Irrfan Khan: Top movies of the shining star who left us too early

Irrfan Khan filmfare award
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The great Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan would have turned 54 today.

2020 took another bullet to the gut on 29th April with the loss of master of craft Irrfan Khan. Known for his unmatchable performances in movies like The Lunchbox, Maqbool, Paan Singh Tomar, among others, Irrfan Khan has left behind an impeccable work of craft that will be remembered for years to come.

Making his bollywood debut with Salaam Bombay! in 1988, Irrfan Khan went on to work in award winning movies like Paan Singh Tomar, The Lunchbox, Hindi Medium and many others.

Irrfan’s career of 35 years brought him several accolades, including the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour.

On Irrfan Khan’s birth anniversary, we have curated a list of his stellar performances and movies that prove he was master of his craft.

#1 Maqbool (2003)

Based on William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ the movie features Mumbai’s undreworld as its backdrop. Irrfan Khan essays the role of Maqbool who is the right hand man of Jahangir Khan (Pankaj Kapur), a powerful underworld don. This movie is full of twists and turns that reflect the impeccable craft and versality Irrfan had in his performances.

#2 Namesake (2006)

Based on the novel of same name by Jhumpa Lahiri, the movie charts the life of Ashima and Ashoke, who are trying to adjust in America, while their son, Gogol, is trying to find his own identity, stuck in two worlds. Khan’s performance in Namesake is effortlessly impressive.

#3 The Lunchbox

One of the most talked about and critically acclaimed movies, The Luchbox maps the life of a lonely working class man, Saajan Fernandes, who falls in love with a maried woman, Ila. The feel good romance offers a perfect delight on a gloomy day.

Interesting storyline and brilliant performance by talented artists make this movie stand out of the rest.

#4 Life In a…Metro (2007)

Revolving aorund the lives of 9 people living in a big city, Life In a… Metro has shown Irrfan’s character to be extremely flawed and hence extremely real. In the movie, Irrfan Khan played the character of an average Joe who is looking for a perfect woman.

The movie turned out to be one of the first works that underlined Khan as a great actor for mainstream cinema.

#5 Paan Singh Tomar (2008)

‘Paan Singh Tomar’ (Irrfan Khan), an athlete, wins gold medals at the Indian National Games seven times in a row. But with the death of his mother and police officials’ inaction in the matter, Paan Singh Tomar is forced by situations to become a decoit. The true story of an Asian Games athlete is brought to life by the moving performance of Irrfan Khan.

#6 Slumdog Millionaire

The story of a teenager, who belongs to the slums in Mumbai, Slumdog Millionaire turned out to be a movie that put forth India’s name on the map of International cinema. The teenager boy (Dev Patel) becomes a winner on ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’

Upon being interrogated with suspicion of cheating, the boy revisits his life of struggles and shows how he has all the answers.

In the movie, Irrfan played the role of an investigating officer and he was phenomenal.

#7 Life of Pi

Protraying the role of Piscine Patel, Irran Khan’s Life of Pi earned him international recognition and was highly appreciated across the globe.

#8 Haider

Although Irrfan was not the lead actor in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, yet Khan as Roohdar stole the limelight because of his par excellence performance. The subtltly with which Irrfan delivered every dialogue, kept us captivated and left us wanting for more of his craft.

#9 Haasil (2003)

Ranvijay Singh is one of Irrfan’s villainous characters that earned him an award as well as massive recognition. The 2003 film initially got a lot of mixed reviews for its rough and violent depictions of student politics but soon became a cult classic.

#10 Piku

A road trip to Kolkata that bridges the gap between Piku (Deepika Padukone) and her ageing father Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan). Shoojit Sircar directorial Piku shows Irrfan Khan as a cab driver who takes Piku and her father all the way to Kolkata from Mumbai.

With his effortless and moving craft, Irrfan Khan left the audience impressed by his performance.

Madaari, Talvar, Salaam Bombay, Hindi Medium, Angrezi Medium, Puzzle, Tokyo Trial, The Warrior are aslo some of the many movies by Irrfan Khan.

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