Director: Oorvazi Irani
Writer: Farrukh Dhondy
Producers: Oorvazi Irani and Sorab Irani
Cast: Oorvazi Irani, Tom Alter, Rushad Rana, Darius Shroff
Music: Vasuda Sharma
Genre: Mystical/ Drama
Release Date: September 4, 2015
Rating: * * * ½
Review By: Keyur Seta
The new-age contemporary Indian films have now started achieving international standards. But along with technicalities, this has also to do with the bold intention of the filmmakers. Both these aspects are taken care of honestly in debutant Oorvazi Irani’s The Path Of Zarathustra (English film). The end result is a moving and enlightening saga for the lovers of unconventional cinema.
The film is an inner and outer journey of a Parsi lady, Oorvazi (Oorvazi Irani). She has been staying with her grandfather (Tom Alter) at his remote village since the age of 15. She has no problems for being cut-off from the world. After prolonged illness, her grandfather passes away but not before handing her a book, he had been writing since long, and instructing her to unfold its mystery.
To fulfill his wish, Oorvazi needs to relocate to her maasi’s place in Mumbai. Once in Mumbai, Perseus (Rushad Rana) with whom she shares an unusual bond, re-enters her life. The book takes Oorvazi on a quest related to the dwindling numbers of the Parsi community. What exactly lies in the book? Will she fulfill the last wish of her beloved grandfather?
The Path Of Zarathustra makes its visual appeal loud and clear right from the first frame itself. The entire film is a pictorial spectacle born out of some artistic camerawork (Subhadeep Dey) and perfect production designing (Pooja Shetty). These plusses make it difficult to believe that it is made on a shoestring budget. But overall, it is the honest and mature handling of a sensitive subject by the director that achieves the end result.
The main aim here is to provide the history and information of Parsis and highlight the fact that their community is on the verge of extinction. It fulfills it without becoming a history class, thanks to the intriguing and mystical element in the tale and treatment.
The final twist related to the book, however, might not impress many for being too simplistic. Apart from this, the overall philosophical content won’t appeal to the average moviegoer. It is more suited to the festival audience.
The actors rise to the occasion, as is the need in such performance-oriented films. Oorvazi Irani blends herself completely in the mode of the protagonist. In other words, she brings a difficult character alive.
Tom Alter, the acting veteran, leaves a solid impact in a cameo. Rushad Rana provides a fine act too. There are good supporting acts or cameos from Pheroza Modi, Firdausi Jussawala, Darius Shroff, Shishir Sharma and Vivek Tondon.
Overall: The Path Of Zarathustra is a finely crafted new-age film. It is worth watching for those who are eager to watch something hatke.