Irrfan Khan with his performances has always contributed not only to the Indian Cinema.
He has also given some prominent characters in Hollywood films. He started his acting career with a letter writer character in Mira Nair’s ‘Salaam Bombay’ in 1988.
Although he had a pretty significant part, his role was edited out to keep the film crisp.
The world came crashing down on him and he reconsidered his bearing. He decided to stay and did countless gigs on television – ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’, ‘Chandrakanta’, ‘Kirdaar’, ‘Star Bestsellers’ are just few of them.
With his small screen outings, he honed his craft and grew from strength to strength.
Today, Irrfan is one of the best actors with an amazing filmography. The actor passed away at the age of 54.
On remembering his remarkable journey let’s take a look at the list of top 10 Irrfan Khan movies that we all loved!
The Warrior (2001):
This film put Irrfan on the map for the first time. It was helmed by Asif Kapadia – a British filmmaker who later went on to win numerous awards (including an Academy award) for his documentaries ‘Amy’ and ‘Senna’. It is about a warrior, Lafcadia, who begins to question the purposeless killings of innocent people which he has carried out for a living and decides to abandon the path of violence. But, his grim past catches up with him sooner than he thought. Irrfan speaks bare minimum lines and for most of the part lets his silence convey the storm within. It is quite surprising that such a fine movie is yet to be discovered by the masses.
Vishal Bhardwaj took a leaf out of Gulzar’s and Akira Kurosawa’s books and decided to adapt Shakespeare’s play with an Indian setting. Manoj Bajpai admitted in an interview that he approached Bhardwaj countless times to cast him in the titular role. He would have been a safer choice for Bhardwaj as Bajpai had already proven his craft with ‘Satya’, ‘Shool’ and ‘Aks’. But, Bhardwaj stuck to his guns and went ahead & made Maqbool with Irrfan in the lead. The cast of Maqbool was embellished with heavily decorated actors (Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri). To play the lead in front of such stalwarts is by no standards a mean feat. The character of Miyan Maqbool was a stony-hearted, fiercely loyal chieftain who gets swayed by Abbaji’s escort and in search for a better tomorrow; finds himself knocking on the doorway to hell. Irrfan played Maqbool with his characteristic blazing intensity and boorish charm and completely owned the critics at various film festivals all over. His performance retained its flair throughout and not for once got shrouded under the halo of other seasoned actors. And with Maqbool, came all the praises, accolades, appreciation and awards which had eluded Irrfan for so long.
Paan Singh Tomar (2012):
The Namesake (2006):
Slumdog Millionaire (2008):
In the film Irrfan Khan played the role of a police officer. He was praise by his performance from the critics and fans. The crime drama film that is a loose adaptation of the novel Q&A (2005) by Indian author Vikas Swarup, telling the story of 18-year-old Jamal Malik from Juhu slums of Mumbai. With this film Irrfan became the Oscar winning actor and there on his journey was unstoppable.
Life Of Pi (2012):
The best word that describes Irrfan Khan’s performance in ‘Life of Pi’ is “sublime”. Few actors in the world, let alone India, are as effortless as Khan, and that effortlessness shows clearly in the film, especially, when he had only a few scenes to make a mark. He makes most of the 10-15 minutes that he has in the film so much so that there was a serious talk of him getting nominated for Best Supporting Actor Oscar. It didn’t materialize, though. One day, it will, if he keeps giving such great performances.
The Lunchbox (2013):
You don’t have much at your disposal when for larger part of your screen time you are supposed to sit on a chair in a government office and marvel at your lunchbox, do you? Irrfan proved that you do. He played Saajan Fernandez, a middle-aged, loyal and efficient government official who falls in love over a series of delicious lunchboxes and accompanying letters. He savours the dishes like a gourmet but never forgets to let the audience in on the aroma. Gradually, he creates an equation with us and before long we become pro at correctly guessing the contents of the letters as well as the lunchbox just by looking at his face. Stellar performance!
Piku emerged as a darling of critics and audiences alike and deservedly so. Shoojit Sircar’s slice-of-life film brought together three of the most talented artistes working in Indian cinema. Amitabh Bachchan plays Bhaskor Bannerjee – a Bengali father fraught with constipation-induced anxiety – and Deepika plays Piku – a freethinking, dutiful daughter who believes in “sex-is-a-need” theory. Irrfan’s Rana likes Piku and his infatuation lands him in a road trip with this eccentric father-daughter duo. It is often said that the most difficult characters to play are the normal ones, those characters which are devoid of any peculiar behaviour, accent and mannerism. Rana was one such character. It lacked the idiosyncracies of a Bhaskor or a Piku. And yet Irrfan stood tall as Rana and gave his audience another memorable performance.
Irrfan played Ashwin Kumar, a character based on Arun Kumar who became in-charge of the case when it was handed over to the CBI. Ashwin takes it up while undergoing a personal turmoil, investigates it right from scratch and gets consumed in the process. Irrfan not only perfectly displayed the frustration and helplessness an officer experiences when he uncovers absurd incompetency and inappropriate procedure, he also made it increasingly tangible for his audience. He keeps us at the edge of our seats and soon enough we join him in the investigation, examining suspects, decrypting the motive, drawing and weighing conclusions. He made us share his disgust for the corrupt, his failure to exact justice for the accused parents and subsequent despair.
Angrezi Medium (2020):
The last film of the legend that we can never forget. The film is a sequel to Irrfan’s film Hindi Medium that deals with the admission of the kid. It tells the tale of a father who fought for her daughter’s happiness and her dream to study abroad. Despite of having health issue Irrfan completed the film with his best ever performance as a father who we can relate on screen.
We at #UrbanAsian give condolences to the legendary star. May his soul rest in peace.
Do comment us his favourite film that you guys like in the comment section below.