By Kashish Rai
“I want to Entertain people but with some substance….”
This is what had been the motive of one of the finest actors of all time~ the great Irrfan Khan who is unfortunately not amongst us anymore.
Irrfan Khan, who recently left for heavenly abode after battling with prolonged illness has left behind such a rich and exquisite cinematic legacy which is unmatchable and impossible to define. Over the course of his 30-year career in the field of cinema, this gem of an actor did everything~ from big Bollywood hits to Oscar Winners, from grand Hollywood blockbusters to even dramas and thus, the actor will always remain versatile in his own aesthetic.
Beyond the impeccable skills he had, Irrfan’s face was one of cinema’s most expressive one’s, where many people have actually acclaimed that the guy could act with his eyes! The very famous Hollywood Actor Tom Hanks has also termed him as “the coolest guy in the room”.
Here I present to you 10 Key performances of Irrfan Khan which you must watch in order to experience his everlasting magic!
1. EK DOCTOR KI MAUT (1990)
Director: Tapan Sinha
Coming out as the Masterpiece by the director, Ek Doctor Ki Maut is a must watch if you want to know why and where India lags behind in the field of medical research, why the one who is on the verge of developing leprosy vaccine is frustrated fighting the conundrums of the bureaucratic system. People who are interested in the field of scientific research should definitely watch this film. It was this film from where Irrfan started gaining fame. In this film, Irrfan played the role of a sympathetic science reporter.
2. MAQBOOL (2003)
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Maqbool is an outstanding crime drama film by Vishal Bhardwaj. It is based on the famous play “Macbeth” written by William Shakespeare. Maqbool isn’t a literal adaptation of Macbeth, it has its own tone and culture. The movie is not just a piece of content you see to enjoy your time, you live through it. Irrfan has done a tremendous job as a lead. This film is indeed a cinematic masterpiece.
3. QISSA (2013)
- Director: Anup Singh
Qissa is an exquisite masterpiece, which tells the story of a Sikh trapped in his desire for eternity. This film is an excellent portrayal of the traditional mindset of a Punjabi family where a father aspires for a male child after successive female children. Here again, Irrfan has played the role of the lead. This film will make you get swayed in its situation, life of characters, their individual psychology and dignity of life. It is beautifully scripted but is surprisingly horrifying.
4. THE LUNCHBOX (2013)
Director: Ritesh Batra
Have you ever seen a movie and after watching it you just need some time to process what you are feeling or what do you exactly want from life? The Lunchbox will make you do that! It is just a simple story of how we as humans need to connect with people,how we constantly need someone to hold us and tell us that everything will be alright. The nuances and subtle human nature is captured with so much perfection that it feels like too good to be true~ all thanks to Irrfan! This critically acclaimed film featured yet another subtle, poignant performance from Irrfan. You should definitely watch it.
5. PAN SINGH TOMAR (2012)
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Here’s Irrfan, who covered oceans and scaled mountains. You simply can’t keep your eyes off him in this marvelous creation. Paan Singh Tomar is like a boon for every die-hard fan of Indian Cinema. The director Tigmanshu Dhulia is successfully able to tell the biopic how a former national champion athlete turned into a Dacoit in a cricket obsessed country. The interesting plot builds on it and takes you to a whirlwind journey of his life, which tickles you, inspires you, and ultimately asks you some very uncomfortable questions. For this very film, Irrfan was also felicitated with the National Award. This should be in your must watch!
6. PIKU (2015)
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Piku is a beautiful and soothing story with a less drama yet endearing characters. The 3 characters in this film have their own distinct flavour~ Deepika as a flake,irritating,independent yet alluring daughter “Piku’, Amitabh with freaky,obsessive,constipated father and Irrfan with his natural acting charm, sandwiched between the eccentric father and daughter!! Overall a refreshing story and a very different genre. You should definitely give it a watch!
7. MADAARI (2016)
Director: Nishikant Kamat
Madaari is a must-watch for many reasons. First and foremost is Irrfan Khan. Second, it is meant for family audiences. Third, it has a powerful story conveying a strong message against the system. Irrfan Khan’s acting is a big compliment for Madaari. This film is well-crafted and made with a refined direction. Madaari is about a man Nirmal suffering a big disaster and then fighting back with all his energy and vigor to question the system in place.
8. TALVAR (2015)
Director: Meghna Gulzar
Talvar is one of those refreshers who never fails to give audiences a reality check on the weak and fragile system of the country. It is based on Arushi Talwar murder case. This film is just a clever interpretation of how things might have gone and not a real story. Irrfan has played the role of an investigating office in this film.
9. HINDI MEDIUM (2017)
Director: Saket Chaudhary
Hindi Medium isn’t really a movie. This is a real story of today’s elite parents who think studying in an English Medium school can promise a good life for their children. The film hasn’t gone stereotype and rather looks very different than all those movies you see these days. Hindi medium is enormously charming; light hearted comedy and a socio-political satire on the education system and the elite class’s charm for English Medium Schools. Through this film, Irrfan The film does a great commentary on India’s obsession with English, and how class and opportunity intermingle.
10. ANGREZI MEDIUM (2020)
Director: Homi Adajania
Unfortunately, being Irrfan’s last film~ Angrezi Medium is again a must watch. In this film, Irrfan flits effortlessly from the emotional to the ecstatic to the zany, creating some endearing moments in concerts with the story. Dedicated to all the sacrificing & wonderful fathers, it is a hilarious film backed by actors who have impeccable comic time to make you naturally go laughing! The story about father Daughter just touches you deep inside and also teaches you some beautiful things which will keep you connected to the core of every emotion. You must definitely watch it.
The most versatile actor of all time~ Irrfan has left us too soon, but his legacy will keep on moving for generations to come!