Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 14, 2017)

After working together in the critically acclaimed 2015 drama Qissa, Irrfan Khan reunited with Anup Singh for The Song of Scorpions in which he plays a camel trader who falls in love with a tribal woman played by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. The film will be making its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival and has been invited to ring in the festival’s 70th anniversary on August 9 at the Piazza Grande, one of the finest open-air venues in the world. Both Irrfan and Golshifteh will be attending the premiere

A jubilant Anup informed Mirror that the role of the leading man demanded both fragility and ruthlessness as is characteristic of a person truly and passionately in love. “After his electric performance in my last film Qissa, I knew Irrfan was the only actor who would be able to live the heightened emotions of this character with authenticity, intelligence and flair and give us all a new and stunning insight into love,” he asserted, admitting that though they finished shooting it in 2016, the film is still not ready. “We are racing to give it its finishing touches a few weeks away from the world premiere. After Locarno we would like to travel with it to some chosen film festivals before we release it in India.”

Speaking to Mirror (July 11) earlier, Irrfan was all praise for Anup describing him as “an extremely talented director” and a “greater visual artist”. “He has crafted a heart-warming tale of love interspersed with some beautiful music, which I was immediately drawn to it,” he informed.

The film will also mark a comeback of sorts for veteran actress Waheeda Rehman, whose last Hindi film outing was Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s 2009 Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor-starrer Delhi-6. “Waheedaji is in New York at the moment and was overjoyed to hear the news when I spoke to her on the phone today. She gave us her blessings and is keen to travel with the film to the next festival,” Anup shared.

After Qissa and The Song of Scorpions is he planning a third film with Irrfan to complete a hattrick? “I have written a new script with him in mind and I’m waiting for a calm moment when I can sit down without any distractions and talk to him about it,” he signed off.