Irrfan Khan passes away at 53: From Piku to Maqbool, remembering the actor's most iconic performances
The untimely and unfortunate death of Irrfan Khan brings back memories of the brilliance that he breathed into his characters on screen
Actor Irrfan Khan passed away today (aged 53), after battling a colon infection for which he was admitted at Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on Tuesday. Khan announced in 2018 that he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour.
The untimely and unfortunate death of the stalwart brings back memories of the brilliance that he breathed into his characters on screen. Here are some of Irrfan Khan's best works.
Life of Pi (2012)
His effortless portrayal in this Ang Lee directorial got the late actor an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Even though he was present in a few scenes in the film, it was sufficient to leave an indelible mark.
Khan's depiction of Rana was the perfect contrast to Deepika Padukone's Piku in Shoojit Sircar’s slice-of-life film. Irrfan brought out the complete innocence and frustration of a middle-aged Delhi man, who falls hopelessly in love with an embittered Piku despite her cantankerous, ailing father Bhaskor Bannerjee (Amitabh Bachchan).
Khan's Roohdaar introduced the perfect dose of mystique in Vishal Bhardwaj's Haider. As per reports, the actor famously said in an interview that the scenes performed during the riveting film, was the reason he became an actor.
The Lunchbox (2013)
Irrfan's role as Saajan Fernandez in this slow and impactful film, brought in a sense of calm and chaos simultaneously. His growing love for a never-seen-before woman, providing him delectable lunches, was both heart-warming and saddening in its realism and ultimate failure.
The Namesake (2006)
Arguably one of his most talked-about works, Khan's portrayal of Ashoke Ganguli in the Mira Nair directorial beautifully brought to the fore the anguish and insecurities of the oriental 'other' in a first-world atmosphere. Tabu and Khan were both hailed for their stellar performances in this film.
Paan Singh Tomar (2012)
Khan played the eponymous role of an award-winning steeplechase runner in this biographical saga. Having faced considerable hurdles, when the film finally hit Indian theatres, audiences were awestruck with Khan's sheer resilience in highlighting the frustration that Tomar underwent to have ultimately taken up arms to combat corrupt bureaucratic structures.
One of his most noted works, Bhardwaj's Miyan Maqbool thrust Irrfan as the lead amidst veterans like Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah, and Om Puri. The actor more than accomplished his job of portraying Vishal Bhardwaj's version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in the heartlands of India.
Life In A... Metro (2007)
Khan's Monty was the perfectly unassuming knight in shining armour that any girl could ever wish for in Anurag Basu's film. Monty was the voice of reason (often hilariously blatant) that Konkona Sen Sharma's Shruti needed. Without realising, the two fell head-over-heels over the other, giving audiences the much-needed example of a quirky-yet-ideal couple in modern times.
Khan portrayed Shaukat, the all-heart-no-logic friend that accompanies Dulquer Salman's Avinash Rajpurohit on an endearing and life-altering road trip. Khan seamlessly slipped into the breezy aura of the film to compliment the band of misfits that were rediscovering themselves.
Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2014)
The Anup Singh directorial stars Khan as a male child-obsessed Sikh man, Umber Singh. Set in the backdrop of the partition, Qissa, co-starring Tillotama Shome, and Tisca Chopra, was screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Khan's presence, much like Umber's spirit, loomed large over the film, haunting its viewers while also evoking a deep sense of sympathy for the character.
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