<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Oorvazi Irani. Starring Oorvazi Irani, Rushad Rana, Shishir Sharma, Tom Alter, Darius Shroff, Firdausi Jussawala
The Path of Zarathustra has a lot of philosophical mumbo-jumbo, incoherent dialogue and absolutely no plot at all.
I don’t know if the film is a documentary, a sermon or the ranting of some screwball Parsi person – I’m half Parsi, so I can attest to them being crazy – who just wanted to make a film and star in it. Oorvazi Irani should probably have stuck to directing. As the lead and calling herself Oorvazi in the film too, she plays a woman who watches her grandfather die. This grandfather (Tom Alter) took her away from her family when she was 15 simply because a boy (Rushad Rana) proposed to her. Sure he’s sorta her adopted stepbrother but so what!
She comes back to her life with a magic book that her grandfather didn’t actually write. It… just… wrote… itself! Oorvazi talks like that. Robotic and stilted, her every sentence drones on and then spills over into a voiceover even while she’s on screen. Are you sure this isn’t just about her wanting to be in the limelight? Is it really about Parsis and they’re imminent extinction?
The Path of Zarathustra touches on the Parsi community and tells us nothing new about the dwindling numbers apart from proposing to hire surrogate mothers from around the world to bear Parsi kids so that millions of new mad bawas can inhabit the world.
Apparitions from Zoroastrianism appear in the form of priests and people to talk to Oorvazi about ethereal and philosophical topics that will probably go over your head if you’re not too bored by then to even bother following what’s going on. Images of ancient Persian ruins fill the screen to strange voiceovers talking about history and mumbling names of Parsi priests long gone. All of this leading to the most cliché endings where the basic and most simple teaching of the Parsis – Good thoughts, Good words and Good deeds – ends up being the moral of the movie.
Parsis may watch it out of illogical loyalty but you don’t need to. Sometimes it’s okay for things to come to an end. I was happy when this film did.