Today marks a sad day in the history of Indian cinema. Irrfan Khan, a prolific actor, gentle soul and extraordinary human being, lost his life today, leaving millions of hearts broken. And while the actor may have moved on to a better place, the legacy of his art will live forever. No matter which role Irrfan was presented with, he performed each with depth and brilliance. As a tribute to this legendary artist, we plan to spend our next few days re-watching some of his most iconic films.
You know an actor is truly brilliant when he wins accolades for playing a villain. In Maqbool, which was director Vishal Bhardwaj's adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, Irrfan played the noteworthy character of Miyan Maqbool. The movie was applauded not only in India, but also at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as the Cannes Film Festival.
Slumdog Millionaire was perhaps Irrfan's introduction to mainstream western cinema, although he had acted in several international projects before. Directed by Danny Boyle, the movie was based on Vikas Swaroop's book Q & A, and was also starred Frieda Pinto and Dev Patel in their debut roles. Irrfan may have portrayed the minor role of a police officer, but he definitely made his presence felt in the film, which later went on to win eight academy awards.
This is my personal favourite film starring Irrfan, which is loved by his fans worldwide. The movie is based on author Jhumpa Lahiri's book by the same name. The movie follows the life of two first-generation Indian Americans in New York, and Irrfan's portrayal of Ashoke is moving and poignant.
Paan Singh Tomar
The role of Paan Singh Tomar has been game-changing for Irrfan, and if there is ONE movie starring the actor that is a must-watch, it is this one. Unsurprisingly, the actor won a national award for portraying a dacoit-turned-athlete in the film. The movie is directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, and also stars Tabu.
It is Irrfan Khan's moving performance in the thought-provoking movie Life Of Pi that made him one of my favourite actor. Till date, it holds its place on my list of brilliant films, and I often re-watch it from time to time. Life Of Pi is based on the novel by the same name by Ang Lee, and stars Irrfan Khan as the adult Pi Patel. The movie has a fascinating story, breathtaking cinematography and moving performances by the actors. Unsurprisingly, it won several awards, including Academy Awards, BAFTAs and Golden Globes.
The Lunchbox, released in 2013, is one of Irrfan's most memorable performances. Directed by Ritesh Batra, Irrfan plays the role of a lonely widower who strikes up an unlikely friendship owing to a dabba mix-up in this charming film. The film received a lot of love from critics and fans alike, and was even nominated for a BAFTA award.
Irrfan's portrayal of a middle-class Indian man who would go to any length to get his daughter admission into a good school is one of his most iconic roles to date. This light-hearted family drama won the hearts of viewers, which led to the making of its sequel, Angrezi Medium. Sadly, that was also Irrfan's last movie, released only a month ago.
Irrfan Khan's acting prowess has the power to move anyone who watched his movies, and perhaps this is why his death has left like a personal loss to many fans. Let's keep his legacy alive by remembering his art and keeping him in our thoughts.