Irrfan Khan’s body of work, spanning over three decades, has been so immensely diverse and vibrant that attempting to put it down in words feels like injustice. The cinematic adventure that he has taken us on with each role and film has been a journey full of laughter, tears, anger, pain, all with equal impact.
His untimely death has left the entire country shocked. As a fan, I’m trying to come to terms with the realisation that the joy I felt while watching Angrezi Medium just a few weeks ago, will never be replicated. However, there is some comfort in knowing that through his work, Irrfan Khan will live on, touching millions of lives, even hundreds of years on. Here’s my look back at some of his films that I will always cherish watching:
Khan’s first feature film where he played a small role. The film, directed by Mira Nair, won two awards each at Cannes as well as the National Film Awards in 1988.
The first of Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespeare adaptations, Irrfan Khan played the titular role as the right-hand man of a powerful underworld don. His performance was raw and power-packed, and a major reason behind the film’s critical and commercial success.
Irrfan Khan as Monty was one of my most favourite things about this film. His romance and comic timing were incredibly entertaining. I will especially remember that final scene where Konkona Sen’s character confesses her love to him while he’s on a ghodi for the immense amount of feels it had, all the while making me laugh.
The adaptation of The Namesake from the book by Jhumpa Lahiri remains one of my favourite book-to-movie so far. It brought life to her words so beautifully, and Irrfan Khan as Gogol’s father was everything I had imagined the character to be. He was charming and romantic as the husband, caring and protective as the father, and very convincing as a straight-up, no-nonsense Bengali man.
Paan Singh Tomar was the film that made me a true believer in Irrfan Khan as an actor. His performance as an athlete, as a husband and as a dacoit was absolutely flawless. The National Award was more than well-deserved.
The Lunchbox, and Irrfan Khan’s character in it, filled my whole heart. This seemingly simple but beautifully written and executed role felt like a silent storm of powerful emotions.
Piku in itself is an amazing experience, but what I Ioved most about Irrfan Khan’s role and performance in it was the chemistry he had, both with Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan. There is so much sincerity in their on-trip banter, which also made the humour that much better.
This, I think is my favourite Irrfan Khan ever. Oh, the comic timing, the ease with which he essayed the role was so effortless. The movie was refreshingly funny and brilliantly insightful.
Irrfan Khan’s last release, which I saw just a week or two ago. The film isn’t spectacular, but the way he portrayed his character, the ease with which he brought humour to the film, and the absolutely brilliant chemistry he had with Radhika Madan (who plays his daughter Tarika), is really memorable.
I would have loved to talk about Haider, Karwaan and Blackmail but I haven’t watched them yet, I hope to fix that soon.
What are your favourite movies by Irrfan Khan? Drop a comment below, or share your list in a new post.