Santouri: The Music Man

I just came across – i.e. watched – a film that I felt like I needed to immediately share. The film “Santouri: The Music Man” is by renowned Iranian director Dariush Mehrjui, who has brought us such beautiful films as “Hamoun” and “Leila”. “Playing the Santour” is a euphemism in Iran for shooting up heroin, something to do with the thrashing moves used to swell up the arm to find a vein which is reminiscent of how the musical instrument is played.

Bahram Radan is often called the Iranian Brad Pitt, but I would more aptly describe him as the best of Javier Bardem, Benicio Del Toro, with a hint of the sexiness of Salman Khan – from the “Tere Naam” period – thrown in. He is simply divine in the part of the musician Ali, a man who forsakes everything dear to him when he falls into the seductive arms of drugs. But the story of this film is far from dark and gloomy. There is redemption in the darkest of places, which is often the case in real life, ain’t it?!

With a soundtrack that is simply divine, this film should be a must-see on any list, because yes, it is Iranian cinema at its best and it opens one’s view to a different look, sense and feel in films, one often imitated but never quite achieved anywhere in west. And for those who might still feel skeptical, think of it as a “Trainspotting” of sorts, in Farsi… 

Image courtesy of Iranian Film Society

Bookmark and Share

One Response to “Santouri: The Music Man”

  1. ajit gopalakrishnan:

    Hamoun and Leila were both great Iranian films…didn’t know Dariush was working on this movie. Is this movie being screened in the U.S. currently?

Leave a Comment