only. There is a depiction of sexual assault in the film.
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