‘I want to entertain people but with some substance’: We bow down to you, Irrfan Khan!
With a heavy heart and strained words, let’s take a moment to cherish the Actor who made us believe in the power of the ordinary.
An actor in the age of stars, Irrfan khan always made sure he’s 200 percent dedicated to his art. The term ‘Irrfan’, which means the knowledge acquired by inner witnessing and interior unveiling is what the actor has stood by all his life.
With a heavy heart and the unwillingness to write it out front, I’m as sad and shocked when I say ‘I’ll miss you, the talented, the simplistic, the relatable and the charming Irrfan’ as you are.
Our Roohdar, Paan Singh, Piscine Patel or Shaukat as you make like to call him has left us with a lump in our throats and the unfulfilled desire to watch him more often on screen.
With actors from around the world paying tribute to their loved and celebrated artist, here is a little effort I make for you to know our Padma Shri Awardee and his work better.
Here’s a list of his best movies you should have watched by now. ‘Take a moment to say goodbye’ to him and take the opportunity to cherish his greatest works.
#1. Hindi Medium: A refreshingly funny and brilliantly insightful film on parenting and education, with comedic elements as its strength but with a poignant representation of the struggle and outlook of a common Indian towards English as a language. The much appreciated 2017 film won Irrfan Khan the Filmfare Award for best actor.
#2. Haider is a modern-day Indian adaption of Hamlet, the tragedy by Shakespeare. Irrfan’s appearance as Roohdar (believed to replace the father’s ghost from Hamlet) is one of his most heartfelt roles. The director of the film talks appreciatingly about his trance-like state for character development.
With being the first Indian film to win the People’s Choice Award at the Rome Film Festival, it also won five National Film Awards.
#3. Paan Singh Tomar, a 2012 Indian biographical film based on a true story of the athlete of the same name, it emerged as a super hit at the box-office. Irrfan fetched the best actor award for his work and the film won the Best Feature Film award in the 60th National Film Awards 2012! The execution of his role was widely recognized and is still enough compelling for drawing comparisons.
#4. Life of Pi: The perfect narrative of hope, invoking inner strength and believing in the unbelievable. Irrfan, the adult Pi, makes us believe that ‘In the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye’.
Based on Yann Martel’s 2001 novel of the same name, the boy’s (young Pi) journey will keep you intact with curiosity and amazement till the end.
#5. Haasil is a powerful, real, and honest representation of politically strong youth culture. Its scenes of violence will make you recoil on your couch and you might want to get up and take notice! Irrfan’s power-packed performance is highly acknowledged and earned him the Filmfare award for Best Actor in a Negative Role. The movie developed a craze in its following years!
#6. Piku: There’s a reason we love Irrfan. For his perfect depiction of what we are: faulty yet thoughtful. A 2015 Indian comedy-drama film, Piku is delightful, a cinematic rasgulla, dipped in the sweet, dark rum of life. The story reels off a comic father-daughter relationship in the most unusual manner, with Irrfan being the cherry to the cake. With his simplistic yet very human ways of character’s portrayal, this film becomes a MUST-WATCH for lovers of great cinema!
#7. The Lunchbox is the ultimate love story that will remind you of the times when love blossomed slowly, one letter a day and between two most unlikely but equally despondent characters you could ever match make. This 2013 release was screened at International Critics’ Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and later went on to receive the Critics Week Viewer’s Choice Award.
Irrfan as Saajan Fernandes leads the way of this film like a shepherd! This epistolary romantic film will take you by awe!
#8. Maqbool: An adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, with Mumbai underworld as its backdrop, Maqbool (Irrfan Khan) is the right-hand man of a powerful underworld don. The narrative takes an overwhelming leap into the psyche of the protagonists, riveting out what guilt and its denial do to them. With its impermeable, heavy and dark imageries, Maqbool is a highly recommended cinema!
#9. The Namesake: Based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, this cinematic form conveys a palpable sense of people as living, breathing creatures who are far more complex than their worlds might indicate. Irrfan as Ashoke Ganguli, an aspiring engineer who moves to America in 1977, draws the attention of his viewers by his brilliant art so much so, that by the end you will feel you know him well enough to keep in step with his internal rhythms, fetching him the best-supporting male by Independent Spirit Awards!
#10. Karwaan is my personal suggestion! With lives taking sudden turns and people meeting each other by a stroke of luck, it lets you delve deep into a fresh world of uncertainties. Irrfan as Shaukat, the driver of the van traveling places, is also the driver of this movie, who takes it further at every step. His comedic side will win your heart and tickle your funny bone! Towards the end, it will make you reflect on life as well and you will want to enter the world of this road comedy-drama film!
#11. English Medium: A chill runs down my spine to say that it was the last piece of work by Irrfan Khan. Quoting his own words about this film, “This film is very dear to me and I wanted to promote it with the same amount of love with which it has been made. This film will teach you, make you laugh, make you cry and then perhaps will make you laugh again!” It is dedicated to all sacrificing fathers who leave no stone unturned to fulfil the wishes of their children!
In the end, I want to thank Irrfan Khan for letting us believe in the power of the ordinary. Now quoting his last recorded speech:
“There’s a saying that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. The quote is great but when life gives you lemons, in reality, it becomes very difficult to make lemonade, people! But having said that, what choice do we have other than being positive? Let me see if I’m able to make that lemonade for myself. Today I am both there with you and I am not. But till we meet next, be kind to each other and
Wait for Me”
Originally published at https://www.fuzia.com.